“We accept the love we think we deserve.” ― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower
As I weaved through many relationships in high school and college, I never thought about what kind of love I deserved. Being alone with my thoughts was hard and I just wanted to feel validated.
My life was fine. Really, it was. But I struggled severely with anxiety and depression, coupled with not receiving enough attention at home and thinking that I needed to be “perfect.”
Finally, in college I reached a point to where I was fed up going from guy to guy to guy. I sat down and got serious. For the better part of a year, I really worked on myself and made a list of qualities I wanted in a partner.
After doing some online dating, I met Chris. We chatted online for four months while he was deployed 4000 miles away in the desert.
When we met in person, we both weren’t sure if it would go anywhere…
Two weeks after we met, though, my neighbor’s apartment flooded and leaked into mine.
Chris spent his time off work by helping me haul out my furniture to have the carpet replaced, haul it back in, and decorate for my birthday party that week.
This was when I really started thinking about the love that I deserved and truly questioning if Chris was too good for me.
How could he love me if he knew how many guys I had kissed? How many guys I had dated?
These thoughts remained in my mind for months. I kept trying to tell myself that I deserved love, but those negative thoughts kept flurrying around.
At times, I missed chaotic relationships with the many ups and downs, and would feel guilty for doing so. Truthfully, I knew I didn’t want another codependent relationship, but that had been my “norm” with guys since I was twelve years old.
I knew I needed to make a choice: either go back to my old ways of getting caught in codependent relationships that led to lots of tears, or to choose Chris- even though I felt I didn’t deserve him.
I came to the realization that I was destroying my own happiness. If I didn’t choose to be happy and accept Chris’s love, then I would lose him. I’m not saying that he would leave me, but that I would push him away.
So, I made a choice to accept the love that I had always deserved but had never experienced before.
No one is perfect.
On April 16, it will be three years since our wedding and three-and-a-half years since we eloped.
He’s a wonderful partner who supported me through eating disorder treatment when we were newlyweds.
Truly though, we help each other. We are a team and supports and uplifts each other.
I’m happy I finally accepted the love I always have deserved.
If I could go back, I would tell my teenage self to enjoy life instead of worrying about boys and their drama. I would tell her that she is beautiful and smart, and remind her that she didn’t need to seek that kind of validation from guys.
I look forward to the future and growing more with the partner I have. He is truly special and I am blessed to have him by my side each day. I love you Chris.
P.S On a funny note, Chris met all of the qualities on my list… except one. His parents are divorced. Well, my parents got divorced too soon after Chris and I met, so looks like we’re even. 😊