After enough failed relationships to make even Carrie Bradshaw blush, I finally found the man of my dreams. He had everything to win my jaded heart over: he was sweet, kind, caring and patient and even thought my neuroticism was cute. And the sex, my god the sex! I thought to myself: “This is it! This is what we’ve been waiting for!” Then suddenly, despite my longing for easy, carefree love, that jaded part of my mind just couldn’t resist drumming up my previous disappointments.
Was it too good to be true? Was Mr. Right really Mr. Wrong in disguise? We’ve all been there: after years of heartbreak, stumbling into that perfect relationship seems dream-like. Meanwhile, I was left wondering when I’d wake up and see my lover as the monster they really are.
It’s natural: defense is the strongest protection from another bout with disappointment. For me, the idea of a good relationship only intensified the worry that I would be let down yet again. As soon as I let this shred of doubt in, the flood gates opened. I suddenly found myself checking his phone when he stepped out, determined to find evidence of his infidelity. I began noticing that he was much nicer to women I thought prettier and thinner than I. Even the most gentlemanly of gestures became suspect.
Then, the dreams began. I was plagued by nightly visions of him leaving me for another woman, and in every one, he was stoic and uncaring. I found myself waking in tears, convinced that these were portents of our relationship’s certain doom.
On my way home from poker night with the girls, I caught my reflection. That woman was not me — I could not have gone that far. The sad truth was, I had. Two months of arguing and 10 pounds of worry-weight had silenced the sassy diva I once was. I became the monster I feverishly sought out in him.
Many will tell you that love is a losing game, and to a degree it’s true. Relationships, no matter how great, are a gamble with each side risking just as much as the other.
When faced with this gamble I had placed all bets on a sure thing, myself… leaving no room for my new love to prove himself worthy. I would never disappoint myself, never cheat myself, and never leave myself, I had decided many relationships ago. But, I was at a point, I realized, that I had to learn to trust him too, and allow the relationship to grow or end. Whatever happens now, I can say with total confidence that this was an important lesson learned in the most important relationship I will ever have: the relationship with myself.