I woke up from a dream – a blast from the past. And I had to take a few minutes to recall how my life was from 2016 to 2019. Years I spent with my ex.
Despite all the differences between us, despite us being so incompatible, I somehow can only remember how much I loved him, and how much I think he loved me too.
But what is Love?
How do we choose to love properly? How can we find someone who has the same understanding of love as yourself and who can stick it out with you no matter what?
D sent this email to me in our early months of dating, and reading those emails now, I smile at our earnest declarations of love for each other. We barely even knew each other and yet were already talking about moving mountains, parting seas and going through tribulations for each other.
Did i show him love in the right way? No. I didn’t as well.
I remember so many times, when we fought, the way I spoke to him, the way i tore him down. I remember times when he would tell me very earnestly about his lacking in certain areas, and I would just give him solutions instead of just listen to him. I remember so many times, thinking to myself, that I could do better than him.
I remember only thinking of what I couldn’t get from him, instead of what he was giving to me.
I remember asking myself why I had gotten married to someone I had almost nothing in common with.
I remember wanting to leave too. He just beat me to it.
We both think we loved, but did we?
It feels like we just wanted certain things from each other. And when we stopped getting them, we stopped giving “love” too.
That’s not love to me.
What’s love then?
I don’t have an answer.
But I do know that loving myself is a steep learning curve in itself.
I do know that once i started to learn how to practice self love, how to understand myself, to figure out my insecurities, to repeat healthy mantras to myself, my entire life changed.
In the past, I may have chosen to stay in Singapore because of my family. But because I love myself more now, I’m listening to my own needs and I made the decision to leave for myself.
I’ve learned that loving at an arm’s length can sometimes be good. Be healthy.
I wish i learned how to love better during my marriage. But I also know it ended for other reasons.
Love alone, can’t keep two people together.
Yet having love for yourself first, can teach you how to love someone else better.
I’m sorry i didn’t know how to love myself more, and that i’ve neglected Jane all these years. In learning to love her, i’m also learning to be kinder to people around me, especially the ones who are especially close to me.
Love is a funny business. But without love, this life would be so much more dull.