Kind of a fucked up thing to read from the person who eats, lives and breathes positivity, right?
I hear that. Maybe it is fucked up.
But it's where I'm at! Sorry, not sorry, but I no longer believe in love.
K, maybe that's a bit dramatic - I'd say it goes more a little something like this...
I believe in true love of friends, family, animals, the planet, my purpose, my clients - I DO believe in true love...just not the kind with the people I have sex with.
K, another super blunt thing to read, I'm sure, but hey, I've been on a roll with this whole authenticity thing lately and I gonna keep going with what feels good.
I'm 37 in January, and that will be 24 years of dating. Yes, I stared young, fuck off ;)
The first 17 years I may as well of had my head under water. I was just barely surviving and was completely unconscious. Everything about my scene then was random. Until recently, it's very difficult to look back on.
I often thought I was in love and I'd say for sure that it had everything to do with love addiction and deep insecurities. And I can be honest and say, the men I thought I was in love with (I literally thought I was in love with my boyfriend at 15) I was actually only lusting hard for.
The pattern was always the same. Attraction, wild sex, days strung together of dates, eating, movies, drunken meet ups with all the friends - weeks go by ... months go by ... and all the red flags slip by because you know nothing and slough it off as "this is what relationships are like, aren't they?"
About a year in, things start to really change .The sex dies down, the deep conversations become more like a recap of the day and polite question asking ... "babe, so tell me something awesome about today" (trying to keep the mood light and in your mind you just pray that they don't say something that makes you want to scream).
About 6 years ago I got so sick of being in the same disappointing relationship after disappointing relationship that I decided to do something about it.
I don't mean just reading a book or two. Not lying, I did all this shit listed below (we all know it's not shit, just chill). This is what I've done to improve my relationship with myself and men:
- Intensive therapy for 5 years with an MSW who helped me raise awareness and heal wounds related to childhood trauma and PTSD.
- Read books on love addiction as I was coming to be aware that I was an addict and love, lust and sex addiction were a part of that. Major lightbulbs went on at this point for me.
- Did a 2 day intensive training with Terry Reel on communication. I learned in his seminar that I was pretty passive aggressive (I had ZERO awareness of that beforehand). I also learned how to approach conflict and adversity with your partner in a calm and respectful manner.
- I paid $5000 for a 2 month coaching process with an NLP coach on relationships. I learned about how to show up in a relationship, both for myself and my partner. How to create boundaries, how to know what I'm even looking for in a partner, how and when to address things and when to let them go. The list goes on.
- I did 20 neurofeedback sessions to improve my brain health. I was leaving no stone unturned.
- I worked with a therapist who specializes in PTSD and narcissists. Two things I still struggle with today. With her, I learned that by being an empath, I'm a narcissist's dream. I also learned that I often 'fawn' in relationships meaning when something hurt me I internalize it because I was afraid of upsetting my partner.
Again, fertilizer for a narcissist. They love someone who doesn't address their often cold, selfish and hurtful behaviour.
I'm gonna pick up off that last point. This learning was critical in my growth and newfound commitment to self-empowerment and conviction. My girlfriend who is a therapist mentioned maybe not keeping my pain to myself. Maybe speak up and say something about their behaviour that's causing you pain.
Another massive lightbulb went off. I realized that someone who was truly worthy of me would sit with an open heart and ears and hear me out, as long as I showed up using all of my tools in my toolbox that I've collected over the past 7 years, right? Right.
I'm being for real when I say this - I have always put 100% of my efforts into my relationships. No matter what stage of learning I'm in, I always show up.
Yet my scoreboard is still lacking digits cause I'm just always choosing the wrong men.
I had this realization this passed summer. I realized that I'm setting myself up for failure. I'm trying to fit into this mould. Like being with some wild, soul quenching forever love is the be-all and end-all.
What if it's 100% ok if that's someone else's idea of perfection but it's not mine? What would that look like?
Well, this is how it looks for me
I get to grow at my own pace and from a place of love versus constant struggle and pain. My growth used to get its fuel from pain. Now that I'm single, it's coming from curiosity and my soul.
I'm crazy self-motivated and very driven. I don't need someone else to light my fire, usually men just slow me down. It feels so good to be self-reliant when for my whole life, until recently, I felt I needed a partner to help me succeed.
Now I know my own power. I trust her.
I have dear friends to laugh with, family and chosen fams to bond with, I have my best friend, Murray, to be 100% myself with with no judgement. Like, zero. I have passionate love affairs with mystery and excitement. I make my own money, I feel 100% empowered and truly for once in my life I'm 1000% feeling great with being alone.
What's the definition of insanity again? WAIT!! You're gonna die - ok, it's not what everyone says it is... "When you keep doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result?" Yea...no. It's actually this:
Insanity. n. mental illness of such a severe nature that a person cannot distinguish fantasy from reality, cannot conduct her/his affairs due to psychosis, or is subject to uncontrollable impulsive behaviour.
I mean, have I not been all of those things in relation to dating? For years, and years and years I have entered a relationship thinking in a state of fantasy, thinking he was different, he was going to be the one...I got "toujours" tattooed on my fucking arm for god's sake. Delusional.
"Love" has also hurt me so deeply that I've been in a state of psychosis and wasn't able to conduct my affairs AND I've partaken in many uncontrollable and impulsive behaviours over the years.
Love has literally driven me insane.
I couldn't keep trying to fit that mould. My whole commitment is to break patterns that don't serve me. I think I've had about enough of it "just not working out".
So, I am no longer looking for that one person. I don't believe in that anymore.
I believe in love, no more.
*omg watch me get knocked up and married in 6 months lol*
I believe in science. And evolution makes sense to me. We are evolving. Women are no longer oppressed to the point where their sole role is to take care of the nest and have babies. Women speak up, vote, buy houses, lead corporations and do whatever the fuck they want to do now.
What made us shack up for decades or a lifetime until now? Why are we all so disposable now?
What. Is. Happening??
Well, I'm a realist and I've come to this conclusion.
There is no happily every after. Even those who are married long-term are fucking miserable most of the time. And those who aren't are the exception, not the rule.
What if it's ok to never be married with no kids? Instead, to have dreams of a life that's filled with growth, expansion, experience, variety, fun, autonomy and joy?
Am I broken or damaged goods because I I'm a 36 year old, never married, no children, self sufficient woman? Would it make others more comfortable if I had been married with kids and now divorced?
If I hear one more amazing and gorgeous woman say she's depressed because she can't find a man I'm going to scream.
THERE IS SO MUCH MORE OUT THERE FOR US THAN A MEDIOCRE RELATIONSHIP!
If most people aren't happy in their relationships, divorce rates are insane - and single people aren't happy cause they're waiting to go through that *coughs* enjoyable experience, too - what's the other option please?? 'Cause I don't wanna do either of them, thank you.
K, now I know I sound pessimistic. If you reading this have an amazing experience with your partner and you've been together longer than 5 minutes, I'm giving you a HUGE high 5 'cause that's dope af.
But like I said to this cutie I went on a date with this summer, "I'll believe it when I have it".
I'll leave you with this. There are more like me out there. More that don't want kids, don't dream of a white wedding or happily ever after...there are more like me who want it all, won't settle and until then are having a fucking ball doing this damn thang.
The more society can create space for women like us, the less time we'll waste thinking there's something wrong with us and continue to try to force ourselves through a meat grinder until we figure out ... there is another way.
There are many other ways.
Cassandra Hope RHN + CPT
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