I have been on this wonderfully confusing planet for 26 years now, and I have spent most of them in a relationship. In primary school, I was the playground Romeo. I would start the day with one girlfriend before walking down the (pretend) aisle with a different girlfriend at lunch time. I would hold their hand and tell them I loved them only to find they had moved on by the start of the next day.
In secondary school, things were no different. I had two relationships that at the time, were pretty serious. They were long term for our age. We would spend every minute possible with each other – or on the phone to each other and when we couldn’t do either of those things, we’d be on MSN declaring undying love. Like most high school relationships, they didn’t last and my time with women was done. As my focus shifted onto accepting myself as gay, I began a very serious and draining relationship. One you’ve all heard about a hundred times before. We were up and down, and when we were down we were both with other people before coming back together ready for another implosion. When that relationship ended, I wasn’t in a long term relationship for some years. Still, I went from date to date, searching for the unknown.
When my last relationship broke down, my response was to dust myself off and try again. Since moving home last year, I have dated seven different men and almost reached the relationship stage with two. And yet, when each of those fizzle, I look to the next.
Love to me, it would seem, has always been a conquest. It’s become less about love and proving to myself that I am good enough to be with someone. It’s absolutely no secret that I doubt myself, that I find myself unattractive and a little bit average. I don’t think I am anything special. Yet, instead of trying to focus on myself and improving what I have, I have spent months trawling the infamous apps looking for love.
That was, until two weeks ago.
My almost boyfriend and I had a bit of an awkward week of ‘what are we? What are we doing? Why are we doing this?’ And things got rather messy. It was in that moment that I realised something. For as long as I can remember, I have always focused on finding love instead of finding myself.
I have unpacked a lot in therapy over the last year or so. Instead of trying to work through my demons to be the best version of myself, I have settled on trawling dating apps to find someone who will accept me for the broken human I am.
I don’t want to be a broken human anymore.
And so, I ended the almost relationship, deleted the apps, and decided that I need to be in a new relationship, with myself.
It sounds such a simple task, taking a step back, and I get that, but for someone who has spent so long on an obsessive trail for love, I have lost who I really am. Instead, moulding myself into who I think they want me to be. This is the first time I’ve thrown my hands up, admitting that I need to spend some time on myself.
It feels refreshing, already. It feels like II am turning a corner and for once I am excited about whats on the other side. For so long, I have believed that in order to be successful you need to be in a relationship. I was so wrong. To be successful you need to be driven, motivated and more importantly, yourself.
I am going to be myself for a while. I am not saying I am completely shutting the door on love. However, I am definitely taking a step back and not actively seeking something that doesn’t need to be sought just yet. I am spending time in my own presence, realising that I am worthy and building myself up to be who I know I can be.
If you didn’t know, I have been nominated for a UK Blog Award 2019 in the mental health category. It would mean the absolute world to me if you could pop me a vote (it only takes 10 seconds). Thank you for your continued support on this wonderful journey x.
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