The Fear behind the L word


The Sailor and I have had more and more chances to spend time together. The more time we do spend, the more I find myself feeling things that I am not sure I recognize.

We can talk for hours. I don’t think we had any times where there was a pause in the conversation. The topics seem to flow easily, yet at times it feels like we can’t say enough before flowing into the next topic. Sometimes it seems that time sort of stands still. Being in his company is one of the few times in my life where living in the here and now has never made me happier.

With all the time I spent single and dating I have only had about 5 serious relationships. With each one I learned a few things about myself, as well as a little something more about loving someone.  Up until the Sailor, I entered each relationship blindly but with child-like innocence. I let myself get caught up in feeling loved, and gave them my heart and soul. When the relationship ended I was more than crushed, I was beyond devastated. I felt like I was left an empty shell, heart shattered.

After my ex-husband left me I felt like the 11 years I spent with him was for nothing. I loved him, and after he left I convinced myself that I was unloveable. I also questioned whether I knew what love really felt like.

Looking back at my relationship with JS I learned that I was lovable, that I was capable of feeling love, and giving it to someone. However, my feeling of love with JS was one-sided. I loved him but I don’t think he felt love for me. He was very affectionate, and even though that felt like love to me, he never was verbal about whether he felt love for me.  I was with my ex-husband for 11 years and grieved for a month. I was with JS for 7 months, and mourned him and a broken heart for just as long.

My relationship with the Scientist was very brief, but like JS I jumped in and gave him my heart. I do realize I might have jumped in too soon with him, and in a way he might have been the rebound after JS.  After he broke things off, it hurt, I felt slightly numb, broken, sad, and a fool.  It was after the Scientist broke up with me I realized that I need to protect my heart better. In about a span of a year I was left, and dumped twice.

In the 4 past relationships I have had I was always the first one to say “I love you”. When I first felt love for that person I didn’t want to hold it in, I wanted them to know it. I never held anything back from these guys, and telling them I loved them was the one thing I never hesitated or feared saying.

In the case of my first boyfriend and my ex-husband, they both whispered “i love you” back. Hearing those words for the first time made my heart scream. It felt as if I was on a roller coaster and the moment stood still. I still remember those moments like yesterday; they are unforgettable.

I also remember the first time I told my ex-husband I loved him and he never responded. He laid there next to me in silence, rolled over and went to sleep. It was a pretty heartbreaking moment, one that is etched into my memory.

The moment I told JS I loved him we had been dating for several weeks, he said nothing. Like the two relationships I had prior I waited for him to return with an “I love you”, and when he didn’t my heart sank a little. I panicked. What went through my mind was, “was I too forward too soon”, “is he not sure yet”, “he doesn’t feel love for me?”. JS’ only response was holding me in his arms. I waited until we dated for almost 5-6 months before I had the courage to tell him I loved him a second time. When I said it he was again silent. It was then that I respond back with “I love you, I really do”. To that he said “I know”. I was crushed. He understood what I was feeling, yet, even after several months, he did not fell the same. I should have saw it as a sign that the relationship wasn’t going to last, but being naive, I ignored it and went on loving him.

With the Scientist I got up the courage to tell him I loved him after 3 weeks, like JS, he was silent. A few days later he broke up with me. I felt like a fool. After the Scientist I realized that I needed to keep my heart guarded I kept an arms length with any guy who seemed to be interested in me. I also promised myself that I will not be the first to utter “I love you” again. I wanted the next guy to love me first and love me more. I didn’t want to love someone who didn’t want to return love, or in other words, love blindly.

 

On two occasions I stopped myself from saying the “L” word to the Sailor. Part of me can’t remember what love feels like, but I feel something for him, something I haven’t felt in ages. The other part is scared that when I do say something he won’t respond back. On each occasion I tried to tell him, think I held back more than I feared his response.  Each time I would psyche myself up to tell him I love him, I would then question if I really knew myself? It was those moments where I chickened out and kept my mouth shut.

I sometimes wonder if I am putting too much thought into all this. Its almost as if I should just let out my feelings without fear as I did in my past relationships. However, I don’t want to rush, I don’t want to make things complicated, and I don’t want to get hurt.

I tell myself to let him say it first.

(but, do guys admit they love a girl first?…. am I setting myself up for an even bigger heartache by waiting?)

 

 

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