He Can't Love You Like You Love You


Growing up, I wasn’t allowed to date until I was 18. Not just because of my mother, but because I had a scary big brother, who used to hang people upside down and take their lunch money. He was by no means a ‘thug’, just a bully…and dang near a second father who didn’t want me talking to any boys. 

Unfortunately, for him (I'd assume) he couldn't keep that tight grip on me for too long. I took advantage of his decision to attend college far away from little ole CT and I began entertaining guys. Not sexually, though. I would tie up the phone lines talking to them all night; and would secretly meet them downtown after school, to hold hands and do cute teenage things. Things that I no longer consider cute for a 15-year old. I would ride my bike to foreign neighborhoods and sit on porches to spend time. Argue all night on the phone, break up, and get back together the next day.

During these interactions I grew addicted to the attention. I wanted more people to converse with and more people to boost my little ego; emphasis on little. I fell out of love with my solitude and fell in love with company. I became afraid to be alone. I was fixated on the idea of having someone, even though I was too young to understand what ‘having someone’ truly meant. 

I grew out of that after my first love affair. The only boy - still to this day - that I would have taken a bullet for. I realized that after him I didn’t want anyone else. No one before him made me feel the way he had. No one ever brought out that much of me. Anger, frustration, sadness, love, happiness, joy - every emotion you could think of. During my most nostalgic moments, I think back to the time we were laying on the floor watching childhood videos. About twenty minutes in, I busted into tears. I was overwhelmed with happiness; I was so happy and so in love. 

That was the greatest feeling I’ve ever experienced. 

It took three years to get over that. Three years of alone time and minor isolation. In the midst of such pain, I started to fall in love with my solitude again. I started doing for myself, what I expected guys to do for me. I started boosting my own ego, finding my own confidence and being the cause of my own happiness. I found so much joy and peace in being alone. I slowly got to know myself, and started to fall in love. 

I didn’t want to deal with just anyone, anymore. I was too worthy and I loved myself (and my time) too much. I enjoyed myself and my time alone and I was not willing to give that up for just any ole guy. Not after feeling what I felt for him. I wanted the real thing, or nothing; because I was deserving of that. 

I learned so much from that relationship and even more from that breakup. When I see girls now entertaining situations they don’t have to, because they’re afraid to be alone, I cringe. I cry for them, because at one point that was me. At one point the only way I considered loving myself, was through the love I felt from others. I wasn't worthy unless someone else thought I was. 

To those women in those situations - holding on with hope that it'd make you feel better about yourself; dealing with mistreatment because them wanting you fuels your own desire to want yourself - I say to you: love yourself. Love the you that you become when the doors are closed and locked. Love the you that you are in your darkest hour. Love the you without make-up; the you who just took her weave out. Love the uncovered, uncensored you - with all of your heart. Because, no man, can ever love you like you do when you love yourself right. 

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