When you’re in love, you just want that certain moment to last — forever.
At 18, I thought I found the love that will lead me to forever. My friends thought it was a love that will last. My mom grew afraid that I might marry young.
My boyfriend and I had big dreams. We were too ambitious that we want to graduate on time to start actualizing the dreams we built. We were 18 and so in love that the whole world was just composed of two individuals: him and me.
We were 18. Too in love yet too young to fully grasp what real love is.
Things changed when I finished my undergraduate degree. I started my career then stepped into the grown-ups’ world. I realized that I still have so many dreams to chase and too many places to conquer. I saw how the world actually look like after I got my degree. I recognized that it is vast. I want to explore everything but I could not. Because there is this myopic vision that was only focused on the dreams my boyfriend and I had when we were 18.
I was in love. So I stayed in the relationship and continued building the life that would lead us to “our” dreams. But the hunger to explore the world grew more each day. Until I realized that before he came and I fell so deeply in love, I had dreams of my own that I want to chase and desires that I want to fulfil. I was too in love that I forgot the word ‘I’ because, for years, the world was spelled in two letters: US.
The inevitable change that growing up brings is something that we need to face each day. Too much food was on our plates and commitments multiplied incrementally. When we were on that stage, we can’t just catch up. We stopped growing as individuals since we started dating when we were 18. When growing up forced us to live a life of an adult, our world began to shatter.
Arguments became frequent until misunderstandings got more serious. Love was polluted with anger and jealousy. There were days when we were more of strangers to each other than friends. The person I fell in love with years ago became the person I’ve hated most of the time. The relationship that brings butterflies in my stomach became the reason of my tears at night. The euphoric feeling of being in love started to fade.
One night, while I was on my way home, I asked myself,
“Do I still deserve to be in this relationship? Am I still meant to stay and be contented with just me and him?”
That night, I made a decision: to let go of the love I thought would last forever. I let go of the illusion of my forever. I let go not because I love him less but because I love myself more. I need to love myself fully so I can love others wholeheartedly. That night was the start of my journey to my forever.
On that journey, I’ve learned:
One, being in a relationship is not just about the feelings that you have for each other, not even the support you get from one another. Love has to be life-giving to both the man and woman. It should allow him or her to grow as an individual. It must leave a space for an individual to know oneself deeply. Love should not lose the identity of the other but rather inspires the other to be the best that one can be.
Two, love is not jealous. Love allows the other person to chase his or her dreams even if it entails sacrifice. Remember, it takes two mature and fulfilled individuals to make a relationship work.
Three, love is not self-seeking, so it waits patiently. It must endure until the right time comes. If you are truly in love, you will have the grace to make yourself worthy for the person you love. To be ready takes time. Wait until you are capable of making your love lasts forever.
Fourth and most of all, to understand love, allow yourself to be pursued by the Ultimate Source of love first – God. There are longings in our hearts that only God can satisfy. The longing is too deep that no human love can be enough. Let your relationship be so intimate that you won’t seek for love at the wrong places. This will save you from heartaches and detour.
While writing this, I was unpacking my things after going around Europe for a month. I am grateful that I had the grace to let go of the illusion of “our forever” and had the courage to walk towards the path in the fulfilment of my dreams. I am still not in a relationship but I can truly say that I love myself wholeheartedly now. I am still single, but I am confident that I am taking the right road to my forever. My forever is not for me to chase but for God to unveil – His time not mine.
How is your journey to forever?
Are you walking the path towards what you truly deserve?
I am praying that may you have the grace to allow the Lord to lead you and walk with you. You are greatly loved!
A Catholic Lay Missionary who travels the world to share her story with God. She believes that life in Christ is a beautiful adventure.