Dear Reader, My heart has been calling me to write you this letter about romantic love. To tell you what I’ve learned over the past 20 plus years of dating. I do admit that my knowledge is incomplete and that I am still learning. I’m sharing what I have learned with you because there is so much that I wish my elders would have told me or questions that I would have asked so that I could have been better prepared while dating. It feels like so many romantic love lessons fail to get passed on throughout generations because every love story is different. But I think there are enough similarities to everyone’s romantic love journey. I will now share with you what I’ve learned during my (and others) journey, in hopes that it will help you to be better prepared for your own romantic love journey.
Rejection will be a thing. And there will be many. I wish that was the one thing I knew before I started dating. Sometimes you will be the one who must break another person’s heart, and other times it will be you who has your heart broken. In either case, it will f…ing suck. There are many pop-phrases that say, “rejection is redirection” and “rejection is protection”. Both are true but very hard to accept. Know that nothing is wrong with you when you get rejected. It’s easier said than done but it will help your heart to heal faster if you don’t let a rejection destroy your sense of self and self-esteem.
It’s also important to know that there is no such thing as “The One”. There will be many. Trust me, there will be. There will be many that you’ll date but won’t make it official or exclusive. Including those that you’ll later think may have been “the one that got away”. There will also be a few that you will make it official with, but you’ll break up because in time you’ll grow apart. There will eventually be the one you choose to build a life with, marry and possibly have kids with. Every day will be a choice…a choice to put up with their annoying little quirks because you love them so much and it’s worth it. When you do choose this person, remember that no relationship is perfect. Every relationship has highs and lows. It’s the mutual choice to stay together that will make the relationship survive the tests of life and time.
Before you choose your lifelong partner, there will be F… boys/F… girls that will drift in and out of your life. There will also, possibly be people in committed relationships who will try to have a side relationship with you. If they are in a polyamorous relationship and you’re okay with it, it’s whatever. But, if they are not in a polyamorous relationship, spare yourself the pain of being the other woman. Being someone’s secret is one of the worst things you do to yourself. Giving your time and especially your body, to F… boys/F… girls or someone in a committed relationship will break your heart and take years to heal from. The good news, if there is any, is that through the heartbreak you will learn a lot about yourself. You’ll see how resilient you are, and how to have better boundaries when it comes to romantic relationships.
You will also have to deal with exes, that for whatever reason cannot let you go. They don’t want to because they still get something out of holding on to you or think of you as a backup plan. You in turn will have exes that you will struggle to let go of as well. It’ll be up to you to decide if it’s worth the pain of being consistently rejected or having to consistently hurt another person because you cannot commit to them.
I saved the best and most important one for last. During your journey you will, at some point, break your own heart. You’ll stay too long, not say what needed to be said, and do things that you will later regret. And as painful as it will be, you will survive. It may not feel like it in the moment, the day of, the weeks or years after, but you will. It will take every ounce of inner strength, but you will survive. But to do this, you will need to learn to forgive yourself, and those involved. Anger, sadness, and regrets will be toxic to your mind, body, and soul, and you will need learn to forgive yourself so that you can heal. I once met a Shaman, on some random street corner in Oakland when I was walking to work. He told me this unsolicited: “you have too much pain, you need to let it go”. It stopped me dead in my tracks. I had been holding on to years of pain from heartbreak. I had been going through the motions, still dating, and not acknowledging how impactful the pain of heartbreak had been on me. It wasn’t until years later that I actually admitted to myself how much hurt I had caused myself through my own actions. After I admitted it, I was able to start the process of forgiving myself, and to slowly begin healing. It’s one thing to forgive another person but it’s a whole other thing to forgive yourself. It’s one of the hardest and best things you can do when it comes to romantic love. Without self-forgiveness, it is hard to love yourself. And if you don’t love yourself, it’s pretty damn hard for someone else to love you.
And one final thing, if you decide to consult with a Tarot reader…they will get it wrong. I say this from experience of having had many readings, and as someone having given love readings to others. Know that relationships will happen only when BOTH people are mentally, emotionally, and physically, able to choose to enter into a committed relationship with each other.
I hope this letter helps to prepare you for your own special love journey. It will not be easy, but one thing is guaranteed, you will learn a hellava a lot about yourself. Lots of good things and some not so good things. But remember, learn to forgive yourself for the choices that you make and the hard lessons you experience.