First published 31/12/19 on our Patreon site: https://www.patreon.com/posts/32747654
I feel that one of the most problematic and insidious parts of ‘the script’ about love and relationships is the false premise that somebody else can make you happy – and that finding the right romantic partner should be the most important goal, the centre and focus of your life.
Even if you don’t believe in ‘the one’, it’s easy to be seduced by the idea that you will be happy if you find a true love, a great love, a life partner. There’s some truth in it, of course – loneliness can be horribly painful, whereas connection and shared feelings of love and commitment are wonderful. There is nothing wrong with wanting to find love and commitment – but I was taught to expect that when I found a person I shared those feelings with then suddenly every other aspect of my life would feel satisfying, content, happy. And of course, it didn’t.
I am truly loved… and I still have bills to pay, life admin, chores, disagreements, children to care for, a career to foster, unfulfilled ambitions and adventures, concerns and things that make me sad, fearful or angry. Being in a committed, loving relationship doesn’t magically make all those challenges disappear. And nobody is happy all the time – we need darkness to appreciate the light.
And what does it mean when I’m unhappy? Does it mean the relationship is failing… and if so is it somehow my fault, or my partner’s? Or am I unhappy for some other reason?
The trouble is that following the script led me to make the mistake of investing too heavily in romantic relationships as a source of happiness – prioritising my relationship and my partner’s needs and concerns above my own. Compromising, adapting or adjusting to meet someone else’s needs can be a good and healthy thing… but not when it gets to the point where you stop taking care of yourself, lose sight of your boundaries, or fall in to codependency.
I have learned, the hard way, that no relationship is more important than the people in it. I have learned that the one relationship I really need to invest in (and the one it’s easiest for me to ignore) is the relationship I have with myself.
So this is a resolution for the decade ahead, a love letter to myself. And I know, if I can live this way, then all my relationships will be stronger, more authentic, and more loving.
I love you, unconditionally.
I’m sorry for the times I’ve judged you so harshly. I will try harder to use kind words to speak to you from now on.
It’s perfectly ok to feel afraid or sad or angry sometimes. Disregard other people’s judgement – I know you are doing your best to live well and within your own ethics.
You have and you will continue to do an amazing job of coping with changes and processing complex situations.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You are a good person, loved, and totally deserving of that love.
You deserve to be happy. If you are unhappy, you can lean on the people who love you – but remember, you don’t need them. You can look to your self to decide what you want and how to act.
Give yourself time and space and put yourself and your needs first.
I love you.
I am proud of you.
I am sorry.
I forgive you.
I am listening.
I trust you.
Take as long as you need – you’ll get there. You’re already well on the way.
© JENNY WILSON and LOVEOFFSCRIPT.CO.UK, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to JENNY WILSON and LOVEOFFSCRIPT.CO.UK with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.