By Kenneth Stepp
I feel safe again… Have you ever felt this way? Isn’t that what love should feel like? Or is there another side of love that makes us feel more vulnerable instead? What happens when only one of you are in love? Maybe your partner’s understanding of love is only skin deep. This can and does happen more often than you might think. Two people are seldom in the same place at the same time. And some have the capacity to love more deeply than others.
If one person sees their partner as their world and the other sees their partner as one element in their world, it can get dicey and very confusing. And in the end, hurtful. Instead of feeling safe, you feel exposed. If you are strong enough, you will leave the relationship if you see yourself being just a small part of your partner’s life. Knowing pain is coming. But knowing it’s the quickest and least pain that will come of the relationship. Love may not always feel safe. But it will, if it’s in equal portion for both.
“When someone loves you, the way they talk about you is different. You feel safe and comfortable.”
― Jess C. Scott
I’ve only felt safe with one person since becoming single. It was the first girl I dated after becoming single again. I was lost in a world of unbridled love. It was truly intoxicating. Perhaps an experience that I will never have again. I could be myself, I was enough, and she looked at me as if I mattered. It really was amazing. After her, things changed. For about a year, I simply dated, made friends, explored sides of me I never knew existed, and most of all, I worked on me.
I wanted that again. And I knew I needed to be a better man to not only have that again, but be able to recognize it when it came along. When I was with her, whether physically or mentally. I was safe. I did not question if I was loved, if I’d ever be alone again, or if I was enough for her. If you’ve never had this, try and find it, it was electrifying. It’s what I want again and nothing less will do.
“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.”
― C.G. Jung
Is that all we have? Are we all trying to repeat something we had once before? Is it possible? Maybe this is why I still wish her happy birthday and think of her so often. We all have that one person who left such a mark on us that hearing from them takes our breath away. It’s odd how a text, email, or a message has so much power over our day. Memories of that time in my life created a template of how I want my life to be. I want to be loved and to love just like that again. Is it likely? I say no. But possible? Maybe. All I know is that it was powerful enough that the thought of finding it again gives me butterflies.
Trial and error has been my modus operandi so far. I tend to over trust everyone. So when entering a relationship, I open too much of my heart too early. I’m unsure I can ever change that. It’s cost me so much in life already, changing at this age probably isn’t going to happen. Friendship is where I am these days, and that can be troublesome as well. But that’s another chapter in my book for later. We can be safe and remain alone. Or, like me, we can search for that love that matches ours. My search is for finding safety where hearts collide. My heart was created to share. My “safe” place will always rest in another’s loving hands.
“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.”
― John A. Shedd