I Don’t Believe Love Exists But I Hope You’ll Prove Me Wrong

There are many definitions of love, but to me, love is intimate feelings towards one another without the desire to own, control, or fix. Real love isn’t perfect, but it’s pure. I have a huge fear that love doesn’t really exist, but I’m holding out hope that someone will prove me wrong.

  1. I come from a home where people didn’t know how to love each other. There’s a lot to be said for childhood trauma. It sticks with people for their entire lives. I come from a home where violence, infidelity, and miscommunication were the norm. I was shown that the way you love someone is by owning them. This was obviously misguided, so I developed a troubled understanding of what it meant to love.
  2. My parents weren’t able to love me and that had an impact. Not only were my parents not able to love each other, but they also were unable to love me. They couldn’t compartmentalize the way they thought about love. They tried to love me in the same possessive way they attempted to love each other. Because of this, there were many of my needs that went unmet. That was when I turned to men in a possessive way to try to fill the void that I felt.
  3. Sometimes I chose to be with toxic men because I felt it was pointless to try. Choosing whatever man was in my vicinity became a habit. I continuously chose men who didn’t know how to love me because I didn’t know how to love myself. I didn’t believe that love existed, so I felt like I might as well have some fun while I’m at it. This was a lie because giving myself to men who couldn’t love me broke my heart.
  4. I’ve passed through too many careless hands. Because of the way that I was taught to love, I found myself with men who didn’t ask before they took from me. I thought that possessiveness meant that someone cared. I mistook lust for love. This left me looking for love in all the wrong places.
  5. I look into the world and see so much needy love. Not only was I taught as a child to love in a possessive way, I also began to look around me and I saw this kind of love wherever I looked. It seemed the norm to want to own your partner. I still struggle with this. I worry that all of us (but especially me) are natural graspers. We want more of what makes us feel good and we want less of what hurts us. I worry that because of this tendency, we can never love in the true sense of the word.
  6. I have this weird misunderstanding that love is only for saints. As a result of this fear that humans are only capable of needy love, I feel like the only ones who can really love are saints. Maybe instead what I can do with this view is just think of saints as people to draw inspiration from rather than compare to.
  7. Maybe love isn’t about being perfect. I know that I have a lot of baggage to continue to sort through. I’m finally at a point in my life where I can have loving relationships with friends. They’ve taught me what love is. They’ve taught me that it’s messy and imperfect, but beautiful all at the same time. Maybe that’s why I hold out hope. If my friends and I can love each other, maybe I can do the same in a romantic relationship. Maybe I could allow the love to be both imperfect and beautiful.
  8. Look at the song “What is Love?” — the next line is, “Baby don’t hurt me.” Even Haddaway was super confused by love. He was uncertain about what it is and he was getting hurt! There are all kinds of songs about love, but there’s a reason this one was so popular: the message is poignant and pretty much reflects how a lot of us are feeling, especially me.
  9. Even if love does exist, I worry I’ll never be able to have it. One of my biggest fears about love is that it does indeed exist, but I’m not going to be able to have it. I worry that I’m too flawed or broken, so love will not find its way to my door.
  10. I’ve been single forever. The fact that I’ve been single for far too long may be a self-fulfilling prophecy at this point. I realized that I worry I won’t find love, so I have the driving thought in my mind that I’ll be alone forever. Then, these thoughts spiral into thinking love isn’t real anyways. My mind can be my own worst enemy!
  11. I do still hold hope. Despite my messy past, current negative thoughts, and sometimes bleak outlook, I also hold a lot of hope. I’ve changed a ton over the years and I’ve really learned to practice loving in other parts of my life. A part of me does believe that I’ll experience love in this lifetime and I’m just waiting for the right person to come along to prove me right.
  12. I will admit, I know of two couples that may just have that thing we call love. Like I said, there is no shortage of unhealthy relationships in the world. However, I can think of two friends who have tremendously healthy relationships. They may be my beacon of hope for my future dating life!
Ginelle has been writing professionally for more than six years and has a bachelor’s degree in digital marketing & design. Her writing has appeared on Birdie, Thought Catalog, Tiny Buddha and more. You can follow her on Instagram @ginelletesta, via her Facebook page, or through her website at ginelletesta.com.