I’ve Been Single So Long That I Don’t Even Know What Love Is

I’ve Been Single So Long That I Don’t Even Know What Love Is ©iStock/piskunov

I never thought I would be without the love of a partner for as long as I have been, but here I am, year after year, hoping to find the right person for me and constantly coming up short. I’ve experienced love before, but I’m afraid it’s been so long that I don’t know what it is anymore.

  1. I forget what it feels like to say the words and mean it. Besides my family and best friends, I can’t even remember a time where the words “I love you” have effortlessly rolled off my tongue onto someone who I know cares just as deeply for me. Even if I have gotten close enough to someone that my feelings became overwhelming, I didn’t know concretely if it was love that I was feeling or the numbing sensation of vulnerability that eventually always comes crashing down around me.
  2. I’m afraid I’m asking for too much. I’m afraid that the love I want is completely unattainable. I’m afraid I’m dating in a time where genuine kindness and affection without games are so painfully rare that only a handful of people are left to experience it. Dating for love these days feels like buying a lottery ticket — most of the time you lose. It’s like I’m a degenerate gambler who keeps going back for more even though I’m constantly bleeding myself dry.
  3. I’m afraid I’m unlovable. It’s not that I lack the confidence in myself, it’s just that I’m so used to silent goodbyes and never being quite good enough for someone that I’m losing my faith in finding my perfectly imperfect match. I worry that the pieces of my heart, although repaired, are far too refurbished to ever function quite the same ever again.
  4. I’m afraid I’ve gotten too far out of the relationship mentality. I’m afraid I’ve been single without love for so long and out of the relationship habit that I don’t even know how to behave like the partner I need to be to that someone special when he finally shows up. I’m afraid I’m going to mess it all up because I’m so used to living life for one and living life as a duo has become completely foreign to me.
  5. I worry that I won’t know love even if it slaps me in the face. I’m terrified that I’ve experienced so much BS that I wouldn’t even know real love if it punched me in the face. I’m afraid I might dismiss the guy that’s meant for me as just another loser before he has the chance to prove me wrong. I want to let someone into my heart, but it’s just so hard when you’re not used to being cared for in a true relationship way.
  6. I’m afraid of being broken again. I’m afraid if I do let someone in fully like I have in the past, he’ll just leave like everyone else has. I’m afraid to share the important pieces of myself and my life with someone who doesn’t truly give a damn and doesn’t want the same things as I do. I’m afraid to keep constantly falling, never to be caught.
  7. I’m afraid I’m too jaded to notice someone amazing. They say when you meet your person, you just know it, but I’m not so sure I will. My walls are sky high and it seems like a long shot that someone will be willing to knock those jerks down with the necessary vigor. I hold on to the hope that the right guy will make those fears melt away effortlessly, but if I’m being honest, my hope is wearing thin.
  8. I forget what it’s like to be loved. The last time someone told me they loved me and meant it seems like a lifetime ago. I’m not even the same person I was back then. I’ve been broken down, bruised, defeated and built back up again so many times that the new person I am today is someone who’s never truly been loved.
  9. I wish I could believe as strongly as I used to that I will find love again. I’m trying my best to stay positive and to believe that the best things in life take time, but it’s difficult to imagine sometimes when everyone around me seems to be finding and living their love stories so seamlessly while I keep facing new road blocks- I hope this crazy journey ends up being worth it. I want to experience and feel love again, but I’m afraid it’s been so long that I don’t know what it is anymore.