I Thought I Had Gotten Over My Issues… Until I Met Someone I Actually Like

I’ve built up plenty of relationship baggage over the years, and even when I think I’ve gotten over something and dealt with it effectively, sometimes it comes back up when it’s triggered. I was feeling great as a single woman, but now that I’ve met someone I actually like, I’m realizing I still have a lot of issues to work through.

  1. I was super comfortable being single. I’ve never been that girl who always had to have a boyfriend. Once I get over whichever breakup most recently left me flying solo, I actually adore the single life. I like my space and my independence and I love doing whatever I want all the time. It’s pretty great, yeah, I got so comfortable with it that I didn’t realize how settled and complacent I was until I started seeing someone amazing.
  2. I wasn’t expecting him to come along and didn’t think I had room for him. They say it always happens when you least expect it and in this case, that proved true for me. I’m extremely busy and very happy with my life and everything in it. Of course that’s when I end up meeting someone who turns out to be pretty great! He caught me off guard and I realized that I still have a lot of lingering trauma from my past. After all, there’s a reason I filled my life to the brim so I had no time or space to welcome anything (or anyone) new into it.
  3. I felt the chemistry and it freaked me out. I didn’t freak out immediately — I was too excited by it. Then I stepped back and got way too into my head. I started telling myself all the reasons it would never work, killing the idea of liking him before it even began. I felt myself doing it and I had to work very intensely to combat my instincts to run away.
  4. I could feel myself detaching from my emotions. I learned as a young girl that to keep my heart safe from those who caused it pain, I had to put up my walls and block out any feelings whatsoever. Whenever I feel vulnerable now, those instincts kick in whether I like it or not. I had to literally sit down and work through it on my own and tell myself that I need to open up and take a chance. It was difficult to realize that I hadn’t gotten over my problems at all.
  5. It forced me to be honest with myself about my baggage. I’ve been working on them off and on for a long time now, but lately I’ve been super busy and gotten comfortable in my routine. The development of a potential new relationship threw me out of that comfort zone. It required me to come back to the inner workings of my brain and figure out why I’m doing what I’m doing and how I can change that for the better.
  6. I realized I’ll need to be patient with myself — and he will too. I’ve already made a lot of improvements, but like any deep wound, the healing of my past traumas will take some time. I’m being vigilant and watchful with my emotions, but I know that at times, I also need to be gentle and loving towards myself. I can’t help what’s happened in the past, but I can choose how I go forward from here on out. The right man will stick by my side through that journey.
  7. I started falling back into old, toxic behavior patterns. There’s been a blockage in my heart for some time now — figuratively, at least. I keep that tight ball of pain hidden deep down inside, but when I start caring about someone new, it wants to rise to the surface again. I get scared and I fall into the same old bad habits. I don’t want to make the same mistakes I’ve always made, so I decided that I need to take a good long look at what I do and figure out how to fix it.
  8. I know it’s going to be a struggle, but the right guy is worth it — and so am I. Not only do I want to fight the good fight in the interest of building a healthy relationship with a man, I want a healthy relationship with myself! I’m not helping my own well-being by holding on to past grudges and heartaches and sadness. I have to let them go and look to the future instead of simply burying them and pretending they’re gone.
  9. I’m learning that honesty and transparency are essential. The only way that I can create something lasting with a man is to be as frank with him as possible about what I’m going through right now. I want to be authentically myself with whoever I care for, so if he can’t handle it, I’ll know he’s not for me. If he appreciates and reciprocates my honesty, I’ll know I can be myself and that’ll make the whole ordeal much easier.
  10. I’m frustrated that the baggage is still there but grateful that I see it. There’s one major difference in my life this time around: I recognize my harmful patterns and destructive tendencies. I could never fix my problems before because I didn’t understand what was going on inside me. Now I do and though it sucks to have to deal with it, I’m very happy that I now have the tools to do so.
A former actress who has always loved the art of the written word, Amy is excited to be here sharing her stories! She just completed her first novel, and is also a contributor for Elite Daily, Dirty & Thirty, and Thought Catalog. Amy is the founder of What If Journey and can be found on Twitter @amyhorton18. You can also visit her website at amyhorton.net.