I used to love watching romance movies or TV, and I even read dozens of similar books. I was envious of the chemistry between couples, and I would pity myself for what I didn’t have. The thing is, I was in a relationship. I inwardly blamed my partner for not being like these characters in the movies and TV. But in reality, my expectations were the problem. I was looking for something that I already had, but I couldn’t see it.

You Can’t Fix What You Can’t See

I spent years desperately wanting true love. I wanted to be loved fiercely, with an undying passion that would last forever. During the many years we spent together, my boyfriend did his best to show me just how much he loved me, but it was never enough. I didn’t “feel” loved. He went out of his way to do romantic things, selfless efforts to help me, support me, and all while he was struggling with his own demons. Unfortunately, I was too caught up in my own unhealed traumas and pain to see that I already had what I desperately desired.

You cannot fix what you can’t see. It wasn’t until I got sick and became much less lovable and he finally took all he could take, and he broke up with me, that I got the healing help I needed. I couldn’t fix the things I could not see. Once I realized that he was not the devil and I was certainly no angel, I started to heal. I had blamed him for so much of my dissatisfaction when my expectations and my lack of self-love made it impossible for me to see all he was doing or how much he loved me.

Then and Now

I used to watch these shows and movies with deep longing and then a pang of sadness. I felt that our romance was nothing like these people on the big screen.

Recently, I watched a rerun of one of these shows. While watching I had an epiphany as the couple gazed into each other’s eyes. I thought to myself, “I have that and more.” This was the first time I realized how different I am now. I am no longer looking for something, I have it, and I know it!

By cultivating my own self-love and compassion I can feel the love my boyfriend is offering. I no longer feel the sting of something lacking, I am fulfilled by what we have.

We attended a lunch last week with a group of people, and every so often, I would look over at him or he at me, and we would smile and share a private moment. I felt the quiet realization and peacefulness that comes from true, lasting love. I am so grateful to have this man in my life and so humbled that he agreed to give us a second chance. We are both very different people now, but that deep love we felt, in the beginning is so present in every moment. It’s amazing to feel so much love (like when you first fall in love) for someone you have been with for more than 20 years. We have helped each other grow and learn how to be better people and be better partners. If we can do it, so can you.

So, if you are looking elsewhere for something you think you may have lost or never had, take another look; maybe it’s right there in front of you.

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