I “just knew”, but it was the worst thing to happen to me.
I met “L” in college and I knew so completely that he was the only one for me in a way that reached down into my very soul that was so different from any other man I had loved before or since. There was nothing he could have done, no way that he could change, no possible way I could ever stop loving him. It was beyond looks, beyond actions, beyond words in a way I still can’t even explain.
The only problem was he didn’t feel the same way. And so what happened is that while I remained completely and utterly devoted to him, the relationship became toxic. And honestly, while those things hurt me, in the grand scheme of things they did not matter, because I loved him more than I loved myself and I was willing to put up with anything to just be near him. I’m sure that sort of slavish love wasn’t very attractive to him, and it’s hard to respect someone who doesn’t respect herself. He eventually proposed, then dumped me a month later and used me for sex and attention for a year afterward. My very worst moment was after I was struck to the heart by 2 realizations:
1. He was never going to be my husband
2. I was never, ever, ever going to stop loving him
After this, I tried to move on. But unlike any other breakup, this almost ended me. I was suicidal. I walked around like a dead person for over a year. After that I appeared almost normal but I was not. I couldn’t date anyone. L met someone, got married, and had children and I was still grieving him. It was 6 years before I stopped consistently crying over him. 8 years before I could go a day without thinking about him. Just as long before I could be in an actual relationship with someone else.
I am now married to W, and I love him very, very much. But it’s not the all-encompassing, desperate, and insatiable love I had for L…and I’m GLAD for that. That type of love wasn’t healthy, it didn’t make me happy, and I lost myself within it. It was like a drug addiction. The love I have with my husband is strong, respectful, blissful. It makes me happy every single day. I have agency and independence, and I respect myself.
I wouldn’t wish that type of love on anyone, even if the relationship does work out. It’s not romantic at all. It’s a chain around your heart, keeping you bound no matter what or why. It’s terrifying.
For my husband, I am the woman he “just knew” about. That has been the cause of so much pain for him and I feel awful thinking about it. He didn’t date anyone for years because he had lost interest in other women. I believe that if something happened to me or us, he would be single for the rest of his life. That doesn’t make me happy. I want him to have a life filled with love and happiness, even if I’m not a part of it. I don’t want him to grieve me forever.