She Taught Me What Love Is

Let me preface by saying, I never thought I was able to be loved by somebody else. I am not an easy person to love. I hadn’t always loved myself, so I didn’t think I deserved love unconditionally. I thought I had to earn people’s love. When I started feeling somebody get close to me, my walls would go up and I would sabotage the relationship in some way. In one situation, I pushed a girl I liked towards the guy who was my best friend at the time and I ended up ruining both those relationships. I pushed people away before they got the chance to push me away. I pushed away friends and significant others. I thought I was doing what was best for them.

By the time I met Sabrina, I had just started learning to love myself. When I met Sabrina, I had given up on love and I wasn’t looking for any romantic relationships. I was simply looking for a summer job at a camp. I still didn’t think I deserved love. I had just gotten out of a mental hospital, I was recovering from a sexual assault, and I had just started my journey in sobriety. I wasn’t good enough for any one. I didn’t just have baggage, I was baggage.

Even before we started dating, I started pushing Sabrina away. When I was stressed with something, like a friend in the hospital, I gave minimal details. She kept pushing for more of them. Then she shows up at the hospital to wait with me. Why? I still don’t understand. We barely had known each other for two weeks.

When we did start dating, she had to learn how to love me as I was learning how to love myself. She never judged, but asked questions to learn how to best love me. She gave me space when I needed it. She went on walks with me when I was having anxiety.

After I started catching deep feelings for her, I got scared. I wasn’t good enough for her. I didn’t want to hurt her, but I also didn’t want to be hurt. I contemplated pushing her away and sabotaging our relationship. Luckily, I had people in my life, like my mentor, who I went to who told me bluntly to stop being stupid.

I still don’t think I deserve Sabrina, but there is nothing I can do to earn her love. She learned to love me, but at the same time, I had to learn the best way to love her. I am not perfect and I still mess up. I can be selfish and self-centered. I get so involved in me that I make insensitive comments or jokes about myself that she doesn’t like. I didn’t realize at first how my self-loathing and self-deprecating jokes hurt and worried somebody who genuinely loved me.

Our relationship is not perfect. We both fall short, but we are human and we understand that. However, we have decided that we want to continue to learn about each and how to love each other for the rest of our lives. Yes, we fight. Yes, we both been at fault. Yes, we have both displaced our insecurities on each other in the form of anger. However, my philosophy that we have lived by is that we never go to bed angry with each other. We get angry, but we don’t stay angry. We are both in this relationship for the better and for the worse. In the end, we keep God in the center, which means we love and forgive each other despite whatever the turmoil was.

I am so grateful for Sabrina. She taught me how to be selfless. How to love and be loved. How to find God in everything. She demonstrates through her love and her actions how I can be a better person.