How You Love Differently When Your Father Wasn’t There

You like love, no not that flittery flirty feeling. Not the idea of love. You know that love is sacrificial. Love is ferocious. Love is much more than the “I loves yous” when things are going great. To you love is not breathlessness, but someone who makes you breath. To you love is effort, time, understanding. Love is not leaving when things get hard, remaining faithful in the face of uncertainty, when it’s not easy. That’s what you define as love. 

When you commit, you commit fully. You know too well how easily commitment can break, and the scars it can leave. When you’re with someone, they have to actively choose you every day to win your heart. You need to fall asleep, and wake, knowing your heart is safe. Unlike most, you don’t care about a pretty face or the grand gestures of love - you don’t need anyone to light a hundred candles, serenade you with soft guitar music or romantic trips to Paris. You need a kind soul. A big heart. A steady hand.

You’ve always loved differently than others - you were much more aware. You find problems after the first date. How can you not? When your father wasn’t there, it makes you cautious, observant of other people, you’re trained to see any red flags that could leave you heartbroken. You’re protecting yourself because you saw firsthand what happens when you don’t protect your heart. 

You saw the fights, the tears, you heard the screaming matches, the “undesirable differences” and you knew there had to be an easier solution, a balance, so when you love, you will fight, but you will also do everything to find that easier solution, anything to keep the love alive. You fight for love with everything you have.

At the same time, your separation anxiety shows in the way you love. There are many layers to you. You try to control that part of you that you hate, that part that tells you that big love ends in shambles, that you’re not worth loving, that people leave, but sometimes, it comes out in the most inconvenient of times. It’s such a contrast to your big, bold personality. Some days are a struggle. Your fears leave you on edge, going back and forth between caring too much and acting like you don't care at all.

When you love someone, you can’t help your irrational fears every time they don’t respond when they’re away. You grasp on to the one you love, questioning their loyalty to you. You get angry, it's misdirected, the one you're really angry at is not them. It’s such an enigma - you’re so confident everywhere else. But love to you means questioning everything. You need to reaffirm their love sometimes, just to make sure it’s still there. 

You’ll do anything for love, but it also frightens you - there’s a constant internal battle going on. You have such a big heart, but it’s heavily guarded. The biggest hearts always are because they can break the hardest. You prepare yourself for the worst, because that’s how you protect yourself.

Things like emotional strength pique your interest. You need to be with someone who doesn’t give up on things when it gets tough. Who finds sexiness in stability. Who loves you in your worst moments, loving all of you, including your edges. Who is patient with you, forgiving you for your moments of misdirected anger, because they know that underneath it all is just a fear of losing someone. 

This intense love is frightening, but despite your past you still believe that one day, you’ll be able to give someone your whole heart, walls coming down that you spent years crafting, crashing into them fully and never looking back. You don't regret what happened, because it's brought you closer to your mother, she's your biggest inspiration, your star, influencing you to get what you need before anything else - and that love has shaped your life beautifully. 

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Photo by: Melania Brescia