I grew up believing that sex was love. He likes you if he wants to make love to you. He thinks you are beautiful if he asks for those pictures from you. He loves you if he wants sex from you AND wants you to be his girlfriend. That fight is over if you mend it with physical interaction. If you do not expose yourself sexually, if you are not hot enough, if you are not skilled enough in that type of pleasuring; you will lose him. He will leave you- because there will always be someone that can make him feel better, that is hotter, thinner, or with a bigger cup size.
This belief destroys people.
I never thought I was that beautiful, so I never expected anyone to stick around. I felt close to people after having sex with them. I wanted them to ask for it, because I knew that meant I was wanted. I loved being wanted.
But it was the wrong kind of wanted. It was the wrong kind of love. It was not love at all. It was lust. And it was driven by sexual desires- not a respect, or a genuine caring. That is why it was never enough. I thought I was being completed by someone, but instead I was slowly giving pieces of myself, of my heart, of my mind, to people that I probably would not speak to the next year. I was breaking myself. Those relationships would last for a year, maybe two, but I would still feel depressed, unloved, and afraid that I was not enough.
Then I met him.
He makes me feel intelligent, respected, listened to, and beautiful. I do not mean my body is beautiful. I mean he makes me feel beautiful. He notices things that no guy has ever noticed- he compliments my outfit every single day, and notices if I switch out the little stud earrings in one of the piercings on my ear. He notices when I wear a new ring, or if I do my makeup differently in even the slightest way.
He notices the little dimple on the side of my face near my eyebrow, the way my lip quivers when I am about to laugh or cry, and the way my face scrunches together when I put a blanket or sweatshirt over my mouth (because that is what makes me feel comfortable). Most importantly, he is the first one to see through the smile; to want to mend what is hiding behind it. He is focusing on who I am, not what I can offer.
I think I love myself more now when I look in the mirror- big pores, baggy eyes and all, because I love what is beneath that.
He is a virgin. He waited a year before he kissed his last girlfriend on the lips, and the first time I kissed him I was reminded of middle school and early high school- the innocent kissing between two people who have never done it before, who are experiencing this huge milestone and learning about it together. He makes me feel like we all did as children- before our eyes were opened to the deceit, pain, and cruelty of the world.
Sometimes his friends tell him he needs to “get laid”, that he needs to give up this whole waiting until marriage thing and just do it. He just laughs at them and moves on; that is the man I love.
His dedication to God and to waiting to share that special experience with his wife is one of the many reasons why I fell in love with him . I used to make fun of people like him, the losers who could not get a girl- but the truth is he has more than any of the “cool kids” will ever have.
I try to run from people who express a liking for me, who I begin to develop intense feelings for. I try to run before they can leave- if it is my decision it cannot take me by surprise and I can get over it knowing why it ended. I can end it before I fall even harder, fall even more in love, share even more of my life with this person. If I stick around, they will only leave a few years from now, and it will only hurt even more.
When I try to run, he does not let me. I tell him to dump me, like I always tell boyfriends because I am too afraid to do it myself. Everyone else says “fine”, followed by some derogatory term. He says “Why would I do that? You’re mine”.
I am starting to believe that not everyone leaves. It is the most terrifying thought I have ever had. I have worked so hard to build this wall. If I tear it down, then who knows the pain I will feel when someone forces me to build it back up again? Would I be strong enough?
I have never had an emotional relationship with a man that did not have the physical aspect.
I have never realized why I never felt happy, never felt secure with who I am, never felt like I was enough…until I realized I was basing love on the wrong thing- I did not have that connection with someone without sex, and therefore did not have a connection at all.
He helped me to see my beauty.
I am beautiful as a girlfriend who can be there for you emotionally, not physically.
My mind is beautiful, I am strong, and my body is perfect as it is.
When someone is not constantly exposing you for sexual reasons, becoming more confident in who you are comes naturally.
The problem was not that I was not enough for those other boys, the problem was that they were not enough for me. God had better in store. Above making me fall in love with him, my boyfriend’s kindness and faithfulness made me fall in love with myself, and be able to understand God’s love for me on a deeper, more genuine level.
I am not a “whore”, “prude”, “stupid”, or “fat”.
I am a daughter of God.
I am enough.
You are enough.
It will always get better.
2 Corinthians 12: 9-10 states “’My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (NIV).
Keep praying, keep waiting, and keep loving yourself. Everything you go through makes you stronger, and God takes those trials and turns them into something beautiful- you just have to believe in God, and believe in yourself.
Beauty is so much more than what someone sees when they look at you.