This is to the girl who has suffered emotional abuse. I know that love is not easy for you to define.
The abuse changed the way you see things. He would say he has an undying love for you, and then turn around and do things that proved that he had little, if any, love for you.
He would kiss and hug, and then start a fight.
After one horrible thing or another, he would play the victim and put all the blame on you. You even believed it at some point and accepted that the lack of joy in your life was your fault and no one else's.
The thing with emotional abuse is that it makes you feel like you are the problem.
It makes you think you are undeserving of love, that many of the terrible things that you went through were entirely your fault.
I know it was after a long time that you realized that the problem was not you. That is why you were able to get up and ensure you overcame your self-esteem issues and dealt with your insecurities.
You learned to love yourself once more.
All that abuse also made you put up walls all around you.
After you healed, you found peace, and you were rejuvenated. Yes, you found your own happiness. That was not without effort, and you are afraid that you could lose it all in an instant and start all over again.
You fear the risk of getting hurt a second time. On some level, you think all men will hurt you as your ex did.
The truth is that you need someone who offers you safety.
You want someone you can trust, which is why you will be more deliberate in your new relationship so that your new partner can earn your trust.
Any man who wants a place in your life has to be comfortable with this fact.
For this man, you will lower your guard and let him in.
You need this as much as he needs you because you are also tired of having to fight your feelings. Except that you keep getting in your own way by backing off whenever someone tries to get close.
Don't beat yourself about it. What you want is someone who makes you feel safe before you can take the plunge and bare your heart and soul.
Deep down, you believe in love and long for it, but your standards have changed a lot.
Don't think that the experience you went through is something to be regretful about. Through this experience, you learned just how strong you are.
You will have a better appreciation for love once it comes into your life.
Sure, it was a tough lesson, but now you can tell when you are involved with the wrong person a lot sooner.
You will never allow yourself to be in an unhealthy relationship anymore.
Just because you have higher standards, it does not mean you are unrealistic.
You are simply a woman who knows what she wants and is not afraid to wait for it.
Because of that experience, you know that love should not be painful and that it should not make you feel bad about yourself or destroy your emotional wellbeing.
Now, you know that true love is about support and kindness. This kind of love brings joy into your life.