When I was 12 years old, I was walking with my two best friends and a boy on a bicycle waved to me as he rode by. I waved back, not having the slightest clue who he was. My girl friends asked me if I knew him. I did not.
Several months later, I was at my neighbor’s sweet sixteen celebration and that same boy walked in. My life changed at that moment. That evening we talked, flirted, and he charmed me with his smile. We slow danced together and from that day on the smell of Drakar Noir left an imprint on my soul.
From a wave hello, to the warmth of our slow dance, and the way his eyes smiled – I found myself in a new place. I fell in love. Yes, I was 12 years old, young, open, and naïve to it all. We spent some time together, and I called him one day. The answering machine picked up and his familiar voice said, “I’m not home right now, please leave a message. If this is Maria, I miss you”.
There it was, my first heartbreak. I thought we were in a relationship. I thought he felt the same way about me. Somehow, in my mind I thought he was the “one”.
Looking back now, I can’t even comprehend how at 12 years old I even thought of such a thing. I grew up, dated, and found myself in several different relationships. That little girl turned into a young woman. I fell in love again, experienced more heartache, and caused some heartache myself.
As the years flew by, many of my closest friends got married, and the boy from my youth came in and out of my life. Each time he did, I opened up my heart in hopes of a relationship. It never came.
In pursuit of love, I’ve attracted many different types of men. Somehow, it never worked out with the ones I fell for the hardest or the ones I wanted to be with the most. Somehow these men always led to a broken heart.
My last serious relationship was with an extraordinary man from Paris. A charmer, handsome, well-spoken, creative, passionate, adventurous, generous, compassionate, ambitious, worldly, kind, and the list goes on and on. He was the photographer at my girlfriend’s wedding in Paris. This became an unforgettable story in an unforgettable city.
It was clear from the first moment that he approached me that there was chemistry between us. We went from flirting to long distance courtship, spending hours talking on the phone and having a 21st century online romance.
I didn’t expect it to go anywhere, as he lived in Paris and I lived in Toronto. As time passed, we met in different places around the world. We travelled and shared time together and created beautiful memories. Yet through it all, there was an underlying current of pain tugging at my heart.
The last time we saw each other in New York City, I was ready to take the leap, ready to move to Paris, to leave the comfort of my life and give our love a chance. He was scared. Scared to take on the responsibility, scared that he wouldn’t be able to support me financially while I settled in, scared for many reasons. When we said goodbye, deep down I knew it was truly goodbye. The pain of it was all too familiar. I was willing to go the extra mile and he wasn’t.
I felt like the heartbroken 12-year-old little girl again, and realized that part of her was still with me. You see, what I didn’t realize was that the 12-year-old girl, from her first experience with love, began to think she wasn’t good enough. That message on the answering machine led me to believe that I simply wasn’t worthy of love.
That belief became so deeply embedded in my consciousness that I kept on creating relationships in my adult life that didn’t stand a chance – with men who were emotionally unavailable, men who ended up lying and cheating, and men who simply lived on the other side of the globe and weren’t willing to put in the effort.
That experience caused me to believe I wasn’t good enough, and it stayed with me through my achievements and successes- until just a few years ago, a few decades later.
We have so many definitive moments in life that affect us in ways we don’t even realize. We hunger to make a change and to have different outcomes, but when our desires don’t manifest we wonder what happened.
The pursuit of love is challenging. There are many obstacles that we need to overcome to find the one, yet most of these obstacles exist within our minds.
Most of us have little awareness of the thoughts we think because they exist at a subconscious level. Until we bring those unconscious thoughts and beliefs to the surface, we will continue to get the results we’ve always been getting.
What’s crucial is finding a way to identify the thoughts and beliefs preventing you from having the relationship that you really, truly, and deeply want.
That’s what we at Frame of Mind Coaching do with our coaching clients.
Still single and looking for the one? Wondering why? Then you must be willing to take the leap to discover what really gets in your way.
Contributed by Life, Relationship and Spirituality coach, Adi Tamam