My Best Friend’s Engagement Just Put Things Into Perspective

Life always has a way of leading you to your own conclusions, and last night, it led me to this–I want that kind of love.

One of my best friends just got engaged, and although she’s not the first of my close gal-pals to take the plunge, she was the first one I got to witness getting proposed to.

And the entire experience just gave me a light bulb moment.

Before I get there, a little backstory:

My best friend and her boyfriend have been together for 6 years, so we all knew this was coming, we just didn’t know when. Earlier in the week, she and I met up for some sushi and the topic came up, because she had been dropping (serious) hints that a ring needed to happen in the very near future.

OK, well tell me what you want in case he comes to me for help.

Boom, I started a little file on my phone–“Dee’s engagement”

Sure enough, I got a phone call two nights later from his sister. Hey Bru, are you alone? OK, so he’s going to propose this weekend, but we need help figuring out what to do.

I cried, and then I reviewed my file and shared the must-haves with them, which included having her family and close friends present for the big shebang. Now, her man is super shy, so getting down on one knee with nobody around was nerve-wrecking enough, but after hearing this, the anxiety was amplified.

I’m gonna faint. I’ll faint, I heard him say in the background LOL. But after all was said and done, he decided that if that was what she wanted, then he was gonna suck it up and do it for her (little did he know at the time that he would also be doing it in front of every single patron at the Langham Hotel bar!).

I managed to distract her the entire day of so that everybody could get things ready. I hate lying, and I don’t enjoy it–unless it’s something like this. I’m really good at surprises, but I damn near cried every time I looked at her that day because I knew what was going to happen and I knew how much this meant to her.

And when he got down on one knee in front of their families, friends and all those random people who just so happened to be at that spot that night, I knew that I wanted to feel what she was feeling in that moment.

It was never a oh-boo-hoo-I’m-single-and-bitter feeling. It was a wow,  I want a love like that.

I just want that love that is stronger than your fears. I want a man who is willing to do whatever it takes to see that smile on my face. And I realized that I’m never going to get that if I keep investing my energy into the types of people I’ve been sharing my heart with in the last few years.

I’m always focused on the ones who are half in it. The man-I-really-like-you-but-nows-not-the-right-time guys. Those guys end up being the ones that I put all of myself into, and I’m not entirely sure why. Maybe it’s the challenge of foolishly thinking I can change their mind? Maybe it’s my old behavior of needing justification that I’m worth something or my need to prove myself that has me vying for someone who isn’t all in?

Or maybe it’s the fact that I’ve never been 100 percent loved by a man the way a woman should be loved, so I have no frame of reference on what that looks like?

It’s a little disheartening to think about. In the nearly 30 years I’ve spent on this Earth, I can’t recall a relationship with a man that was completely genuine and illustrated pure love.

Don’t get me wrong–I’ve loved men. Men have loved me. I even got close to a proposal once. But there was always something–a big something–that prohibited me from being a priority.

And every woman should feel like she’s the center of her guy’s Universe. Including myself.

For the last few years, I’ve been searching for love, and ultimately I ended up finding myself instead. That was the greatest gift I could ever give myself, and it’s an ongoing journey, but that’s not necessarily a road I have to travel alone.

The definition of being “ready” varies for everyone, and I’m in no way a polished, complete, whole, satisfaction-guaranteed model of myself, but I’m ready. I’m ready to share my time and my life with someone. I’m ready to share my love with someone. I’m ready to grow with someone.

I think for a long time I wanted to prove that I was good alone. It was almost like a hey, look at me being so independent because I DON’T NEED NO MAN, BITCH. OK, it wasn’t that intense, but you get where I’m coming from.

And I was. I was super independent. Still am. But I’ll never be so steadfast on exuding strength and independence that I mask the desire of wanting someone here with me.

I want someone here. Sometimes I need someone here, just to give me a hug after a rough day and reassure me that everything is going to be OK. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

So this is the latest lesson in my constant string of epiphanies and self-discoveries lately, courtesy of the (smarter) voice in my head:

Bruna, you deserve to receive the love that you are so eager to give, but you may be blinding yourself from it by continuing to invest your energy on those who are either unable or unwilling to truly love you. Redirect the arrow on your compass to focus within. If you love yourself the way you say you do, then stop feeding the need to gain personal value by the acceptance of others, and stop leaving your heart with those who refuse to replenish it. Your heart is your greatest and most precious gift.

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