I just want to be loved. Not by anyone, but by the people that I choose to love and give my heart to. I have been hurt many times in my life and in return I have hurt many people as well, but I seem to struggle to find the winning formula when it comes to love and being loved in return. After years of tumultuous relationships, numerous disappointments, and a few scars that will not heal, I have finally learnt to walk away.

My ex cheated on me with over forty women, a fact I discovered six months before our wedding. The one before severely beat me, leaving me almost completely deaf in one ear, because my boss’s husband gave me a hug as a greeting at a work event. My current partner and I are well and truly on the rocks and I fear that there is no way to resolve the current misalignment of thoughts and feelings, which leaves me feeling a resounding sense of failure in all things relating to my personal life. I have drawn a few conclusions from my thirty years of living – that there is something wrong with me, that there is something wrong with the people that I choose to give my heart to, and that those that find love and are in happy, balanced relationships are either incredibly lucky, or lying.

My current partner and I met in the most peculiar, awkward and wonderful of ways. A meeting of minds, interests, thoughts, ideas, beliefs, passions, and vices – I truly felt as if I had met the all elusive “one”. Clever, funny, beautiful, and a conductor of the most powerful electricity and chemistry I have ever had with a partner, I thought that this would be something rather special. I fell in love, hard, and within weeks I had uprooted my entire life, and left my family, friends, pets, home, and world, to move to another country to be with this man I couldn’t keep away from.

Over the next few months, we explored each other. Sexually, emotionally, physically, intellectually, and everything else in-between. We became best friends, lovers, deviants, confidants, and despite a hiccup or two along the way, everything seemed like it would be okay in the end.

But then, everything changed. We moved to another country and this gulf appeared between us. To me, it felt like the novelty of me had worn thin and that the day-to-day reality of having a girlfriend was not as attractive as it once was. As you get to know people more and more, you discover more of their flaws. Some embrace these and envelop it in their unconditional way of loving, while others do not. I felt like I became an afterthought, a hindrance, and a source of irritation, and I couldn’t understand why. Every time I looked at him I loved him more and I craved to understand why he couldn’t look at me in the same way. I began to feel as if he was in love with the idea of me rather than me, or perhaps had wanted to be in love so he projected it onto me, only to discover that you cannot fake feelings for too long.

Over the following six weeks we fixed things. We reconnected, spent time apart, and then were reunited in the most spectacular way. I felt like he adored me, I felt like I was the most beautiful and desirable woman in the world, and I felt a happiness and depth of love for him that I had never encountered with anyone before. But of course, like all good things, this came to an end.

I don’t know what happened. I don’t know what the switch was, but I began to feel like I wasn’t wanted and I wasn’t loved. My attempts at intimacy were rejected, my declarations of love often went unanswered, I was sworn at, snapped at, compared to his tramp of an ex-girlfriend, and any interest in me or my life waned to non-existence. I packed up a few things and I left to go stay with a friend and I messaged him to say that I needed space. I needed to leave – no one in their right mind would stay in a place where they felt they were not wanted, but a part of me hoped that my exit would elicit fight in him. A fight to keep me.

Unfortunately, I was wrong; my actions were that of a hysterical woman, an unnecessary drama, a hindrance on the smooth running of his day-to-day life, and the unwanted hassle of being in a relationship. I am welcome to return home, but he has not expressed a single word that makes me think he is bothered whether I do or whether he never sees me again. For me, the love and devotion I put into this relationship was everything. The feeling of loving him, and being loved in return was an energy that motivated me in every other area of my life. It breathed life into me when I was a shell of my former self, and all I can think is, how can some people treat their feelings in such a fickle manner?

This is more than the probable end of a relationship. I gave away the last little piece of my heart to this man and I cannot even begin to explain how much it hurts knowing that he is going about his day as if nothing has happened, whilst I am sat here pouring my heart out to a laptop. I know that these things very rarely work out, and that breakups are a part of life, but I felt that this could be something different. The most heart-breaking part of it is how two people who were once so close can now find themselves so far apart from each other.

I consider myself a strong woman, a lioness, a veritable force of nature, and a feminist who “don’t need no man” *finger snap*, but that doesn’t mean I don’t turn into a softy of the highest order when it comes to affairs of the heart. I have many questions that will haunt me and that I know I will never get an answer to, so from what I can see, my only viable alternative is to open a bottle of wine, hibernate over Christmas, and get myself some more cats.