“You complete me.” – Jerry Maguire

I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for romantic movies. What woman isn’t it?  Whether it’s those grand gestures to get the girl of their dreams at the end or the dramatic confession of their undying love for them, you can’t help but fantasize about your happy ending.

As long as I can remember I longed for the love of a relationship. I craved it, yearned for it and dreamed about it. I believed that my life was amazing (which it truly is); I had everything going for me, but the only thing missing was a partner to share it with.

I imagined the dream wedding with the silhouette of my perfect man. He was going to be the answer to my happily ever after and life would be complete. We would have 3.5 children, a big house to grow into and everything would be OK in the world.

A man was going to be the answer to not feeling fulfilled in my life.

These beliefs are what I used to tell myself. I thought that if a man came into my life everything would be perfect. Nothing is perfect and these thoughts couldn’t be less accurate.  

As I reflected on my relationships and dating experiences I started to see what I had been doing. Any time I began dating a guy I subconsciously put the expectation that maybe; just maybe, this one was going to be the one. I would analyze every part of him.

Does he have a good family? Check. How about a good career? Check.  Is he ambitious? Hmm I don’t know.

I would be so fixated on the mental checklist of what my perfect match would look like that subconsciously I created an expectation so high, no man (let alone person) could ever meet it. I wanted love, a partner and a connection so badly that I created my very own wall, guarding my heart.

Yes, I, Nicole Xiques, co-founder of a website on love, openness and vulnerability wanted love more than anything that I was petrified to let anyone in. What I wanted so badly became the thing that I refused to let it in. Instead of creating connection, I created distance.

While I would be lying if I told you that no wall exists whatsoever anymore, (it’s only natural to protect yourself a little) I can tell you that feeling fulfilled isn’t about a man, or anyone else, but rather the love you give to yourself and the life you choose to live.  

When I began this journey of The Unguarded Heart over a year ago, I knew that sharing my own experiences was going to make a difference to those that read them. What I didn’t realize was that in helping all of you, I was also going to be helping myself.

By following my true passion and living this authentic, genuine life, I’m becoming fulfilled within myself. My life is complete exactly how it is, right now in this moment. I am enough. Love will find me and when it does, that person will enhance my life, not complete it.

Society (and Hollywood) tells us what a happy ending looks like, but I’ve come to realize that love isn’t about a checklist or the white picket fence or a dream wedding.

Love is the core of who we are. It is genuine, pure and vulnerable. It is ego-less. When you find that kind of love, that is when you’re happily ever after can truly begin.

Photo: Flickr

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