How I Learned To Love Him, Let Him Be, And Still Be Me

In such a hectic tale of abundance and scarcity, I found my perfect mix.

Last updated on Aug 05, 2023

couple embracing by the water on the beach Primorac91 / shutterstock

Love comes and goes. We fall in and we fall out, sometimes we think we’ve fallen when we never really did at all. It’s the Bermuda Triangle of emotions, and when you think you have it, you may find yourself utterly lost at sea. But the crashing waves, overpowering undertow, and fear of drowning are temporary. One day, you’ll open your eyes to calm waters, bright sunshine, and the gentle reminder that you were brave enough, strong enough, and worthy enough to make it out alive.


When I met him, he was not my type. He was quiet, and I couldn’t keep my mouth shut. He enjoyed math, but I preferred music.

It was a strange connection but there was just something about his quirky charm and the light in his eyes that kept me glued to the idea that we would end up together. And we did.

But you see, I’ve always been a planner. When I was little, I left small to-do lists next to my bedside outlining exactly how many minutes I would dedicate to each step in my morning routine the next day. This didn’t change when it came to love; I had a plan. I knew the kind of guy I would end up with was funny, witty, could make my friends and family laugh, and hold his own at social events.


That was the plan... until I found myself falling in love with someone who was essentially a square peg in this very round hole I had carved myself. He’s quiet, gentle, independent, and everything I’m not. And I’ll be honest, that terrified me just as much as it intrigued me.

Initially, my reflex was to push. I pushed him as much as I could out of his comfort zone and into mine because that idea of how I had always imagined my significant other still lingered. That thought that maybe he would change and maybe I could have the best of every angle, blinded me.

I would bring him to parties and encourage drinks 'til the point where we were both past our limits. I would start pointless arguments about how I felt like I couldn’t go front row at concerts with him and harped on the fact that he wasn’t energetic enough.

I was madly, deeply in love with who he was, but some part of me feared that it wasn’t what I had always known.


That youthful bone in my body kept telling me to create a man worthy of my punk-rock, angsty teenage days. Someone who would drag me to abandoned buildings late at night and take risks that kept my adrenaline running. But the one element of my perfect man paradox I fell accustomed to ignoring was this: I was madly, deeply in love with who he was.

Why would I ever want more than that? The truth was, I wasn’t going to change him, and I was wrong for thinking that was something that I wanted. The man of my dreams ended up being someone completely unsuspecting, completely opposing and completely wonderful.

Our opposites attract syndrome scared the living hell out of me as I pushed to find some edgy bad boy side of him. Bad was intriguing, but little did I know, good could be, too.

The man of my dreams ended up being someone accepting. Someone who let me live my life to terrifying heights and be spontaneous with the adventures I took. It was someone who gave me the freedom to let my hair down and would sit with me at the end of the night and twirl it until I fell asleep. It was someone who tried to be everything I wanted but held strong to who he was in the end. It was someone who proved me so wrong in all the right ways.


For this, I learned to accept my love, let him be, and still be me.

He is my storm, my wind, and my calm. He keeps me grounded and I like to think I bring a few sparks to his life, too. Love doesn’t fit in a round hole and the world is full of square pegs. Stay true to who you are and never try to change those important to you. In such a hectic tale of abundance and scarcity, I found my perfect mix.

Always keep your heart open, and your head straight because what you thought was your plan, may very well be in for a rain check.


Rachel Connell is a writer, editor, wedding photographer, and former contributor to Unwritten and Thought Catalog. Her work focuses on relationships, pop culture, and entertainment topics.