Courage Is Saying "I Don't" Before I Say "I Do"

Courage Is Saying "I Don't" Before I Say "I Do"

Laura, 32, Bogotá

The story I want to share started almost four years ago. That’s when I met my most recent boyfriend. To be honest, the first time he flirted with me I thought he wasn’t my type.

At the beginning, we talked for hours and we agreed with everything the other thought at the very core. With time, I fell for him, deeply, more than I ever thought I would. We were one of those couples that people loved seeing together because we complemented each other so very well: I’m too passionate, bouncy and at times hard to understand; he is peaceful, loving and easy to get along with.

After a year and a half into the relationship, we decided to live together. We were great at it! 
The next two years of my relationship with him where what people read in books, with little ups and downs but overall happy, funny, full of special moments! Everything seemed just perfect.

Four months ago he proposed to me and I accepted! I couldn’t believe that I was experiencing that moment in life! I couldn’t think of a better partner for me. My future looked pretty amazing.

I started feeling this cold on my chest every time I woke up

But after a couple of months, I started feeling this cold on my chest every time I woke up, and at times during the day. I didn’t know what was causing it. Weeks went by, and I just couldn’t avoid it anymore. It felt as if an ice was melting on my heart.

I started paying attention to it, and that’s when I realized that it was thinking about my wedding what was causing it!

At first, I just thought it was wedding jitters, obviously right? I’ve never been the regular “bride to be” kind of girl, so I was sure that the idea was something that scared me a lot. My parents have fought for their marriage excessively, and I found that very admirable, but nonetheless it has been an extremely bumpy road. I knew I was very afraid of living the life of my parents in a way, so I adjudicated my uncomfortable feeling to that fear of mine.

At that moment I thought that since I had consciously pinpointed what was scaring me, the cold in my chest would go away, but it didn’t. I realized that even though the struggle of my parents scared me enormously, it wasn’t what triggered the unpleasant feeling I was experiencing.

I already had my wedding dress.

I was having so many mixed feelings by then that I was no longer acting normal around anyone. People started noticing that I was behaving strangely.

I already had my wedding dress; I had traveled with my mother shortly after the engagement to buy it. The fact that the dress was bought, and that I truly loved it, was making me feel very pressured to get married in spite of my feeling. By then, this feeling had evolved from an ice melting on my chest to a thousand rocks crushing me and barely allowing me to breathe.

I decided that I needed help from a professional

As any excited mother of the bride would be — especially if you are her youngest child and only daughter—, my mom was eagerly planning all the arrangements.

I decided that I needed help from a professional, so I went to see a therapist. It was the best decision I could’ve made. She helped me see things clearly and gave me the comfort I needed to get perspective on the entire situation. I had not shared my problem with anyone at the time.

I still just couldn’t fall completely in love with him

After many sessions with her, I got to the conclusion that even though my fiancé was beyond perfect in the eyes of many, he wasn’t perfect for me. I realized I had fought with myself for almost four years to make me think he was the one. With so many admirable and unique qualities, I still just couldn’t fall completely in love with him.

As I told you earlier, I am very passionate about everything in my life and I have put myself through a lot to be profoundly happy with my own self. So I couldn’t accept such a commitment without being completely sure of my feelings towards my soon to be husband.

After I made the decision of not going forward with the wedding, I cried for several days. I took my time to internalize what I was about to do and ended up doing it.

I felt terrible for bringing so many sorrows to a person that loved me so much. I still sometimes feel like the worst person on earth for causing him such pain.

I realized that no one except me is responsible for my happiness

It has been fifteen days since we broke up. I moved out of the house. It was very hard, but I have not regretted my decision once, not once.

I realized that no one except me is responsible for my happiness, and no one except me is able to fight for it. It has been the scariest experience I have lived so far. I was very afraid of losing someone so special to me.

I am turning thirty years old in three days. I went from thinking I had a big part of my life figured out to suddenly being back to square one, but looking in a completely different direction. I’ve cried quite a lot. I feel nothing is going as planned in my life, and that is pretty scary. On the other hand, I am 100% sure it is for the best.

I am terrified of facing again many things I thought I had covered, like being alone or loving again…

Not long ago I read a quote that says:

“Sometimes the hardest thing to wear is your own skin.”

I find it so true right now.

I’ve been thinking, life and marriage are hard enough with the right person by your side; there’s no point in making it more complicated from the start by marrying the wrong person.

Just because you already said yes to the ring, bought the dress, made your parents excited and announced the news to the whole world, doesn’t mean you have to go ahead with it. No reason is good enough if you think deep in your heart that it’s not the person for you.

I would encourage everyone to fight for the only thing you owe yourself, your own happiness, no matter how hard you have to fight. It is absolutely worth it.

I finally feel peace in my heart and a new sense of self-love I am enjoying profoundly.

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