To the Next Man Who Captures My Heart: An Open Letter
I’m sorry I made you jump through so many hoops, but I needed to make sure you were willing to work for my heart. I say that only because men before you have pranced around and behaved as though they could handle a woman like me. As you look around and see that you’re the only one standing, it means they failed in their follow-through. In the process, believe me that I stopped to ask myself what made you different. Was it because you refused to allow me to push you away? Or maybe it was because you were patient and gave me the space I needed to work through my mess?
Regardless of how you became the last man standing, know that you are now the recipient of a love that will fight for us. I am prepared to honor, respect, and cherish you. Although we hope and will work toward a love that leads to marriage and a beautiful God-fearing family, anything can happen in this life. Despite all of that, you are the only man I see. There may be others who try to make themselves known, but they will always be in the background as you take center stage.
When we met, there were many misunderstandings. We struggled with being vulnerable with each other because past hurts from relationships made us guarded. Though we never talked about it until later in our relationship, neither of us wanted to give up on the other because this time it felt different. When I try to explain it to others, I’m at a loss for words because I can’t. There was something about you; I wanted to see where things would lead.
Even when you annoyed me and made me want to tear my hair out, I couldn’t get myself to completely walk away. There were times when I turned my back on you, but you followed me and showed me why I should stay. There are many uncertainties on the path we’re on, but I know that I’ll be ok with you by my side.
You are not my savior; you are my partner. You support me when I feel like giving up. You cheer me up when I’m sad. You tell me I’m awesome when the world tries to beat me up. You defend me when others question my abilities. You endorse me in public, regardless of what others may think. For all these reasons (and more), I gladly (and proudly) call you mine.
There are many uncertainties on the path we’re on, but I know that I’ll be ok with you by my side.— Ethleen Sawyerr
It is now my turn to speak some things to you. I am not her. I will never try to be her, nor do I ever want to be her. I won’t ever resent her for all she put you through. I’m sorry that it led to heartache and feeling like you were unworthy, but that made you so much stronger. The harsh reality is that, if she hadn’t completely been blind to the amazing man you are, you wouldn’t know how to recognize the one who would when she stares you in your beautiful eyes.
The truth is, I’m grateful to her. Because she couldn’t see all you could be, she gave up and left. It wasn’t that you were without vision, ambition, or goals; she just wasn’t the one meant to accompany you on the way to where all that’s in you leads. Who knows why God allows things to happen the way they do. Oftentimes, in the midst of what seem like horrible storms of life, we wake up to realize we were actually spared from what could have been worse. The growth you experienced while with her makes you an even better man for me because you see me and understand my worth. As much as I hate to admit it, she made you a better man.
We’ve been through some hard times and made it out on the other side. After all of that, I can’t possibly abandon you. As your number one fan, I promise to do all I can to encourage you on your way to the top. I’ll stand by your side when everyone else says it’s impossible. I’ll show up and be the loudest one in the crowd when you prove them wrong. From the time we met until now, I’ve seen your character, and you’ve seen mine. At the end of the day, all I can say is that she and I are not the same, know my name.
Fellow navigator, do you know how you are in romantic relationships? Do you test your prospective partner until he proves he’s deserving of you? What would you want the one who dares to stick around when everyone else has left to know? Tell me about it!