We all want to be loved and to find the perfect person to give us that love. We dream of Mr. or Miss. perfect to come in our lives and sweep us off our feet. It’s common for women to fantasize of the most wonderful man to enter her life and steal her heart. Men even have an idea of the right woman to wander into his life. All people want is to be loved and cherished. Sometimes the person we imagine is too good to be true.
Since I was a teenager, I dreamed of falling in love with Mr. Wonderful. In high school love seemed impossible. All the boys teased me, and none ever showed interest in me. They called me names, poured cologne down my back, and snapped my bra. I just wanted one boy to like me. I was the reject that guys had no interest in. One boy called me gay since I never had a boyfriend.
When Valentine’s Day came around, different colors of roses were sold to be given out to girls the boys liked. Different colors had meanings like “I’m interested,” “I like you,” or “I love you.” I don’t remember which color meant what. I just remember wishing I would get one. One year my cousins bought me a rose so I wouldn’t be left out.
During my teenage years, the right guy existed in my imagination. A young man spoiling me with gifts, loving me despite my flaws, showing me extra attention, standing up for me when others put me down, and taking me off into the sunset on a dirt bike. My dream guy was perfect in very way, but unrealistic. A man like that doesn’t exist. No one person is perfect.
My dreams of the right man were ripped apart when I started dating in my twenties when I took a year off from college and began working at a grocery store. The first guy that asked me out I though would be the love of my life. I thought I was in love with him and overlooked all the warning signs he was the wrong one. Then one day he told me a woman was sharing his bed, but they weren’t doing anything. She was just a friend. I dumped him and he married the so-called friend.
I dated other men. One boyfriend told me how much he spent each time he bought me a gift. Another had to be told by his friends to buy me gifts, and another one showed up everywhere I went like he was stalking me. When I thought I had finally found love, I moved in with the man and he became abusive. He couldn’t handle my mental illness and used my weakness to hurt me emotionally and physically. He told everyone how I abused him and all the wonderful things he was doing for me. He enjoyed being patted on the back for supposedly taking care of poor Aimee.
After we broke up, I swore I would never date again. I figured no man could ever handle my illness. I was destined to live with my parents the rest of my life, and when they passed, I planned to live with my younger sister. I was determined my dream man didn’t exist. I would never find true love.
When a co-worker insisted I meet a man, named Lou, who lived in her basement I said no. She wouldn’t let it go. His fiancée, her stepdaughter, had passed away from cancer. The first thing that came to mind was I would be Lou’s rebound, but she continued to tell me about him. I continued to refuse to meet Lou. My therapist and friend, Kelly, told me I should go on one date. One date didn’t mean I was making a lifetime commitment. I finally agreed.
On the first date he promised he would take care of me, treat me like a woman, spoil me, and never hurt me. All I had to do was give him a chance. I couldn’t say no to that. It didn’t take long to fall in love with him. He was willing to go to couple therapy to learn how to help me with my mental illness, he would never let me spend a penny when I was with him, he told me every time we were together how beautiful I was, he gave me lots of extra attention, and much more. He kept every word of his promise and still does.
Lou is the guy I dreamed of as a teenager. He didn’t take me for rides into the sunset on a dirt bike, but he gave and gives me much more than I ever expected. I’m a needy person and I love attention. He fulfills my needs and gives me all the attention I crave. He is my world, my true love, and so much more. When my mental illness gets the best of me, I can always count on him to help me through it and to take care of me.
When I met Lou, I was going in and out of depression episodes. With his help, I have risen above my mental illness and reached recovery. He’s not perfect. No person is, but I love every part of him. Even his flaws and bad habits. He lifts me up and showers me with gifts of love.
The man or woman of your dreams does exist. He or she may not be exactly the way you imagine him or her, but that special person is out there. True love is real. There is a person who can love you for who you are and learn to help you with your mental illness. You can be loved.
Lou is my soulmate. Some may say he smothers me too much, but I think he gives me exactly what I need. I couldn’t have imagined a better man to love me. Lou’s love holds me up in the light of recovery.