It’s been years since you’ve ever seen them say "I love you," or show each other any affection. It seems they’re more like roommates than lovers.
Most kids want their parents to stay together at all costs. But there are some who want nothing more than for their parents to split up. Some people grow up knowing that their parents would be better off divorced or separated because they're well aware that there's no love in their marriage.
Watching a marriage without love can affect the way you love more than you’d like it to.
You don’t believe love can be at first sight.
You don't really know if you believe in love at all, but you definitely don't think it happens in an instant. Watching your parents showed you that love can be as thin as paper if you put no effort into keeping it going.
You wonder if there’s any love in "I love you."
When someone says "I love you," you doubt that they mean it especially if they say it too soon. On the rare occasions you heard your parents utter the words to each other, you know it was meaningless. It's hard to believe anyone who says those words actually mean them.
So you look for someone’s love in their actions rather than their words.
Not only because it's hard for you to believe the words, but because you saw the effects of what happens when people make empty promises. For you, love is a choice and not something you simply fall into. You see someone’s love in the choices they make in regards to their relationship with you, rather than the things they say.
But you aren’t really used to being touched.
If your parents barely expressed love for each other, chances are they probably never really expressed it to you either. Your family isn't big on hugs or cuddle time or kisses on the cheek. You’re not a fan of affection because you aren't used to it and have trouble trusting it.
You doubt yourself when it comes to love.
Even when your heart’s in it, you wonder if you’re truly in love with someone because you don’t know what it looks like. But you don’t want them to feel neglected so you try the whole being affectionate thing. But you wonder if those kisses on the forehead or cuddle sessions are enough.
Because you don’t know how to say "I love you."
Since you’re still unsure what it truly means to love someone because no one ever set that example for you, it's hard for the words to leave your mouth at all.
Especially because you have a hard time loving yourself.
The lack of love in your household made you question your own worth. You question if you’re even worth loving and therefore, have a lot of trouble loving yourself. You don’t know what that looks like at all.
You hate secrets...
Because you believe secrets are the root of the problem to not being able to trust the person you love. Your parents would keep secrets from one another, so you are aware that when you keep things hidden it will cause so much extra unnecessary tension.
But you’re afraid of honesty...
As much as you would hate your partner to hide things from you, you're equally frightened by honesty. You know the truth can hurt just as much as a secret. Even if your parents admit their marriage was loveless, it still hurts.
You hide your scars behind band-aids.
You don’t like to go deep into your personal pain because there’s so much vulnerability that comes with that and you’re not ready to show it to the one you love yet. But hiding it behind a band-aid instead of treating it can make it worse.
You’re afraid of feelings clouding your judgment.
It’s the reason why you suppress your feelings so much. You don’t want your emotions to get the best of you because you want to have a clear head. You want to be sure you’re ready for a relationship or be ready to take a relationship to the next level.
You always wonder how your parents did it.
You think about how hard it had to have been for them to stop loving each other. You wonder how that even happens, or perhaps it just became a chore to them, which is worse.
So you’re never worried about flying solo.
You’re perfectly okay with being single, even for the rest of your life because love is hard and life’s too short to waste time trying to find it. But if it does happen one day, you hope you'll be able to recognize it.
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