So as you all know I have been in various toxic relationships and I always thought that those relationships were how all relationships were suppose to be until I stopped dating for a while and ended up in another relationship, unexpectedly. I always told myself and others that it was too soon or that I am rushing things, but in actuality, it wasn't. I found myself within the time that I took to find myself and found a new best friend in the process. When people said that you should date someone who is your best friend they say that because those relationships mean the most. If you cannot find someone who appreciates you for you or who wants to hang out with you weekly and not just inside but also in public for others to see then you do not need to date them.
I went from not being showed off because "what's understood doesn't need to be explained" to being showed off and actually feeling the love that was given off. I went from being told not to be on my phone while around him because it was rude to be able to joke and laugh about the things that I see on my phone with my significant other. I went from sneaking around in their parents home to being able to come over whenever I pleased and being treated like family. I went from only able to come over after a certain to be able to be like "Hey wyd oh okay I'm about to come over because I miss you".
Being in so many toxic relationships I thought that I would never be able to shake back and love someone again especially not after my last relationship. My last relationship had me torn into pieces, in an unstable state of mind and I lost myself because I was told I had to act a certain way because he was much older than me. And "NOBODY wants a girl who acts immature". I was told this by so many people that I started to "act" the part. I was twenty acting as if I had my life together and being a housewife when I barely had anything together.
Being that I lost myself and I wasn't able to find myself until after I got out of that relationship. I thought it would be a while before I felt any type of emotion. I went from sleeping around with different dudes and working on myself. To be able to understand that everything that I was put in was for a reason and I just needed to trust the process and be able to wait. Once I finally stopped lying to myself and let stuff happen as it was planned, I realized that this isn't so bad. It took a year for me to realize that even though I had a rough patch the first several times that once the clouds started to fade away then the light would always shine brighter than the clouds when they try to block the sun.
So my advice to you is that don't give up completely on love. Take this time out for yourself and find you in the process. No man nor woman wants somebody with baggage nor someone who is still stuck on their ex. Regardless of your age, there is life outside of relationships. Learn to love you first before you go out and love someone else. I believe in you and I love you for you the good, the bad, and the unspoken, and if they cannot then it's not meant for them to love you.