Towards the end of that relationship, I started seeking solace in literature. I would Google phrases like "poems about hating your girlfriend" and "poems to help me stay in a relationship when I'm unhappy" and then spend hours scrolling through the results. Somewhere in the midst of this, I stumbled upon Mary Oliver's "Wild Geese", which in my opinion is one of the best things ever written.
As I get back into dating after the end of my long relationship, I carry these words with me. They remind me that love isn't something that can be forced or willed. I can't change myself to be loved by someone else, nor can I ignore parts of another person in order to love them. The soft animal of my body is a highly discerning tyrant, and she is in charge.