“Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.” 

To all the men I’ve loved, thank you! To all the men who’ve loved me, thank you. You may be wondering why I am writing this. Well, I saw this movie with my kids called “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” a while ago and and it was cute. A teenage movie with a message that resonated with me for some reason. I don’t know, maybe I am still a teenager at heart. I used to believe in fairy tales and Prince Charming. I used to think I would meet that one guy that would make my world spin. Now I came to realize I’ve met him many times and I did not know it.

When you are searching for something and you are not ready to receive it, it can show up in front of you and you won’t notice it. Where I am now in my life I can look back and be grateful for every boyfriend, date, husbands (yes, I had two) and lovers I have ever had. You see, I never thought I was enough. Not pretty enough, not good enough, not interesting enough. Yet, I had all these men in my life who were way too good for me, so I thought, but I was unavailable. I never really thought anyone could like me. With that, I never allowed anyone in.

I was sexually abused when I was six years old and as I got older I heard so many negative things about my hair, my body, how I looked and, one day, at nine years old I heard from someone I loved and looked up to that “all I had to offer was sex”. That stayed with me, mainly in my subconscious mind. Messed up, right? But I don’t blame anyone and I am far down in my healing process to understand that I grew up in a very patriarchal and macho society. Back then people did and said what they thought was right. Not the abuse, of course. But I can’t go back and change what happened. All I can do is keep working on myself, forgiving, healing and helping others have better experiences.

I always dated the hottest guys since middle school. That served my ego, for sure. However, never in a million years did I think they liked me. And it didn’t matter if I liked them ’cause in my mind I knew nothing would ever happen. Then as I got older, I dated a lot. Again, I always attracted the good looking guys and the pattern continued until I met the father of my kids. I came to America, we had a good run and as good wife, I checked all the boxes. We grew apart, divorce happened and I went back to the same cycle. Mind you, I was not aware of the pattern. Even when I decided I would be alone and only went out with gay friends, these guys would show up and I would go out, have fun and take everything very casually.

Why am I telling you this? Because all these guys saw more in me than I saw in myself. Some of them, many years later, told me they were in love with me but I never gave them a chance. What? These past few years some of them started showing up again and I bluntly asked “did you like me”? The answers were always “yes.” Some of them I came to realize thought we were in a relationship. I know it sounds crazy but the more I work on myself the more I 1) remember things and 2) understand how much I have hurt some of these men.

When I saw the movie with my kids, that triggered me. I didn’t know what it was but I felt compelled to write letters. I never did. I did send loving kindness meditation, and still do, to all of them. How could I not? I would not be who I am had I not had the relationships I had. I would not understand who I am and what I want, had I not met them. And guess what? My amazing astrologer and holistic therapist, Lucas, told me one day “we are mirrors of each other. We attract ourselves.” Mind blown!! Now, I sit here trying to put into words how I was the one who didn’t see things clearly, who didn’t put the walls down and who didn’t see what was right in front of me. So, to all the men who have loved me, thank you.

All the relationships I had taught me something. It took me forty-four years to get it. And hey, I am still unpacking it. It’s a process. All I know is that each of these men have made me see and feel things. Some of them triggered my anxiety so badly and because of that, I ended up taking therapy more seriously. Now I can see myself in the guys I meet and I hold space. I don’t force things and I have the awareness that everyone I meet is teaching me a lesson. Thankfully I am friends with most of these men. The ones I am not, I still love them. I love what we had, I love the experiences we had and I love them even more for having loved me.

I guess this is sort of a love letter. But I hope it also an eye opener. We don’t know what people have dealt or are dealing with. I share my story to show that hurt people can hurt other people. Consciously or unconsciously we are responsible for our actions. How can we change this? Working on ourselves, sitting still, journaling, going to therapy, learning about our inner dragons. There is no way out only through. To break cycles and patterns we all have to be willing to really feel our pain, work on ourselves and allow love in. Anything different than this will yield more of the same.

To all the men who have been in my life, thank you. May you be happy, healthy, free from suffering and attachments. Sending my love today and always.


Simone Santos

I am Brazilian by birth, American by heart! I created Cool N Chic with the intent of spreading the message that we are all "cool" in our own and authentic ways. Cool N Chic was created to bring people of all backgrounds together through mindfulness, self-development, healthy living and the desire to be fearlessly authentic. Even though I created this blog, it is not mine. It is ours and I welcome you, your wisdom and your energy.

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