“We loved with a love that was more than love” – Edgar Allan Poe
“You can’t choose love, it chooses for you.”
“When love is not madness, it is not love” – Pedro Calderon de la Barca
“Just because someone doesn’t love you the way you want, doesn’t mean they don’t love you with everything they have.”
I remember the day the walls came crashing down.
Actually it was the same day I came crashing down.
I fainted at work.
I am 27 years old and am just learning what love really is. What it feels like. How much it can hurt. And how perfectly wonderful it can be. Even still, I don’t fully understand it.
There are many types of love.
Love between family. Between the best of friends. Crushes, flings, infatuation, puppy love…summer love, true love…
I recently ended a 6.5 year relationship with quite possibly, the perfect man. And that makes zero sense, right? Well, I have learned a few things over these last several years.
Love is the most wonderful thing to both give and receive. It may not actually make the world go round, but it does make the world a better place. Having it can make you the happiest you have ever been. Yet losing it can make you feel the worst.
It isn’t easy. Even if it’s “right” it still takes work. How do you know when you know that it is right and true? When the work is worth it. When the happy times flow freely and the hard times can be worked through. I’ve said so many times that these days no one loves like our grandparents loved. High School sweethearts that made it through the Great Depression, World War II and raising 5 kids with one bathroom in the house. These days it seems like divorce papers are filed faster than the speed of light. It seems the desire to work for love isn’t there. We give up instantly. But maybe for good reason… Maybe we know they aren’t “the one”. Is it worth the fight if it isn’t right?
Just because someone may be “perfect”, doesn’t mean they are perfect for you. He was smart, funny, loving, selfless, affectionate, driven, supportive, attractive and successful. And if that isn’t enough, his family was simply wonderful. So what was the problem? Nothing, really, except for the plain fact that after years together, meeting at a young stage in our lives, we grew apart. Mostly it was me, growing up, growing into who I am. We stopped laughing and started nit-picking. The things I was interested it, he could care less about. After some time, the emotional distance took a toll. We took some time apart, had some time to grow, to think, and even to see other people. Eventually we met again and tried. We tried for 2 more years. I think it mostly came down to the fact that I just couldn’t love him the way he needed. The way he deserved. I loved him. Truly and deeply. But I wasn’t in love with him. He said we became like roommates. Sadly, we were barely even friends anymore.
Towards the end I was so unhappy, but avoided the truth and thought that if I changed everything else in my life, maybe the relationship would somehow get better. I got a new job, started getting back into my hobbies and things I enjoyed that I had left in the dark. I focused on all the reasons why he was perfect and why I really should love him. But still, the inevitable hit me like a wall and the emotional overload took its toll. And I spent a day in the ER. He recognized it. Asked me if I was staying with him just because I would feel guilty for breaking his heart. The thing was, I was breaking it even more by staying there. He was in love, but he wasn’t happy. And it was my fault. So I took a long weekend and went away to the safest, most relaxing place I could think of: my parents’ house. The entire time I was there, it just felt right. Every moment was enlightening. I returned home and he knew. He felt it. And we talked. Like mature adults, matter-of-factly. This was it. I stayed for 2 weeks while I worked on transferring jobs and making living arrangements (which ended up being 27-year-old-me moving back home with my parents…which is a whole different blog…). Strangely enough, those last 2 weeks were the best we had gotten along in a few years. We laughed a lot, spent so much time together, talked about anything and everything. And we cried. A lot. And eventually, we said goodbye. Now it has been 2 months since I have spoken to the person I had talked to daily for 6 1/2 years. It may be the right thing, but at the same time it is the strangest, and hardest thing. I tried to love him. I wanted to. But I couldn’t. It just wasn’t meant to be.
But is anything really meant to be? Is destiny real? Does fate exist? Do we walk through this life as a pawn in a game of predetermined love? Is there really a “the one” for us? Another thing I have learned is that throughout our own individual lives, we ourselves will be many different people. We grow and change so much, and I don’t think it ever comes to a complete stop. So, finding one person perfect for us can only mean that we find someone perfect for who we are at any given moment. Or, even more impossible, finding someone who will be perfect for us throughout all of our changes. They change perfectly right along with us. Perfection means without flaw. Arguments come about because of flaws. And no relationship is without any sort of disagreement. It’s how we react to those flaws and communicate through those disagreements that shows us how “nearly perfect” a person is for us. It’s the good and the bad. Or, “for better or for worse” as they say. There are over 7 billion people on this planet. While each unique, many of us are so similar, and would fit together quite well. I estimate this means there are at least 100 “the one’s” for us. That being said, when one love ends, don’t be discouraged. Another love….a better love….possibly the best love…is out there. Just remember to be yourself. Being loved is wonderful, but being loved for exactly who you are is perfect.
Here’s what I say:
“sometimes one of life’s hardest lessons is knowing which way to walk…towards something or away from it.”
“sometimes it’s worth it just to feel…even if it was never real.”
As silly as it may seem, I have found someone who said it just right, in far less words than I have. No one understands love the way South Park character Butters Stotch does:
Butters Stotch, on being dumped and having his heart stepped on with stiletto shoes:
“Yeah I’m sad, but at the same time I’m really happy that something can make me feel that sad. It’s like, it makes me feel alive, you know? It makes me feel human. The only way I could feel this sad now is if I’ve felt something really good before. So I have to take the bad with the good. So I guess what I’m feeling is like a beautiful sadness.”
But if neither my words, nor Butters’ can make you feel and understand love the way you want to, this surely will:
The BEST love song mixtape (yes, i said mixtape. it will always sound better than “playlist” or “mixed cd”. 10 points for 90’s nostalgia.) ever:
- Boats and Birds –> Gregory and the Hawk
- Fix You –> Coldplay
- A Thousand Years –> Christina Perri
- Wake Up –> Coheed and Cambria
- We Found Each Other In The Dark –> City and Colour
- Someone Like You –> Adele
- The Night Will Always Win –> Elbow
- Such Great Heights –> The Postal Service
- Lover, You Should Have Come Over –> Jeff Buckley
- I and Love and You –> The Avett Brothers
- I Will Follow You Into The Dark –> Death Cab For Cutie
- Til Kingdom Come –> Coldplay
- Dust to Dust –> The Civil Wars
- No One’s Gonna Love You –> Band of Horses
- Everlasting Light –> The Black Keys
- I Won’t Give Up –> Jason Mraz
- Us –> Regina Spektor
- After Hours –> We Are Scientists
And let yourself fall in love.