Many years ago, my son went to a well-established prep school in Jacksonville, Florida. The year was just starting and I had an appointment to meet the teacher. I also had an opportunity to volunteer for every function … from field trips to science fairs. It had the potential to be a great experience for my father/son relationship. It turned out to be a nightmare.
The teacher was picking up signals I wasn’t sending. She called continuously, scheduled meetings continuously and planned outing for the two of us. I knew she had an attraction to me, and I loved the attention, so I let it continue. One afternoon as I was picking up my son she asked if we could speak… so as usual I agreed. In her classroom she took my hand and announced she was divorcing her husband. She said, “I love him like I love all mankind… but I’m not in love with him”…”this will allow us to finally be together”.
STOP! Let me see if I’ve got this right… the husband loves her but she doesn’t love him…. and she loves me but I don’t love her. There is a lot of love misdirected in this story. Long and the short of it…. she divorced him… I ran from her and everyone ended up single. Love sucks….
I read an article recently by Paul Hudson, a guy that knows the agony of love gone wrong. He seems to understand my story and what happens to us when a love so right turns out to be so wrong… maybe you can see yourself in some of this…
People who don’t love you can be found in many places. Pick the person in a brand new relationship; they can’t see more than five inches past the face of their new love, let alone far enough to see you pining away in the corner. Pick the girl you’ve been friends with for ages, the one who refers to you as a brother and will never see you as anything else. Pick the boy who flirts with everyone, sleeps with everyone, the one who doesn’t know what he’s looking for and never seems satisfied. He’ll do just fine, too.
This has to be more than a crush, more than just a fleeting attraction. Thinking they look cute when they smile, or letting your imagination momentarily wander when they touch your skin isn’t enough. You must love them with every fiber of your being, from the moment you wake up until the moment you fall asleep, day after heartbroken day. Memorize the rhythm of their voice, the subtle gestures of their hands and each expression of their face, so when you’re asleep and dreaming of a world in which you’re together, it seems real. Feel your soul fracture each morning when you wake up and realize it isn’t. Let the agony, the obsession, consume you. Nothing hurts like loving someone who doesn’t love you back.
Perhaps you think I’m crazy for suggesting anyone let themselves fall into this pit of despair, that I’m an emotional sadist. I assure you I’m not, because eventually something happens to every single person who loves someone who doesn’t love them back: they manage to stop being in love.
While it takes varying amounts of time, everyone finds their breaking point, that moment when enough becomes enough. It could be the third night you cry yourself to sleep, the fifth time they cancel plans with you to be with someone else, or the eighth night in a row you spend getting drunk alone. It can take months, or even years. But here’s what you’ll have once you get there:
After surviving that kind of ache, you’ll be so much stronger, so much more certain of yourself. You’ll see that all pain (physical, emotional, and metal) is a temporary state of being, not a permanent one. There is always a reason to go on, always a reason to fight for yourself.
Here’s the best part about getting over someone who doesn’t love you: You realize that nobody healed your heartache, that you were able to fix yourself all on your own. And once you’ve proven to yourself that you can recover from that, you won’t be afraid to go looking for love again.
Until you fall in love, you don’t know what it means to live. Well, to be more exact, until you fall in love and have your heart broken, you don’t know what it means to live. Furthermore, until you have your heart broken, you won’t understand what it means to truly love.
As human beings, we learn best from loss. We come to understand the importance and value of both people and things, by losing them. Sure, we can imagine how it must feel to lose a person we love, but until we actually lose, or are at risk of losing, this person, we never fully understand how important he or she is to us.
We learn by losing. We learn when we are beaten by others, when our best efforts aren’t good enough, when we don’t make the cut, and when we fail. Success is no teacher. In fact, success can often do more harm than good — especially when it wasn’t worked for or earned.
But loss… when you lose something, you instantly become aware of the now vacant space in your life that was once filled with something beautiful — even if that something beautiful was only the dream of having that which you now know you won’t have. And it hurts.
Love can teach you just about everything you need to know about life. For example, it can teach you that sometimes no matter how much you love a person, that person simply won’t love you back.
It can teach you that there are many levels to loving and that each and every person loves a little differently. It can also teach you that sometimes you have no choice but to love someone who will never love you as much as you love him or her.
We often talk about unconditional love, as if it were a real thing. The truth is that there is no such thing as unconditional love; we all love conditionally. However, having someone love you back is not one of those necessary conditions.
In fact, we often fall in love and continue to love those who don’t love us back as passionately. We all love that which we can’t have, and if we find someone that doesn’t want us it only makes us more desperate to have that someone.
That’s a bitch, ain’t it? You fall in love with someone who doesn’t love you back and knowing he or she is trying to push you away only makes you want to latch on tighter. The more that person tells you he or she doesn’t want you, the more your imagination concocts ways of making that person fall for you.
I speak from experience… as people, we are capable of chasing the person we are in love with for years and years on end to no avail. Every time we are turned down, we fall in love a little deeper. Or so we think.
Most of us have a difficult time distinguishing between romantic love and love itself. Romantic love is more a sort of obsession than it is anything else, and it’s romantic love that makes us want that which we can’t have.
Romantic love is what turns our imaginations on high and makes it impossible to start thinking about that one special person. The best part of it all is that we love being in love romantically, no matter how much it hurts.
Being in love with someone who will never love you as much as you love him or her shakes you to your core, but you love it. Don’t get me wrong, it hurts. It hurts a whole lot. At the same time, it makes you feel more alive. It makes you feel more “in the moment.”
It opens you up to a side of life and a side of yourself that you didn’t previously know existed. It’s the sort of pain that you never forget, but at the same time look back at with a sort of fondness and sense of nostalgia.
There’s a fine line between pain and pleasure. Romantic love walks that line. I hate crossing lines.
This is my journey… this is my life.