Love is a powerful word, emotion, need, desire and want. It’s everywhere. No matter if you embrace it or you don’t. You may feel it most with your family, children, spouse/partner/lover (whatever label you use), and close friends. There are so many other loves: your pets, your job/career, money, passions, a good movie, a colorful novel, hobbies, your life and your losses.
Not all romantic love lasts. I haven’t had a long-lasting love in my life. Spare me the violin concerto music. I’ve had one, two, okay more than a few short-lived loves in my life. I’m not bitter just a bit worn and wiser for the wear. Sure, I get sad on occasion, who doesn’t? Unless, as my nephew says, “you are a puppy,” no one is happy 100% of the time. I do my best to look past it and remember all the amazing good that is in my life. In some ways, those short-timers were worth the joy, the risk, the fear of the unknown, and even the pain. I may not have seen or felt that way when it happened, but I get it now. Whose fault it was is irrelevant. It was broken or bound to break at some point. My friends who try to solve the conundrum that is my dating life can stop because it’s not anything that should or can be solved. I do love them a lot for trying to help, fix it or “fix” me.
To the men who have come in and out of my life, I say this. I’ve come to realize; I loved you all in certain and uncertain ways. I loved you blindly, madly, passionately, fearlessly and sometimes fearfully. I loved you even when you didn’t love yourself. I loved you even if you didn’t love me back. I may have even loved you for a time after you stopped loving me. Maybe somewhere deep down, I will always love you in some undefined, odd, little way. Not because I pine after you, but because we once shared something that is not so easy to find. And for a moment, a paragraph in my book, that spark was enough. Whether it was a connection on a deep level or a superficial one, it was there. Maybe it was a glimpse into your soul, a shared laugh, a shared confidence, an inside joke, a toe curling kiss, unrelenting passion, the simplicity of it all, making up after a silly argument or walking away because we both knew it was bound to fail. All of it. The bloody lot of it. I embrace all of the good and every emotion that came with the bad because those raw emotions brought me to now, and that is enough for me at this point in time.
Although, we didn’t work out, thank you for creating the illusion of what a loving relationship might be like and for letting me go when you did. You did me a favor. I may not have seen that at the time. It may have hurt for a moment or two and caused me to experience a split second of self-doubt. You showing me your truth was the right thing. I just wish you all came with a label or a legible, relationship expiration date…tattoo…on your forehead…in big bold letters.
My wish for you is that you know or find your truth. I hope you don’t allow past hurt from someone you loved or lost prevent you from opening your heart up again. I hope you learned that cheating was not a solution but a symptom. If the cheater wasn’t you, I hope that you understand not every woman is her. I hope you listen and grasp when someone tells you how they feel and don’t assume you know. I hope you don’t try to intentionally hurt someone else to make up for your past hurt. I hope you take responsibility for the wrongs you did and stop beating yourself up over them. I hope those of you who have children, hold them tight for as long as you can.
When all is said and done, I still hold onto that glimmer of hope for a striving, intriguing and real partnership. For now, I’m doing pretty darn okay. It can be tough at times to pick myself up and dive in again and again and again and again. I know that I deserve a hell of a lot. I won’t apologize for being true to me and not being someone I’m not. That’s my truth, and I kinda like it. I’ll wear my work in progress badge proudly for years to come, and I hope it never comes off.