Loving without being loved…

Human nature is a funny thing. No matter how hard we fight or try to give up on certain things, it seems we still always want the one thing we cannot have. The same pattern repeats itself over and over again. I wish there was a magic button somewhere to turn feelings on and off. At least then, I’d feel like I had a little bit of control over my emotions. I know that I’d never be able to make someone love me, but at least I’d be able to make myself stop loving him. I would stop hoping against hope that he might one day love me the way that I do him. Every day my head tells me that he will never feel the same way that I do and as much as I hate to admit it, I know that this is the reality of my situation. However, for some reason, my heart will not allow me to let go. If I let go, I lose him completely. Through the years, I’ve moved on. I have fallen in love with two other men, neither of which I’m positive loved me (see a pattern?). Other men have fallen in love with me, none of whom I’ve been in love with. While involved elsewhere, I have given him up but I always find my way back to him. I’ve always missed him when he wasn’t there. I’ve always loved him. Nothing could ever change that.
Sometimes I feel like life would be easier with that magic button. What if I could turn my emotions on and off? What I could look at relationships like he does; as a business arrangement? At the end of the day, most people are only after what they can get out of someone anyway. What if I could get involved without emotion? Obviously, I’ve proven I’m not good at that. I fall. I fall hard. I get attached and can never seem to move on. Maybe if at any point he had loved me, it would be easier to say we at least tried and it didn’t work. Then I could away with the feeling that it was good while it lasted. But I’ve never even been given the chance. I’ve always been told “it’s not you, it’s me”, “timing’s always been off”, and my personal favorite (note the sarcasm, please), “it’s not personal”. Well guess what fool, it’s been twenty years. If in that span of time, there was never a right time, then it wasn’t timing. He’s loved other women in that time, been in relationships in that time, and given women the chance he never gave me in that time. How am I NOT supposed to that personally? If there was never a right time, I’m not, nor will I ever be, the right girl. I KNOW all of this, yet here I am still fighting and hoping and waiting.
For so long, I convinced myself that me loving him with nothing in return was enough. I didn’t listen when even HE told me I deserved better. I guess looking back, I knew it too. Well not better, but different. He’s not a bad guy and I do not want to give that impression. He’s just.. well I won’t get into that because well, I just don’t know exactly.
Recently, I had a conversation with a good friend of mine about everything from our kids, to life in general to love and relationships. In high school, he was I guess what you’d consider the player type. He had a long-lasting relationship, had kids, and in the end, it didn’t work out. Listening to him talk, something dawned on me. The way he spoke let me to believe that there are certain things he’s never experienced so I asked him “Have you ever been in love”. His answer was simple, “I honestly don’t think I have.” I remember at the time thinking how sad it was that he’s never felt that. Now that I look back on it, maybe he’s the lucky one. He’s never suffered through a broken heart. He’s never had to get over anyone. He’s never had to hear anyone tell him they didn’t love him back. Maybe that’s not such a bad life. After all, what good is loving someone who does not return the feeling? That goes for the opposite too. There is not much point in someone loving you if you will never love them back. I’ve been on that side as well. As much as it hurts to have your heart-broken, breaking someone else’s heart is not an easy road either.
Sometimes I feel like life would be easier if romantic love was never a factor. Love is a beautiful a thing and I’ll never feel like I should not love someone. However, I think the fairy tale has faded. Happily ever after may not mean spending forever with that one special person. Does that mean I don’t want that? Not at all, but I think I’m okay with the possibility that it might not happen for me. I’ve loved, I’ve been loved and I have three amazing children and some great friends to keep me company. Regardless of what happens, I’ll be happy with God gives me. In the meantime, I’ll struggle through the why it can’t be him questions. At some point, hopefully sooner rather than later, I’ll decide that I need more and walk away completely. I know he’s all or nothing for me and since I’ll never get it all, I will eventually settle for nothing. I dread the day that I have to say goodbye to him but I know it’s inevitable. I know that I’ll never know the real reason why he couldn’t love me. I’ll never know why he hung around knowing how I feel and that he’d never feel the same way. Maybe some things just are not meant for me to know. I just know that it all has a purpose that I’ll one day understand even if I do not hold all of the answers in my hand. And regardless of what he says, I will always believe that I’ll have a special place in his heart even if we could never be together. I don’t know if that will be enough, I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. I’ll be okay knowing that at least one woman showed him what’s it like to truly be loved and maybe that’s why we were brought together for a period of time. I can only hope that will be enough for me. And for him.

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