This is a cautionary tale, but also one of growth and experience, and something to not just advise people on, but a way for me to finally tell my story and my experience with love that has lasted over a decade and how it has changed me forever. I am not vindictive, so I will not use any names, as my goal is not to slander or bash this person, but merely to let it all out. To clear my mind and to finally, after all these years, release this entire experience and hopefully move on.
Love is a beautiful thing… it’s mysterious, powerful and unwavering when true. It grounds you in place when you’re moving too much, and sets you free when you feel constricted. As beautiful as it is, it can also be ugly and dangerous. It can invade your thoughts, cloud your judgement, hold you hostage, and when it is gone…. Will leave you with a hole that will never completely fill again. It can take hold of your emotions and thoughts, hold them hostage and explode into something you otherwise would never say or think. Its volatility is rivalled only by its serenity. it’s ability to bring you peace and comfort in good times and hard times. But if it’s true, you won’t waver, you won’t secede. You will fight through until it has taken back control of your racing or doubtful mind and opened your eyes again. It can’t be reasoned with logic. Doing so only causes it to become unstable, and spiral out of control, until it can no longer be contained.
The one true downside to this beautiful, yet dangerous thing… is that it can be one-sided. And It’s hard to tell if your love is truly reciprocated, or if it’s just a fantasy or a product of another’s loneliness. This is much more scary and painful than just slowly losing someone’s love, your fire, or just being unable to carry the weight that comes with it, as this means that the love you thought was there, you thought brought you to life, brought you to your own serenity…. Didn’t truly exist. Where does your love go when it turns out that it was going up-stream, against the current and into a wall? When it turns out, there is nothing there to receive it, to hold it. To establish its existence…… Where does it go? Does it die? Does it disappear? If so, how do you recover from that? Would you rather have known someone for a long time, and they die, or that they just never existed? Imagine if you will, you have known a good friend for many years, have many memories with them and cared for them deeply… Then one day you wake up and go to see them, but they’re gone. They never existed… it was in your head. It felt so real. And so, it is, that it is better to have loved and been loved, than to have loved and been used for it.
Sometimes, you believe you love someone for who they are, what they do, what they say and what they stand for. When you just love how they make you feel, not who they are. We are all experimenting… We are discovering what love is, how it works, and how to recognise it. And sometimes, you spend years thinking you love others, just to discover that you don’t know what it means, and probably will never truly experience it. When you love your family, a sibling, a parent, you are loving them for who they are in this world and who they are in your life. Not because they make you feel good or provide you with something, but because you are tethered to them spiritually… You can feel it’s existence, no matter what they say or do or if you get angry with them, It’s still there. You will always love them. But, when you find a significant other, someone you believe is your true love or you’ve grown to believe you love them, and you discover that you only love them when they’re making you laugh or feel good about yourself… You need to stop, and question whether it’s real and think about whether it’s fair to that person if it isn’t, because they may love you in return…
And so, these words come from my experience… 10 years being in love with one person, who turned out to not truly love me. This is my story…
Since we first met in High school, 11 years ago, this person has stated to me more than a thousand times, that she loves me more than anything, and that no one has ever made her feel this way. And I promise you, I truly and unconditionally loved this person, even after being abandoned by them on 3 occasions. Once (that I’m aware of) for another man, and all three times without a single notice or message… Just disappeared…
The first time was in high school. We met in our Junior year, caught each other’s eyes, and felt an instant connection. I was always shy, but usually good at asking someone out, but this was one of the only times that I felt nervous to approach someone and ask them. But, I did and we started dating almost immediately. It was very passionate, and she was very emotional and clingy, but in a good way, a loving way. She would always mention how much she loved music, and loved that I played music. I eventually came to feel like I was maybe some fantasy of hers. Months go by, and she started working at a gas station over the summer in a neighbouring town. She is texting me about how much she loves me one day, and the next day…. She goes quiet. Days go by, and once we finally speak again after having to track her down, she says “things are complicated and she has too much on her plate.” I take it with a grain of salt, accept it and I agree to move on. After all, I had my whole life ahead of me, and in high school, I had done that myself as well. We were kids. The very next day, thanks to some friends of mine that knew friends of hers, I find out that she is dating another guy that she met at the gas station while we were together. A guy she talked about to me while we were together as just being some guy who shops at the gas station and flirts with her. Clearly not just one sided… Probably another fantasy.
The second time she disappears is a year and a half later. She had decided to call me one day after we hadn’t spoken to each other in over a year. She sounds chipper and flirtatious, and eventually mentions how much she’s missed me and that she never got over me. So, we start seeing each other, going on a couple dates, making out, and seeing friends together. One night, she is at my apartment, we are making out and she whispers that she’s missed me so much, and even sheds a tear…. the next day, she is gone. No call, no text, no response to my attempts. Gone…… It wasn’t until later I discovered she and her boyfriend had just broken up before she called me that last time. We didn’t speak again for 3 years….
The third time she disappeared on me was in 2011. She reached out to me for the first time in years on Facebook with a very flirtatious message. She eventually asks for my number. We start texting and talking for hours and hours every night. I felt she had matured and grown up. I was in love again. But, I didn’t overwhelm her or cling to her, I stayed calm and reserved. She was clingier than I was, but I was OK with it. I was glad she was clingy. She was in college a few hours away from me. She invited me to her apartment on multiple weekends where we would make love all night, and chat for hours. Very, very passionate. All the while, her repeating the same words… “I love you, I’ve missed you, I have never let you go….” This carries on for a few months, going to concerts, driving hours away to see her, etc. One day, she is supposed to come to Indianapolis, and while there, stay at my house for the night. It was planned, I was excited, and I had an entire evening mapped out for us…. She doesn’t show. 1 am rolls around, and I try calling to see if she’s alright. no answer. I text a couple times over the next day or two, asking if she’s alright… no answer. She has gone off the grid again… silence… no response, no attempt to reach out…. gone. My friends that I introduced to her are sympathetic, but unaware of our history together. Months later, she is engaged to be married to a guy she met in college. I see this on a Facebook post of hers, and I am crushed.
By now, my heart has been broken 3 times, by the same person, each one worse than the last, with friends assuring me it’s not my fault, but I am unable to convince myself that I’m not a loser. that I must have something wrong with me. I am at this point unable to date anyone more than a month because I have become numb. I have lost my confidence and my happiness.
I have never been one to hold a grudge or be cruel or hateful. Never have I said any of this to family or friends, aside from the standard, “we aren’t together anymore.” I decide to wish her luck with her marriage, and extend a congratulation. I get a one word reply, “Thanks!” with a smiley face. No apology for disappearing, no conversation.
After a couple years of trying to regain who I am, dating and being unable to find love again, I receive another text from her. Again, she is being flirtatious and kind, and eventually talks about how she misses me. Against my better judgement, we chat for a few months, and then she decides to drive to Indianapolis to see me at a hotel I’m staying at. We make love multiple times, and she repeats the same things: “I’ve missed you, I love you, I’ve never gotten over you, I get so nervous around you” etc.
Turns out, she was still engaged to her fiancé during this time, and he is unaware that we slept together and that she is leaving him. I don’t find this out until 6 months later after she has asked me to move to Minnesota to be with her. I start thinking about it, getting excited, mentioning I would have to find a new job there, but she insists. Her exact words: “just come here. I make enough money for both of us, we will figure the rest out later…”
And this brings us to the 4th and final time, which, unfortunately happened a few days ago. We were staying together in her house, at least until I could get an apartment. We weren’t declaring to people that we were going to permanently live together just yet. Things are going well, we go out together, we have fun, we talk about our day at work etc. She comes home and exclaims how happy she is to see me, and gives me a hug every single day. We don’t have friends yet, still new to the area, but we spend time with each other. We make passionate love together regularly, and she tells me she doesn’t want to keep her last name, she wants mine, and she also mentions on numerous occasions that she wants to have my children (that’s the polite way to describe it- she was very forward and graphic about that part). She says these things so much, she even tries to get me to say the words one day when we are lying on the couch. “what are you going to ask me?… just say it….” “Will you marry me?” I wanted to say the words, but decided I wanted a ring first. I tell her I plan to surprise her, and that I already planned it all out. Things continue well for a couple months, then one day, she becomes distant, stops greeting me when she comes home, stops laying with me at night, and becomes a little rude and cruel, snapping at me about little things. She meets some people at work and begins to stay out with friends every night until 1 am, sometimes even 5 am, and even on work nights, and she does not attempt to explain or even introduce me to her friends. I’m sure you can guess what happened next…. it’s become a pattern….
After each disappearance, I would always receive word from this person between 6 and 24 months of not knowing what I did wrong. The most recent time, number 4, I spoke up and confronted her about my suspicions, and how unfair it has been for me. If we weren’t in the same house, she probably would’ve disappeared again like all the other times.
Turns out this person only “loved” me and needed me when she was lonely, after she was dumped by an ex, broke up with her fiancé, or moved to a new State for college or work. When she was feeling insecure and ugly. She needed me to tell her otherwise. I was her getaway from pain and harsh realities. I was always there to tell her she was beautiful, she was smart, she was a close friend, that I’d always lover her… every time she felt insecure or lost her boyfriend, or moved away. there I was, a text message away, to tell her she was great. I uprooted my life, abandoned my family and friends, and moved 3 states away to be with her after she asked me to and told me she only wanted to be with me for the rest of her life. 3 months later… and it happens again, she gets scared of life, finally meets friends and gets a social life, surrounds herself with people to make her feel good, and then no longer needs me to feel good about herself. One day, she’s saying she can’t believe I came back to her, she’s so in love with me, wants to have my children, and wants my last name. She even says she doesn’t know why we ever broke up, couldn’t remember why… I do. I remember very well…. 6 days later (no exaggeration), she stops talking, stops spending time with me, stays out until 5 in the morning with her friends without a message to me, and becomes very distant. I don’t even pester her or try calling or texting her. When we finally talk, she tells me she has a lot on her plate, something’s holding her back, and that it’s just not going to work, when she not only doesn’t need me anymore, she probably met someone else, someone she sees as more compatible, loves sports and hiking, works with her in the same field, etc. As soon as I tell her OK, that it obviously isn’t going to work because she doesn’t really love me, but that I’ll be friends with her… like flipping a switch, she instantly goes from being quiet, distant and cold, to happy, chipper, and free. Her behaviour and attitude stemmed from the fear of talking to me, the fear of me being angry and not speaking to her, and most importantly. the fear of being hated by me and others. She even said the words, “I just don’t want people to hate me…”
As I said earlier, sometimes people confuse love with just a need for attention, companionship, and a way to feel good about themselves. I’m not saying this person knew exactly what they we’re doing over the last 10 years with me, her fiancé, and her other boyfriends, but that it could be psychological or a subconscious act. Though, she most definitely was aware when she would cut off communications with me without a shred of notice or guilt. She maybe just doesn’t know what love is, and maybe never will. I do hope she does one day. But I believe I truly was in love. I left everything. friends, entire family, work, pets and the place I’ve called home for many years, to a place where I knew no one, had no family for a thousand miles around, and had to find a new job… just to be with this person. I didn’t care about anything else. Just wanted to be with her, and finally felt that she truly wanted to be with me. She is very believable when she says she loves you… tears and everything. Not to say it was faked, just that maybe she lives too much in one moment at a time.
I have learned so much, and even though this person probably just doesn’t understand what true love is, isn’t aware of what her real feelings are, she still hurt me greatly and irrevocably, and she was aware of what she was doing to me emotionally. I won’t lie, I am no saint. I’m not the perfect guy or perfect boyfriend or anything, no delusions there. There were arguments and I’ve said things I didn’t mean, but my declaration for love wasn’t one of them. I meant that every time. And I always thought of her, and always comforted her when she was sad or down, or when something happened at work. I tried to be as selfless as possible. But, I am not hateful, no matter what a person does to me, whether intentionally or indirectly, I won’t try to hurt her, and I will use this as a learning experience and try to evolve a bit.
I am not a pessimist. I believe love exists. No matter my hard journey and rollercoaster experience with love, it is real… I felt its presence. I felt it evolve. Even if it wasn’t returned to me….