There are a large number of quotes along the lines of how you should “love like you’ve never been hurt” and how it’s better to “have loved and lost than never to have loved at all”. Now that’s all very fine in theory but is romantic love really worth the work, the heartbreak and the hours lost on analysing every single “why” that pops up in a relationship?
Having steered clear of intimate contact of any sort with men for several years (close to seven years to be exact), I can frankly say that it’s a lot less painful not to be in love and I’m much more efficient when I only have to concentrate on stuff not related to my feelings. Until recently in fact I had totally forgotten how time consuming and excruciating it can be to have another person occupy your mind and soul in that way.
Some may say that the wonderful moments spent with the “loved one” largely make up for the hassle but I find it hard to agree. What’s the use of those moments if you spend many, many more glued to your phone, freaking out about why that person apparently has better things to do than to answer your text messages? What good does it do to take down your barriers and reveal yourself to someone who doesn’t care enough about it to acknowledge your feelings or even, your relationship?
Someone asked me the other day what the worst things a guy I was dating had ever said or done to me was. I thought of the time where I got a nosebleed during sex and the guy asked me if he had to stop because he’d “like to finish”. I thought of the time where another one told me that, when he kissed me, he “nearly felt like having a quickie” (I think it was the “nearly” that pissed me off the most). Of course I also recalled the guys who cheated on me, and those who made promises they never kept. I remember the guy who spent hours crying about an ex girlfriend, expecting me – his current one – to comfort him (which I did because I’m stupid in that way). And yes, I will never forget being in bed with that someone very special and finding out he was texting another girl while fondling me. That was hurtful. (I wonder why I was surprised when he later broke up with me by text on New Year’s Day…).
But let’s face it: what really hurts is to discover that you’re still that girl your mother told you not to be. The one who makes excuses for the other person’s shortcomings, who accepts things she shouldn’t, who sees signs of devotion where there aren’t any but ignores all the warning signs and who spends time thinking about someone who is not thinking about her at all. The one who stays when she should leave.
As relationship quotes go, I prefer this one: “Definition of stupid: knowing the truth, seeing the truth, but still believing the lies”. The truth is that most of the time I know when things aren’t really as they should be, just as well as I know they won’t change. The lies are the ones I’m telling myself. I have no idea if I’ll ever be able to stop doing that: overlooking the obvious and forgiving a guy when I shouldn’t, just because I don’t want to lose him or whatever I think we have together. Until then I think I’ll have to return to being fulltime celibate or accept getting hurt. And right now, the first solution seems by far the simplest.