13 March 2011

'Tis better to have loved and lost...

then never to have loved at all. 

I watched a movie once where one guy says this to another guy. And the second guy responds: try it. After having watched it (years ago) I thought about what both men had said and tried to decide which side sounds more true. Oh ok I remember, the movie was Men in Black, but that's irrelevant. Anyhoo, I was convinced that the age old proverb was true. It IS better to have loved and lost. But every rule has it's exception, and I've found the one to this particular presumed fact of life.

I've been in love twice. The first one ended very badly. For both of us. I loved him but he was no good to or for me. And although it was I who saw the need to part ways, it still took me two years to fully, honestly get over him. But at no point in that journey did I feel as though all the crap I went through (for love?) was not worth it. At no point did I wish I hadn't met him, or hadn't loved him. I was always grateful to know that love is real. And to have been able to experience it. Young as I was, and am, I often wondered if I could ever feel like that again WITHOUT the craziness of letting it blind me.

Fast forward a few years. After a few nice but significantly less potent relationships, I fall again. It's the most amazing feeling to me because I know that it's pure, unadulterated love. No strings attached. No forced storybook romance. No fantasy fiction mold we tried to fit ourselves into. In fact, we tried to keep ourselves apart. He the ice cold player, I the young collegiate newly emancipated from her serial monogamy, we stressed taking it slow. And we did. But our union was inevitable. Which is what gave me such faith in us. It was so natural! There is nothing that he did or said that consciously comforted me enough to let my guards down again. It just, happened. Not only did my willingness to be my complete self around him let me know I could love again, it was he who became the subject OF that love- probably for the same reason.

But at some point something happened. Or at least it must have, because we're no longer whatever we once were. I have absolutely no explanation. If he does, he hasn't bothered to share it with me. And I haven't bothered to ask. Before it was because I couldn't bare to hear how, once again, the man I love doesn't think I'm sufficient. (The men I couldn't fully fall in love with seemed to find me 'just right'. And I was always confident that I was great to and for them. Only the men I loved managed to make me feel as though I was actually not good enough.) Now it's because I'm convinced that it's a personal decision that has nothing to do with me. The way things snapped leads me to believe there are no words I could offer that would take us back, no matter how badly I want to return.

So now I've technically lost love again (although the feelings I've had can't possibly go away any time soon. I just pray to God it doesn't take me another two years). Reflecting this morning, I realized that I do, in fact, wish I'd never fallen in love with him. I say this because I have gained nothing. One may say this relationship was worth it because it let me know it's possible to fall in love again after losing it. But I was convinced of that (through him) even before I fell in love with him. Another may say all the great times we shared speak to the beauty of love and life. That the fulfilling spirit of what we had was a blessing from God. That it was. But I have close friends whose presence in my life both fulfills and blesses me daily. Maybe it taught me to guard my heart better. But, considering the tortoise-like pace it took us to get from friends to what we were makes me doubt that very seriously. We were completely in love and yet still weren't anywhere near the traditional ideas of commitment. Any more guards on my heart and nobody would be able to get in! I don't want to be one of those bitter women I'm so sick of hearing about. I love love! I'm a complete sap. But I also respect and appreciate it enough to take it very seriously. So why did I have to endure this? How could I have prevented it? Where do I go from here?

In sum, what I'm trying to say is that it is better to have loved and lost once than never to have loved at all. But once loving and losing becomes a pattern, you start to wonder what the point is. No part of our relationship was worth what I'm feeling right now. Don't misunderstand: I still love and am in love with him, and every moment we shared was and is intensely important and dear to me. Irreplaceable, even. But all the joy, creativity, and love in the world is not made more valid simply by its being ripped away.

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