Seeing as my last two blog posts have been and without any readership, I guess this one is for me. I knew that anyway though.
This one is for me. Just to get it out. Apologies for the length.
Love is a tricky subject. Anyone who has thought about it at any length will tell you that. Haddaway had the right idea when he repeatedly asked “what is love?”, honestly Haddaway I have no idea, but I’ll do my best to answer your question.
These are just a few ideas of love, from 5 minutes sat here at my computer:
Love is getting butterflies at seeing someone, or smelling their perfume in the air, or receiving a text from them in the morning. Love is trusting someone wholeheartedly. Love is thinking about someone and knowing that they are thinking about you too. Love is knowing someone has your back for any decision you make and any journey you go on. Love is letting go of the past and focusing on the present. Love is effortless, and incredible, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to be worked on.
These are just some of the most basic observations that could come to my head in 5 minutes. They are not the sum total of love, or even necessarily my experience of it. These are just some things I think of when I think about love.
I have said “I love you” to 3 people in my life, in a romantic sense. I have meant it every time, although looking back they exist as different types of love. My first “love” was my first girlfriend, we were together for nearly 4 years, engaged way too young (as a way to seem like a legitimate couple) and struggled through long distance for 2 years while at uni. We broke up because I gave up too easily when we had a difficult conversation. I learned a lesson there. Young love is naive, it is different. Foolish. Unending. Strong. But fragile. We had an amazing time together. Something I will always cherish. Memories that will stick with me forever. We have seen each other since we broke up, and it has been fine. We can chat. I’m glad that we can still get on (although we are very far apart so it doesn’t happen bar the odd college reunion). But I will always look back on that relationship fondly.
The second person I said I love you to was more recently. We were together for almost 2 years. We met at during a difficult period in my life, full of turbulence. I was in the midst of an identity crisis (mainly caused by my PhD) and the development of a few mental issues (same cause). She was a comfort. A safety net. Something that I needed at the time. It may sound bad (but hooray for anonymity) but I knew she wasn’t the right person for me. I knew from very early on. She was nice and caring though, she has a big heart. I can’t fault the effort she put in. I appreciate all the support I got from her. I wish I could apologise for how things ended (if I thought it would do her any good). But I did mean it when I said I loved her. I still care about how she gets on now. She may not be the one for me, but we shared a lot of fun times together, oddly ones that I can’t remember so much. I think that may be a hangover from the mental issues. We have seen each other since, it hasn’t been easy, especially afterwards. Clearly there was some resentment there on her end, which is fair. I ended things while I was in Kenya. I had my space and my mind cleared. But I do still feel bad. And I’m sorry.
The third person I said “I love you” to is the most recent, although it has been a while since I said it to them. This is the person who spurred on the start of this blog, the person who I need to recover from. So thank them if you ever get any enjoyment out of these ramblings.
So here is the story. Guess now is the time I’m going to talk about it. Lets call them CF. For anonymity on their end as well.
We met 5 years ago. At a party. Her best friend was dating my best friend. She brought her BF. I’d seen pictures of her before. I thought she was stunning. Just my type. My friends all joked about how perfect she was for me, in terms of what I like physically, but I had never met her. Turns out at that party I didn’t really get to meet her anyway. Her BF drank too much and she looked after him all night. Waste.
They broke up. 4 years later. He was an asshole. When people say ‘oh my ex messed me up” that is normally an exaggeration, being cheated on sucks and may lead to some trust issues, but people can get worse. Sadly he was worse. CF played around for a bit, dated some people casually, had a few near misses. I was in Kenya. My friends joked that she was single and I should go for it. Then we matched on Tinder. I thought it was a joke. One of those “oh your friend is with my friend we sort of know each other” matches, you know that is awkward or just a laugh. But no. She actually wanted to go out. Lucky me. Our first date lasted for 7 hours. We did nothing but walk and talk. We walked about 10-15 miles. Didn’t stop talking, about all the big things, our pasts, our hopes, desires. We had a laugh too, I won’t forget her laugh.
At this point I’d like to say that I’ve never wanted to spend too much time with someone. I get a bit shitty if I spend lots of time with 1 person. That never happened with her.
Our next date was exactly the same. 8 hours. Talking. Walking. Nothing else. We didn’t need anything else. We found each other interesting. There was something there. Some chemistry that was unexpected. I had fancied her for a while, but I didn’t think that we would be on the same level in so many areas.
So far so good right?
We saw a lot of each other in the following few weeks. She went to France, came back, we spent more time together. Until one day we were laying in bed together, and she said she wanted to say something to me, but she didn’t want to scare me off. She said she loved me. I wish I could remember it better. I wish I could hear it again. I wish more than anything that I will get to hear it again. I said it back. I meant all 3 of those words more than I’d said anything ever. Still do.
Two weeks of bliss followed. I’d never been happier. But underneath there were some things happening to both of us, she was terrified by having feelings. I was feeling inadequate and worthless after finally getting such an incredible person and not having a lot to show for my life at the time.
We broke up. She did it over text. It destroyed me. Literally. I cried for weeks.
At the time there were a load of reasons being thrown around about why. I didn’t believe any of them personally. I later found out they were bullshit. I knew I was right. My friends told me to forget her. Focus on myself. I don’t want that. I wanted her. More than anything. How dare you tell me to move on. I struggled. Luckily I went to America, to do something I’ve wanted to do for years, and that gave me a focus.
I came back from the US and it all felt the same. The UK hadn’t changed. And unfortunately my mindset hadn’t from before I left. I slumped again.
Then I started dating someone. Lets called her E. E was great. If I had met her before I met CF, I may have fallen in love with her and all would have been good with the world, sadly that isn’t how it works. I dated E for 3 months, we had a great time, albeit with the struggle of me being not quite as emotionally available as most people. I was still hung up on CF. Then me and E broke up. We broke up just before Xmas. She decided we were too different, and the emotional baggage caused by CF was too much. It wasn’t fair on her. I agreed. And again I am sorry.
Then NYE came into play. I was told that CF would be there, I was told a day before it happened. I had no time to prepare. I heard she was dating someone, so I figured she was happy. She had heard the same of me. We both went to NYE at our friends. Somehow, after NY had passed, we were left outside, we talked, and talked, and talked, just like old times. The chemistry was still there. She decided to stop seeing the guy and we agreed to start dating again. This time way slower. Lets just see what happens, see where it goes, we both agreed.
We went on 1 date. It was lovely. I thought we both agreed to keep expectations low, that meant just spending time together, nothing more, nothing less, just two people enjoying one another’s company, isn’t that what the start of something should be anyway? A few days after our first date we had a long talk. She hadn’t changed. She talked a big game. How she had changed and developed and was open to knowing what she would like. But really in the intervening months she had hopped from encounter to encounter scared of feelings and investing in anyone. Basically only comfortable with fucking people, to temporarily fill “the void” (yeah……that thing). I told her a lot of things that night. Mainly that it isn’t psychologically healthy to walk around not being able to feel things, or the second you do, cutting and running.
I believe she felt something for me. That is why she left. She was scared. It sucks but that is what a lot of people are like nowadays. Everyone is scared of being hurt.
This conversation happened on Thursday (04/01/19) I think. Can’t quite remember. Memory is shot.
I don’t know what else I can say. I miss CF. I miss everything about her. Her smile, her laugh, her smell, running my fingers through her hair, having her head rested on my chest, I miss holding her hand, how right that felt. I know this isn’t at all healthy or useful to me, I’m on the verge of tears again writing all this, but I have to get it out. I haven’t cried since the last time we broke up. I know writing this has brought it all up, and honestly I’m way better about the break up this time than I was the last time. I anticipated it this time. Sudden/surprise loss is always way more difficult to deal with than expected loss.
I guess my experience of love is as follows:
Love is being able to tell someone everything about yourself without fear of judgement. Love is spending 10 hours with someone and having it feel as easy as 10 minutes. Love is planning to do something ‘proper’ then just enjoying each others company Love, for me, is my heart wanting to burst out of my chest, as it does every single time I see you, a picture of you, or even hear your name Love is acknowledging the differences in yourselves, and how that makes you better Love is going to bed at 10pm and falling asleep at 6am when the sun rises, because you couldn’t stop talking to each other Love is taking all the good and the bad of someone, not judging them for it, and moving past it. Everyone has baggage, only you choose to carry it around. Love is allowing all the little things to fade away, nothing really matters, just spend time with someone who makes you feel on top of the world Love is making every single activity seem incredible, no matter what Love is respecting and loving someone enough to be honest with them, even if it is difficult, even if it kills you, because hearing the truth is more constructive than hearing a lie
That’s what I had. I had that with someone. I don’t know if I will get that with someone else. I don’t think it will be fair to compare anything in the future to my experience with CF. I know that if I ever got close to that experience again it would be a good sign. One I would not ignore from fear of how it ended before.
Me and CF are good. It ended constructively. But I still get the sense we aren’t done. Who knows. I know my heart goes a mile a minute at the thought of her. The future isn’t written. But I do need to move on. It is so hard though.
I hope that CF follows my advice. And you, reader, if any of this situation sounds familiar. Take some time. Have some space. Please be honest with yourself about what you want and what you can handle. Some people have a lot to give. And it is very difficult when what is given is misplaced. It isn’t fair. Not only on me but the other nice people out there who are willing to give themselves over.
My latest experience with CF has led me to need to recover more. This entry has let me get some of it out. I will continue to recover.
P.s. for anyone wondering about the title. It is a reference to one of my favourite songs by one of my favourite producers “Nujabes”. A Japanese hip hop producer who wrote a series of songs about being love sick. He died before the 4th (of 6) songs in the series could be released. Songs 4-6 cover the rapper’s (Shing-02) feelings at having lost a close friend and collaborator unexpectedly. These are my rainy day songs. One of many examples of songs that make just that little bit more sense when you have experienced love. I am thankful that my experiences of love have at least given me perspective.