“And if you’re in love, then you are the lucky one, ’cause most of us are bitter over someone” – Youth by Daughter
It’s as though I keep waking up from a bad dream. The thought that I am once again alone suffocates me. I want, I need, I long to love yet here I am alone. There is a distinction between feeling lonely and being on your own. To be comfortable in your own company is quite different then that gnawing feeling in the pit of your stomach that you will be spending another lonesome night. It’s the awareness that when you step through those doors that you call home, there will be no one awaiting you, no one to embrace you and no one to give you a moment of solace or comfort. It is also the knowledge that each time you lay your head on your pillow, you will wake up from the nightmare that haunts your sleep and you will face a reality that is not only worse, but continuous. It’s a cycle of loneliness; it’s a revolving door of unhappiness. No one wishes to stay in your company. You ask yourself whether they see you for whom you really are and if the thought of forever with you is so dispiriting that it is reason enough to run? Do they even run? Are you simply part of a mapped out course – a relay of love, just one stop of many along the way, but never the last. This is how I feel, this is how I felt – this is how you made me feel. Here’s my story:
We were friends who became too close. He was far from my type: not as tall as I would have liked and not as muscular as I usually pick them, but nonetheless there was a connection there – or so I thought. We spent a lot of time together and at first it was only innocent, but it became clear that we were attracted to each other. It was only a matter of time before we succumbed to the temptation. We continued to spend time together (never in a romantic setting), but it never mattered where we were, it always felt magical to me. He confided in me that his last girlfriend had abandoned him during a time of need and that he was not ready for a new relationship. He added that his heart was cold and that he would not be faithful to me so we should not cross that line as not to ruin our friendship. I continued on and pursued my quest to open his heart; I truly believed that I would change him and that it would be different from the last time. I pursued blindly applying selective attention so not to hear or see anything that could conflict with my altered reality. Surely the intimate kisses we shared were signs that he could be ready but that he was just scared, that he only needed a push. Not long after, I was told that he had begun dating a friend of mine. I was taken aback, yet all the signs were there and they were very apparent. I had never considered that someone whom I was this close to, I mean we were friends before anything, would not give me the respect that accompanies a direct answer. Knowing what I had been through, I had expected him to be forthcoming in telling me that he was ready to commit to someone, but that person was not me. I needed to hear those words to make it real. I wasn’t at the point in my life where I could force myself to open my eyes to see the truth.
But I swear I wasn’t imagining things. Perhaps I was being naïve. I couldn’t have been fantasizing, right? I mean, it was real. Those were real actions, and they were real words. A kiss here—but I am not ready for a relationship. A kiss there—but my heart is frozen and I would cheat on you. Did I miss something, such as the part where he never told me that he wanted to commit to me, or the part where a date never occurred? Did I purposely choose not to see because I wanted it so bad that all the signs were roadblocks to some perceived happiness? It’s unfair to put all the blame on the men. If the onus is solely on them, then we are openly acknowledging that we are not capable beings and we have no say in being strung along. Surely there are clues that it is going absolutely nowhere? Is it the shame of having liked someone who didn’t return the feeling which makes you feel the need to make it work—so as to not to feel like a failure? Are you unwilling to even whisper “he does not want me” because to do so would be to admit that you were not good enough for him? If not him, could you be good enough for another? Needless to say, it broke my heart and profoundly changed me. I vowed to never be “that girl” again.
He was not the first to decide that he had no interest in pursuing a relationship with me, but after many failed attempts, I began to feel so alone. I felt as though there was a void in my life that I was incessantly attempting to fill. I wanted to love and I wanted to be loved. I would grip at anything that slightly resembled an ever-after. I needed to know that I could wake up in the middle of the night and there would be someone there to hold me to let me know everything would be okay. Everything did turn out fine; I took a moment to retreat and to uncover what it really was that I needed for which I was substituting emotionally draining relationships.
That experience taught me how to deal with rejection, I now know not to take it personally. I prefer brutal honesty rather than nothing at all and I have little respect for people who are unable to dish it. I had to learn the hard way that it is not okay to stay in a situation hoping that it will change because your heart bleeds for him. It is not okay to accept less than stellar behaviour because you believe that it is all that you are worth. And, it is not okay to be with someone who was never willing to fight for you. Your tears, your time, your love for this person will not change how they feel about you. Once you realize that no effort is being put forward on their part and that they are simply satisfied having you around, but never allowing you to get too close, it should be at that very moment that you put an end to the charades. Let me serve as an example so that you do not waste your precious time being bitter, angry and hateful because you are beautiful beyond words – someone will fight for you. It may not be today or tomorrow, but they will fight for you and never let you go.