We all have that female friend, the one who is in love with some dude who clearly doesn’t feel for her what she feels for him. The one with the “boyfriend” who breaks her heart repeatedly but still just can’t get to a place where she is willing to leave him. She loves him and she knows that he, somewhere in the deep recesses of his heart, loves/needs her too. We listen to her tales of woe and thank heaven that we aren’t her. We say things like, “I am glad I am single” or “I would never date someone like that.” We all feel terrible because we know that this man clearly doesn’t love her but of course we would never say it to her. We just pity her.
Writing and studying (and obsessing) about relationships like I do, affords me the opportunity to hear tons of these stories. People like talking to me about their relationships and I like listening. I am a good listener. People also ask me for advice and I help when I can but I am often disheartened and a little discouraged by these stories. It always troubles me when I hear the story of a woman in a long standing back burner relationship with a man. She is his secret, his special friend. Although she is hurting in this relationship, she would rather have that than nothing at all.
Although, I should tell these women that it this is just a toxic relationship, I should tell them these men don’t deserve the hope these women are clinging to, I don’t. I don’t tell them these things because no woman in love would believe such an answer. They would merely chastise me for not understanding the complexity of their relationship and move along to someone who draws a conclusion better suited to their liking.
Love is ultimately something we feel and once we feel it we can’t just stop. Some love isn’t healthy. We can become addicted to the idea/feeling of being in love. Sometimes what we love isn’t something that can ever love us back the way we need. It isn’t always easy to admit that just because we care for something doesn’t mean that we will ever see it come to fruition in the way we imagined.
Sometimes you just have say, “I still love this person and I care for them. I am really sad that things didn’t happen the way I envisioned they would.” Then you need to acknowledge that regardless of how you feel, you can’t have that person in your life anymore. You don’t choose who you fall in love with but you can put an end to a relationship that isn’t giving you what you need.
You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself. ~ Unknown