I just finished reading this very, VERY inspiring book.  It’s a Christian book, actually.  The first Christian book I’ve ever really read (aside from like… kids bible stories or something).  Anyway, it got me thinking about a topic that everyone thinks about, regardless of religious or spiritual beliefs.

Looooove…

Fear of rejection and fear of abandonment are quite possibly the most popular of all the phobias.  Everyone, at some point in time, experiences the pain that comes after opening your heart to someone only to have them slam it in the proverbial door.  Coping with this pain is where it gets difficult.

Have you ever been so heartbroken that you decide that the pain of losing your loved one, either by choice or circumstance, is not worth the joy if giving your heart away?  Have you ever felt like that person, after all, just didn’t deserve your love?

But who doesn’t deserve love?  And who are we to judge?

In 2003, I was married.  I thought that I was the luckiest woman in the world.  It was my first serious relationship and the only love that I’d ever had.  How many people do you know who can say they married and lived happily ever after with their first and only love?  Well, there’s a reason they’re considered “first” loves… if there was no 2nd, 3rd, or last, there would be no first, right?

In 2006, I was filing for divorce.  How did my fairytale beginning turn into a nightmare ending?  Without getting into the juicy details, which could lead us into a whole different topic, I will say this:  With my first love, I loved absolutely.  I loved sacrificially. This is the ultimate love.  Sure, there is “unconditional” love… but let’s face it; we are human beings.  We have faults.  We judge.  We are not capable of loving someone 100% unconditionally.  If we loved someone unconditionally, they could treat us like shit and we would take it with patience and our feelings would never waiver.  I do believe that you can love your family unconditionally, but not everyone does… but we’re talking about romantic love here.

My divorce left me broken (and broke!).  Scarred drastically and terribly jaded.  Here I had given my world to this relationship and it was destroyed.  I had given everything I could to my husband… he took it and threw it away.  It was the most painful experience I had ever gone through and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

Unfortunately, it happens to almost everyone.   So what’s the sense in giving your heart away if people can throw it away so easily?  What’s the sense in getting so emotionally involved in a relationship when you never know how things are going to end up?  I had decided that I could not love again.  Not sacrificially.

When I speak of “sacrificial love”, I don’t mean slaughtering wild animals to appease your lover and I don’t mean giving up your life or individuality for someone else.  I mean when you are willing to love someone no matter what the circumstance… Sacrificially loving someone is loving them without any selfish reasons… In the simplest of terms, you would do anything to make them happy even if you gain no benefit from it yourself.

Selfishly loving someone is loving someone just to make yourself feel better. C’mon how many times have you stayed in a relationship with someone merely for what they can do for you, even if you didn’t realize it at the time?  If you haven’t done that, I know you know someone who has!  How many times have you craved someone’s affection just because you liked the attention and not because you really wanted to be with that person?

What happens then is that the moment they stop providing that feeling for you, you decide you no longer want to be in that relationship.  There may be reasons, like “he’s not there for me enough” or “he never takes me out to dinner” or “she doesn’t sleep with me as much as she used to” or “she spends too much time with her friends” but come on, those reasons are shallow!   And if you’re breaking up with someone simply because you don’t love them, well… You don’t love them, do you? So there is no question of whether or not that love was sacrificial!  And if you’re being broken up with because the person didn’t love you? Well… They’re doing you a favor.

You may have been in love with them… you may have even loved them sacrificially.  So why did they not accept your love? Why didn’t they bask in it and proclaim how wonderful it was to the world?! Why didn’t they return it with full force?!  Who knows?!  Dating is basically a matter of trial and error anyway.  You see someone, you’re attracted to them and they’re attracted to you… you test the waters to see if you’re a match then break up if you’re not.  That’s how it works.  Simple, right? No!  It’s absolutely maddening how unsure love is!  So why bother?  After awhile I began to feel that, if not returned completely and perfectly by the other person; love was an absolute waste of energy.

What happened next was that with every dating relationship I got into, every crush I had, and every rejection I suffered; in the end I felt that it didn’t work out because I wasn’t worth their affection and that I “waste” my affections on people who don’t value me.  So to sum it up; I waste my time loving people who don’t value me and that’s how things are because I’m incapable of being loved in return, so that’s how things will always be.

How fucked up is that?! lol!

Anyway, the point of this blog is not to gripe about my failed relationships or almost-relationships.  The point of this blog is to highlight this question:

When the decision is either to love or not to love… Shouldn’t the answer always be to love?

I know to some of you “Negative Nancy’s” (yeah, I went there) this sounds ridiculous; but let’s think about this openly for a moment.

I don’t mean to ignore the obvious and force your affections on someone else.  If you ARE in love with someone who doesn’t love you back, you should certainly move on.  Set the binoculars down and stop driving past their houses at night to see if their car is there.  Stalking is illegal and rude… and creepy.

I mean that when you’re in a position where you love someone and that love is unrequited or for some reason or another they are unavailable, you can’t always force yourself to ignore your own feelings.  This leads us to beat ourselves up at times… Sometimes we punish ourselves with thoughts like “What the fuck is wrong with me?” or believe that for some reason we are unlovable or just unlucky.  So we find ourselves searching for negative things about the other person… That’s when we try to force our perception to change about the object of our affections and we start to pick them apart simply because things didn’t work out the way we wanted them to.

I came across this issue with my ex-boyfriend after he broke up with me.  I felt that it was an ego booster for myself when I laughed with my friends about how I should have told him I thought his brother was hotter than he was… simply because I knew it would piss him off… Or we pick apart their looks or other aspects of them that may be lacking.  Why couldn’t I just shrug it off, accept that things didn’t work out and that’s okay, and not punish myself for falling in love with someone that wasn’t right for me?  It took months, but I finally came to that conclusion.

It may not have been “true love”, but I was in love with my ex-boyfriend when he broke up with me.  In the end, I’m thankful he cut me loose because I had absolutely no idea that he felt he was wrong for me; a fact that is blatantly obvious to me now.

So from now on, obviously there would be a sting if I fell in love with someone and those affections were not returned, but I will never beat myself up for falling in love.  In fact, falling in love is something everyone should do as often as possible.  Just like you should never feel like you wasted time studying for an exam simply because you didn’t get an A… You should never feel like you wasted love on someone who did not return it.

Think of it as practice for when you find the one that does 🙂