Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Unrequited Love And Why I Deserve Better

Love, or rather unrequited love.  That's the stuff of which tragedies are made.  It's a hopeless situation when you're in love with someone and they do not return that love.  It's a self-inflicted, soul destroying, torture of epic proportions, that can have only one possible outcome.  And as if this were not enough, the path of unrequited love is fraught with the very serious danger of losing yourself entirely in a one-sided love affair that will consume you and that will devour your own soul, utterly.  It is a path that will eventually, not only break your heart, but destroy your heart entirely.  Trust me, I've been there, I know.

Why would someone put them self through this?  After all, unrequited love is a truly masochistic pastime.  It defies sound reasoning and is devoid of any semblance of logic.  One would have to be mad to do such a thing, wouldn't they?  The answer is of course, that love is not formed in the head, it is created with the heart.  With anything that is of the heart, it in tinged with a touch of madness.  The heart doesn't listen to reason, sound judgement and logic.  The heart flies free on a whim, it grasps hold of dreams and it speaks of love.  And love, once it has you in its clutches, is a very hard beast to escape.  The heart acts of its own free will, it does as it pleases, and if you allow it, it will lead you, or rather, it will pull you along at breakneck speed, right on down the path of love.  Once it begins, it becomes an unstoppable force, propelling you further and deeper, ever on, and like the light from a black hole, it is not possible to fight, nor flee the pull of its gravity.

In my own life, I have suffered greatly in the pursuit of what I believed at the time to have been love.  Of course, it could never have been true love, since the feelings were only on my side, a constant stream of one way love, projected outwards and very little of anything received in return.  All I ever did was to bang my head against the proverbial brick wall.  There was no way through, no matter how hard I tried.  The perverseness of the situation was that the more resistance I met, the harder I pushed and the more determined I became to succeed.  Something propelled me forward, it drove me ever on, in the process I took many knocks on the chin, but I just kept jumping right back in there.  My perseverance was surely going to pay off, my demonstration of my commitment and determination would succeed, after all, what woman doesn't want a man who will fight for her love tooth and nail? 

How did I ever get myself into these situations, and more importantly, why would I allow this to happen?  Yes, that is deliberately plural, for I have found myself in these situations on several occasions.  Each time I said it would be different, I would succeed, that I had learned the lessons of my previous failures.  I was wrong.  Even when I did not want to become involved, even when I understood clearly that the situation would be toxic to me, some how, at a certain point in time, I discovered that it was already too late - I was caught, unbeknown to me, my heart had secretly been at work.

I have never found love easy to come by.  I've spent long periods of time without even a hint of a romantic encounter.  It's was never that I was not looking, I always was, but opportunities were few and far between.  I lived my life with the constant feeling of being unlovable, I viewed myself as unattractive, and I had a shyness around women, a feeling that they would never find me remotely interesting.  Words would catch in my throat, nothing would come out.  If opportunities had been there, I never saw them because I could never believe someone would be interested in me.  This is exactly why, when someone did show me just a hint of interest, I jumped at it and seized upon it, grasping on and holding tight, even if that meant that the situation was far from ideal.  When one of these women told me that they had a barrier to letting someone in, a barrier to love because of the hurt caused by a previous relationship, or that they already had a boyfriend, I told myself that I just needed to be patient, that eventually they would see the qualities I could offer, that I was the right person for them and eventually they would see it too.

Looking back, I suppose I could view these situations as a form of teasing.  I was being given just enough attention to keep me interested, but never being given anything close to anything truly meaningful.  I was dangling on a thread and they were toying with me.  And like an idiot, I stayed there and let them do it.  It was wholly unfair of these women to do that to me, but perhaps they did not know, nor did they understand my vulnerabilities.  How could they have known, since I never showed them, and I did not know them myself.  Each one of these women must have seen something in me, each must have wanted something, needed some emotional connection that was lacking in their current life and relationship, if they were having one.  I became the person that would fill that void for them, perhaps even to reaffirm that the person they were with was right for them, to get them through a sticky patch.  It just occurred to me that I had a complete lack of respect and sense of dignity for myself.  This was all I believed I was worth.  No.  This is all the love that I believed I was worth.

Each time one of these situations arose, I invested great amounts of time and effort, giving up my own life in the process, and sacrificing time with friends and family in the pursuit of this conquest.  All my thoughts were bent on it.  The longer that the situation persisted, the more it would slowly and inevitably consume me, until I was utterly lost in it.  I firmly believed that eventually my love and the attention that I was giving would break down any resistance to me, that I would over come the barrier to mutual love.  I imagined it to be like water slowly eroding away rock until given enough time, the rock wears away, the dam breaks, and the water flows free.  Of course, I was wrong.  At some juncture, out of a huge frustration and desperation, I would push as hard as I could and I would bring everything to a head.  I could take it no more, it was win or bust. And bust it was every time, and I was inevitably left alone, nursing my broken heart once more.

There is perhaps another reason why I let these situations occur in my life and it was only last year that I finally uncovered this truth: I have always felt that I was undeserving of love.  With this knowledge, I have been able to clearly see where I have gone wrong throughout my life.  It makes it abundantly clear to me why I pursued and persisted in these situations that were extremely damaging to me and that never had a chance of working out.  I felt I was wholly unworthy of being loved in the right way, the true way, and so I immersed myself in a toxic and negative kind of love, because that was the kind that I believed myself to be deserving.  My life has been an endless pursuit of love in one form or another and I am sure that this is also a contributing factor to why I settled for something less than perfect.  I just needed something, anything, just some form of attention and to know that I was wanted - something for which I have been bereft my entire life.  When I think about it now, I rue the time that I lost in these situations, time that I could have spent with someone who actually accepted me for the person that I am and who would give their love freely to me.  I might have met them, if I had not been so completely and hopelessly caught up in the wrong kind of love with someone who did not truly want me.  I have been such a fool, but I cannot regret my actions, since they brought me to here and to now, and to the person that I have become.

And here I am.  Finally I understand all of this.  I know now why I did these things, why I put myself through such torture and torment.  I have learned to love myself, to forgive myself and perhaps more importantly, to accept myself.  I am at last at the place where I needed to be in order to discover the right kind of love, the kind of love for which I am deserving.  I will never allow myself to go down the road of unrequited love again.  I will never be tricked into following that path.  For I am worthy of being loved and if you do not see that, then you have no place in my life.  Do not waste my time. Don't even try it.  Unrequited love is the path of doom, and I for one, am done with that path forever.  I know that somewhere out there, there is a person that carries the right kind of love and who wants to give that freely, with no impediment.  She is searching for me, seeking me out, as I am seeking for her.  Her heart calls, as mine calls.  It is only a matter of time and circumstance, because I know that we will meet.  

~ ~ ~

Unrequited Love Poem
On the bed
Lost and lonely
There I lie
Listening to the falling rain
Drops of life
Pitter patter to the ground
Dejected, rejected
It's happened again
I let myself belief
What a fool!
Always a fool
Dear precious heart
Do we never learn
Will we ever learn?
Or to go on
Blindly stumbling
In the dark
The long cold night
It bites at us
Seeps through our skin
A wind blows
Tinged with bitterness
I don't regret
Won't regret
That I tried
I believed
And here I am
With the rain
That falls in my heart
And one drop
Runs down my cheek.


  1. I'm having a day of moaning.... I moan about why it seems that it's only OTHERS who seem to know how to do well in relationships. It's always OTHERS who marry the love of their lives. Or who live in such perfect harmony and peace with their partner. And what's surprising is, that these OTHERS, at least the one I know, are not necessarily the people who do very well in other type of relationships. They are not special in any way. They are not more deserving than me (or you). I'm feeling a bit doomed about the whole thing today... I seem to always f. relationships up. While OTHERS know how to do it well. :((

  2. The more I think about it the more I'm convinced: there is no "deserving" involved in love. Zero. Forget it. Don't kid yourself... It will lead you (and some of your readers (or at least me)) to feel inadequate. There is no what comes around goes around in love. It's the same thing as being born healthy or being born sick. There is no "reason" for one's luck and the other's misfortune. If it was about deserving then the loyal, loving wife/husband would never be cheated on, the mother with the young child would not be abandoned etc.

    Know yourself. Go an meet people. Find a girl with whom you make a good enough match to have babies before one of you gets irritated with the other and runs away. That's all there is to it. That beautiful, romantic love in a relationship is the plus that very very few people have the good fortune to experience. Don't chase it, don't expect it. It might never come. And it's not because you don't deserve it.

  3. Interesting point Ian. And you are right. No one ever promised us true love and happy relationships if we behaved well.

  4. What if everyone went around saying to themselves, "Well, I should just meet someone I find acceptable, have kids, and then hope for the best after". That means that the possibility of finding that true and lasting love becomes pretty unlikely. Isn't the reason why people find that beautiful, romantic and fulfilling love so hard to come by, exactly because they believe themselves undeserving and settle for something less, thus making the real thing, a thing of rarity? There is a difference between expecting to find it and feeling that you deserve it, when and if it arrives. I personally would rather wait for something that I believed in with my heart and soul, than settle for something less. But that is just me, that is now. Maybe I'll kick myself later on, maybe I won't. I'll let you know.

  5. I think it would be easier to live in a world where romantic love didn't exist. It wouldn't be better, it wouldn't be worse, but it would be easier. The only real downside of it would be that art would shortly disappear. And this in itself is an unbearable downside...

  6. Love is the essence of what it means to be human. That notion of romance, of finding a deep, lasting and meaningful relationship with another soul, a connection that intensifies through time. There is a person walking around out there somewhere, a person who is looking for a soul that will connect with his own. He does not yet know that he seeks you, just as you do not yet know it is he who you seek. At the moment that you meet, and you will, you are going to know. A moment of recognition that here at last, you have arrived home. I have to keep on believing that for myself, because otherwise, there is little point in going on.

  7. I disagree :( I'd like to delete this romantic thought / fairy tale from my mind otherwise my life will be an endless story of disappointments and frustrations. I'm not waiting for big moments, big recognitions, big arrivedhome feelings any more and I still believe it's all gonna be alright.