I honestly have no idea what love is. I’ve been thinking a lot about it lately as one of my good friends just got married last weekend; and she waited 42 years to do so. She has been in love many times, I remember each of them. I’m really happy for her; it’s proof that you should never give up.
I don’t think I’ve ever been in love – and I’m 42. Boy – just typing that is depressing. It begs the question – what’s wrong with me?! Yet I push that question to the back of my mind time and time again – it often seems harder at this time of year to ignore the fact that love has eluded me so far.
If I look back at my 20’s – I realize I’ve skirted loved. I had a relationship for 6 ½ years that was more mutual admiration and social obligation more than anything. I cared for him, and I wanted to be in love; I wanted to buy a house, have a family, and do everything that I ‘should’ be doing. I honestly have no idea who that person was any longer though. It’s as if I’ve banished that part of my life from my memory. That very good relationship ended when I decided to walk away. I woke up. I decided living my life in ‘should’ wasn’t what I wanted. I had no idea what I wanted – but I knew I was changing. He was my first boyfriend…ever. It was hard to leave; but something deep inside told me to do it.
On the other hand I’ve experienced crazy lust. The kind where you do everything you shouldn’t and yet are strangely excited and blinded by it. That relationship was my birth – the birth probably of who I am today. It put me in touch with who I was and it banished ‘should’ from my vocabulary and replaced it with ‘want’. All of a sudden my life became about what I wanted, no matter how crazy or silly it was. That is where I feel like my life began – at 28 years old. Yet I knew that relationship wasn’t love. In fact – I knew that it would end with me getting my heart broken into tiny little pieces. But I was so addicted to the joy of it that I was willing to deal with the inevitable heartbreak just to experience one more second of ecstasy. Accordingly I didn’t end that relationship, he did.
It ruined me as I knew it would. It sent me into relationship purgatory, negativity, and fear that still lasts today. The beginning of my 30’s were about recovering from the fresh wounds. After recovery, while all of my girlfriends were on the hunt for a good man to marry, I just enjoyed life….and boy did I really enjoy it! The wounds healed, but I wasn’t prepared for the scars that never would go away. The idea of love and commitment seemed terrifying and quite frankly stupid to me; I didn’t believe in either mainly because I didn’t want to get hurt again. That attitude of putting me first and my happiness first before trying to hunt for this elusive love is what put me on the road today; I followed my heart – even though it really made no sense for my love life I suppose.
I realize now that in my 30’s I built a wall – a really thick one that didn’t let anyone in. It still exists today. I put up posters on the wall that says “Warning! Enter at your own risk”. I disclosed everything that was wrong with me to people who wanted to get in the wall and in the hopes they would run away. I never made it easy for anyone to break through or scale that wall. I recently caught myself explaining to someone every reason why they wouldn’t want to date me; the guy was interested in me, but of course I let it go nowhere.
Now I live a life where I am in constant motion with no home; I am a geographic dilemma on a global scale. I’ve set up my life to not really to be in relationships. My constant motion is perfect for avoiding my fear of relationships and love. And everyone knows that wanderers are bad bets.
Maybe that’s why I haven’t ever been in love. The wall just keeps getting taller and thicker.
I have no real idea why I’m sharing any of this – maybe because I look around me and question if anyone is happy in the relationships they are in. I’m not convinced people in relationships are better off than me bouncing around the world solo. So many couples I meet seem rather miserable once you get past the public veneer.
Maybe I just needed to confess that I’ve never been in love and I’m 42. It does scare me a bit to think that I may go through my whole life without finding it which begs the thought – maybe I’m just not capable of loving a significant other. I don’t really know what love is. I don’t know if I want it. And I certainly have no idea how to find it if I did want it.