First published March 4, 2015
I was a disaster at love. My relationships never lasted more than a few years. I fell in love with the notion of love and never saw my partners as they really were. I was interested in others only as long as they allowed me to feel within a narrow spectrum of emotion; as long as they didn’t force me to consider my own responsibility too closely. When my feelings began to stray beyond those parameters, I might become angry or demanding or hurt or fed up.
None of my behavior was consistent with truly loving someone. I was never willing to stick around to do the work.
I thought I was doing the work. I thought I was being the mature, sensible one. I believed that what I wanted was within reason, and within my right to ask. I wanted them to behave in the way which I believed was the correct way to behave. I wanted them to reciprocate my feelings. To feel as I did. Respond as I did. Desire as I did. Love as I did.
I had lofty concepts of love, which, to my great heartbreak, no one else seemed to share.
When they finally would not or could not live by my standards, they would either leave or gradually stop making any effort until I ceased asking; until I abandoned my feelings and went away. This process was not without drama, which was mainly my own doing. It was, ironically, the very drama they’d been trying to avoid. It was the behavior which always proved them right in the end.
I believed myself to be loving yet tragically unlovable when in fact, I was quite lovable but tragically unloving.