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Loving vs. Being In Love

Jessie MaComment

If you were to ask me

What I know about love,

Here’s what I would tell you:

We were 17. 17 and in love with the love in each other. 17 and first discovering the magic of another’s soul. 17 and so sure of our feelings, so sure of each other, but unprepared for a relationship. What is a date? What is growing up? Writing love poems and whispering secrets in each other’s necks, feigning a maturity that we did not have. With faith in our love and nothing else. We loved with a love that was too big for our age.

We were apart. When consistency and rhythm defined our relationship, when we had built 6 years of our lives together, when we knew nothing of a relationship outside of a 5 mile radius. I couldn’t run to your house. You couldn’t drive me to school. We didn’t have the same group of friends, area code, or hope in each other. A $300 round trip ticket twice a year wasn’t an easy transition from your kisses on my eyelids every morning. I crumbled as you watched, through a phone, a screen, a letter, helpless. We loved with a love that was too big for the distance.

We needed each other too much. We stretched each other’s capacity for love and hate and everything in between. I blame you, still, for lifting me to the highest of mountains then throwing me down to the lowest of ditches, that any time since then I’ve only felt like I was running around on a plateau. I haven’t become numb. I’ve just been exposed to a love like ours, a passionate love, a fiery love, but also an unhealthy love, a possessive and ugly love. But it was love, of that I have no doubt. Maybe a bit too much, that neither of us knew how to properly give. Too hot to hold so we threw it at each other. And we took it, took it all in. And from this immense, powerful, beautiful, yet hurtful love, I began to see that your heart can stretch and stretch- but you must be careful to fill it with the right things. You did not love me too much. The amount wasn’t the issue. If anything that was the first time in my LIFE that I felt someone loved me back as much as I loved them. But the quality of love was something we weren’t capable of purifying. My heart is now the size of Australia with a pulse like an earthquake. Yet it’s empty, save the droplets and ashes of what we once were. We loved with a love that was too big for ourselves.

We (You and I) are still here. When I’d thought I finally found the “one,” the person who could prove to me that passion and stability could co-exist. When I had sighed a sigh of relief and silent prayer, “thank you, this is it, I’m yours.” When I stopped writing “Dear future boyfriend/husband” posts and started writing to you. But I’m realizing that WE were never in love. WE had never wanted the same things. WE weren’t on the same page. WE aren’t something that even exists. I’ve learned a lot of lessons, at the price of others, and they, at mine. But we’ve both known it was worth it, this pain resulting from genuine intentions, a primitive and true feeling. I’ve known it was love, no matter what kind of love it was. What I’d never experienced before, was indifference or neglect. Feeling lonely when I was “with” someone. Not believing an “I love you” and not havingtrust in someone I “loved.” To me, those are inherent elements of any relationship of two people in love. No matter how young, far, or insecure we were, we were always in it, in love, together. I had never felt so alone as I had these past few months. I woke up unhappy for about the 200th day in a row now, and I’m starting to question if putting my sanity and self-worth on the line for someone I could never feel for, is worth it.
Memories are funny. You often bask in the dewy air of nostalgia as you remember a time more euphemistically than it really was. I’m sure my past and I had more struggles than I write about now. But I feel only sweet and thankful as I walk down Memory Lane. And yet when I look back on how you and I started, I feel the contrary. It’s not a fairytale daydream that I want to relive. It’s sort of a conscious nightmare I’m trying to convince myself I could wake up from. I’m starting to see that I never really felt that way. I never really felt loved. I’ve only ever felt like I was still waiting. Love has been many, many things to me, but ‘underwhelming’ was never one of them.

I have had so much love in my life. But not with you.

I loved with a love that was not met with love.