"...even when love comes back, it still is not yours. You just get to exist with it. That has to be enough."
I fell out of love once.
It happened quickly. One day my heart swelled and the next it deflated like a New Years Balloon on January 8th, pathetic-empty.
I have written about this before. One day I was happy, looking forward to our future together and then I wasn't. I tried to explain this in a way that was fair but the truth is, there is no fair way to tell someone you don't love them anymore. People talk about how to manage divorce and breakups in an amicable way. Except if one or both parties still invested, the strings of their hearts entangled in the situation, I don't believe there is a way to really manage. It's just going to hurt. And then one day you wake up and it doesn't hurt as much. So many articles out there give advice on how to get over a breakup. First of all, I don't think you ever get over true love. If you love someone they change your DNA, man. They change the way you breathe. They change you and that's okay. I think that we need to transmute the language here, you don't get over a breakup. You just move on. Yeah, maybe you get over the guy from your local gym that brought you for pizza twice. But you don't get over the big loves, the ones that made you believe that your ribcage was too small to fit their light.
I have fallen out of love and once someone fell out of love with me. Both situations seem impossibly unfortunate.
This has taught me that love belongs to no-one. It is not something that can be owned. You cannot wrap a lasso around a relationship and expect it to stay. Trust me, I wish that you could. I love my boyfriend with everything that I have. If I could bubble wrap us together, I probably would. But I know. I know the tighter you hold, the less that you feel. There is a reason for the cliche, “If you love something set it free. If it comes back it’s yours. If not, it was never meant to be."
The problem with this saying is that even when love comes back, it still is not yours. You just get to exist with it. That has to be enough. I know how incredibly unnerving that is for the anxious and controlling among us. I can see your thoughts, my husband/girlfriend/boyfriend/wife is mine. That's just not the truth.
They only belong to them. You are a guest in their life. One that is only there as long as you are invited. Even marriage won't stop someone from leaving you. I swear I'll get to a positive point soon.
I'm in a coffee shop and the women behind the counter received a phone call from her friend. I soon later that they haven't talked in a while when she relayed the situation and phone call to her co-worker.
My ears perked at "God, Ellie, I'm so sorry."
I couldn't hear the other end of the phone conversation but I know her. She is me. She is my friends. She is every girl who was blindsided by someone falling out of love with them.
"He hasn't talked to you in how many days? You're moving out?"
My empathy barrels onto this page. How fucking sad is it when someone falls out of love? My empathy is for him too. I don't think a single human out there wants to fall out of love. I don't think they wake up one day and say to themselves, "I want to feel emptiness around this other human I have built a life with." I do believe there is a difference between falling out of love and getting into slumps. I believe that when you give someone your heart you should do everything in your power to make sure that a breakup is actually what you want before you carelessly take it back. Because sometimes love can kick-start again. See below. However, sometimes the wires get crossed, they get tangled like the cords behind the tv, and from personal experience, nothing can fix that.
It's just there is no good way to fall out of love.
The coffee shop girl, skin like clean charcoal, turns to her co-worker. "He told her that he doesn't love her anymore and that he's been thinking about it for months."
I used to be so angry at people who lead their significant other on, stringing them along for months, even years. It occurred to me one day that sometimes people aren't staying because they're scared or being cruel. They stay when they're trying - when they're hoping it will get better.
For Ellie and this guy. It never did.
I am so damn fearful that this will happen to me again. That fear won't stop time though. It won't stop the truth.
I am so incredibly lucky to have what I have right now and that is what I'm going to hold onto.
My biggest New Years resolution is instead of aiming to love people forever, I'm going to do a better job of loving them right now.
I'm not going to take my love for granted.
If it goes, I'll set it free...
About the blog:
Emily Ann Hansen
I'm a writer and teacher living in Baltimore City. I'm originally from Chicago. I graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a BA in Fiction. Instead of babbling, I will list a few of the things in life that make me happy: