For about a year I’ve come to understand what love is and how dangerous it can be to just throw the word around. It was the first thing I tried to understand after my divorce was final and I got the papers. What is love? Did I really love her? Did she even love me? When I finally came to that conclusion I felt a little stupid. Because it had taken so long to realize what was happening.
My ex and I didn’t love each other when we got married. We liked each other, a lot, but love? No. We didn’t love each other. Love takes time and patients. We rushed into it. I realized I loved my ex when I thought about divorcing her back when I lived in Washington. When I came back from Africa I planned on it. I remember the press was there to see our ship and I felt so embarrassed. The next month I told myself to do it, but when I saw her I knew I didn’t want to be with anyone else. I didn’t care who she would be with, but I just wanted to be with her. That is when I knew I loved her.
Sadly, it was the opposite with my ex. She even told me she didn’t want to see me with someone else because I might be happy. She told people that she didn’t want me to be happy and she even told me she wanted me to die. She felt this way about me for most of our marriage because when it came time for her to make the choice of love or not, she chose the not, but stayed with me for various reasons. None of them were good though.
This isn’t a rare thing. No. This is a very common thing. When I was dating more than usual people enjoy talking bad to their ex. They are always the right one. They are always the one that tried the hardest. They had to set them free. When I hear people say that I pretty much know it isn’t going to last between us. No one ever wants to admit their problems. When I tell them mine they try to say it wasn’t my fault, but I had blame in it. I couldn’t deal with my depression and my ex never loved me, so she never saw the point in trying.
I commend people that take things slow and try to get to know the person before they make any huge choices. It is something we should all do, but we are told we must do things now. Right now. No time to wait because life is short. Movies will tell us that we have a soul mate, that love at first site is real, but it is all bullshit. We have become so impulsive that we make life altering decisions in a blink of an eye. Something that will change our lives for years and sometimes it will take just as long to recover from it.
Love. When people use it they just throw it around without thinking of the actual meaning of it. One woman told me she loved me after us only knowing each other for a few months. Talked about moving in, marriage, kids and it just blew my mind. She didn’t even know me. Hell, I hardly know myself half the time, but love takes time. It takes years to know someone. You can certainly like things about them, but it takes love to accept the bad parts about them. If you can’t do that, you don’t love that person.
And…it isn’t a bad thing. There is nothing wrong with being with a person for some time and telling them the truth. The hardest part for me was being in love with someone and having them lie to me for a decade. Telling other people, the truth, but only to lie to my face. And again, this is a very common thing.
It’s hard to find people who want to do things slowly. We have kids, we feel we can’t do things alone, and the worst part, if you are single you must be extremely lonely. For me, I’m not. I wouldn’t mind having someone in my life that actually cares about me, but at the same time I enjoy my time alone. It is so weird coming to a better understanding of myself this late in my life.