How Many Times Have You Been in Love?
Thus begins, or should I say, ends my journey on yet another quest for true love.
It began when I was 16—my first serious relationship. But in comparison, it was not even close to the love I felt for the man I spent more than eight years with during my mid-20s to early 30s. That was not the end-all be-all of my existence of course, but it took a toll on my ability to hope and believe in love.
“Loved and lost” is a common denominator amongst us, but this time it was with a twist. It took me by surprise, this latest venture into love, as it was very unconventional and perhaps not even real.
So what is it that keeps us hanging on, when what we truly want is not present and not coming to fruition?
Hope, that’s what. The undying, unrelenting belief that things will change and all of those promises that hang in the air will somehow come to be.
Everyone has their own limits and comes to that place in their heart and/or head that says, “Hey, this is not what you need or what you want.”
Being in this moment is when we begin the decision to let go. I don’t mean in a hasty way that when things don’t go the way we want, we ditch it. No. That’s not it at all.
That moment is when you reach that point of realization after all the time and effort and belief is exhausted and you come to see the situation for what it really is, not moving forward, not growing and not feeding your soul. After all, the cliché “it takes two” is a cliché for a good reason.
For some, it is easy to move on and let go, and for others, like me, it is a lengthier process. I go back and forth for a long time and as I grow, this becomes more apparent.
Below is a journal entry I wrote to the man I thought with some conviction was the one, and I subsequently sent it to him as it helped me to solidify my release of the fantasy.
So today I’m feeling the need to let him go once again.
How many times must I go through this and fight the tie. Why does the connection seem so right and so strong and yet it goes nowhere and does not grow. Why? Because it takes two and it still is just present in one, me.
Why would he ever get serious about me anyway? He has so much to offer, as most days I feel I do too, but he is, in my mind, so amazing even though it is just an idea as I have no reality what it would be like to be in a relationship with him.
I only know what it feels like to be in his presence and get a call from him, hear his voice, feel his touch, his energy: amazing. This I know. Beyond that…no idea. This is what I cling to, the what comes next.
The problem with that is nothing ever comes. More than four years ago I felt it and wanted more of it. He said no, he didn’t want a girlfriend. I got pregnant shortly thereafter, in a vague attempt to move on. Dating someone, very casually, whom I knew was not the one, but trying so hard to get over him, ignoring my heart, my morals, my needs and also believing that I was physically unable to have children, not being responsible, and surprise! I can and did get pregnant and no matter the circumstances, I am forever grateful for the blessing of my son.
Yet, years later, I was still wishing I had his child. But really do I, even if he doesn’t share these feelings, really want his child? No. I love you Brandon. No matter what the reality of the situation, regardless of if I ever see you again, if you have no feelings for me beyond lust and/or our friendship, I love you. Of this, I am sure.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I do not fall easily and turning 40 at the end of this month (yay) and only falling in love twice in my adult life leads me to hang on longer than maybe I should.
I am grateful that I have been able to experience love at all and the hope that it will come along again, and be the one, has me more cynical than usual. Somewhere between the hope and the cynicism is where I live. Whether that one comes along or not, at least I know I will not settle for less than what I want and I hope none of you do either.
I am a true believer in being alone rather than being with the wrong person, for there is no loneliness worse than that of filling the void for the sake of merely having it filled. Being the hopeless romantic that I am, I believe that love can conquer all, just not in the “happily ever after” way we have been conditioned to see it, or expect it.
Whether things turn out the way we want or not, it’s important to accept the choices we make and recognize that they may turn out instead the way we need. We often confuse the two; sometimes they are the same, sometimes not, but always, it is what it is and we have only so much control beyond that.
Kelly Keisler is a lover of life all that is animal and nature, and when not daydreaming of horseback riding, getting intentionally lost on a road trip, or eagerly anticipating the day I save the world (wink wink), I like the rest of you am an eternal work in progress who tries to impart goodness as a daily contribution to those I encounter, including myself. Insecurity, self-doubt, and the seemingly endless search for true love lead me to continue my journey and be grateful for those I am blessed to share life with. Mother, daughter, sister, friend, and human…and as all others a slave to the ego and in need of a daily reminder of humility and grace to exist in this world as a help, not a hinder.
Editor: Seychelles Pitton