I had always heard the saying, “Love hurts.” But I often found myself asking, “Is it really supposed to hurt this bad?”
I now know that it isn’t.
I knew he wasn’t right for me—our puzzle pieces didn’t fit together without a lot of force. But I became comfortable. I willingly made myself blind to all the bad, all the negativity. I stayed so stupidly optimistic that I only saw the good in him and before I knew it, I was in love.
It was a deep and delusional love that wasn’t built upon reality, but instead upon my own imagination. What I had pieced this man together in my mind to be. What I had thought our relationship could be—perfect.
Yes, I spent a lot of time hiding in the bathroom crying and questioning myself: my intelligence, my beauty and my goals. But that was okay, because love was supposed to be hard and love hurts, right? I was already in deep and leaving him wasn’t going to be a simple breakup of us two, but a breakup of my imagination and delusions as well.
Sometimes we fall fast and dangerous. We hit some speed bumps and see some red flags, but we are plummeting and it feels so good. We are on such a high of excitement and emotion that we willingly ignore these red flags. Constantly brushing off our hurt feelings or sacrificing bits and pieces of ourselves because we don’t want to come down off of this high. We want to stay under the influence of our romance-novel mind for as long as we possibly can.
Accepting the reality that we are falling for the wrong person would shoot us straight back to reality—and sometimes we just want to entertain our fantasy land, even if just for a little while. Romp, dance, and be free, but only for a moment. Don’t stay in your fantasy land so long that you get attached to it and the person who is there with you.
I’m not saying that love is a walk in the park everyday. I know that love is hard and will not be without its fair share of challenges and stormy weather days. But loving the wrong person is really damn hard and really damn exhausting.
Loving the wrong persons leaves you chipping away at pieces of yourself in hopes of pleasing each other and vain attempts at trying to cram your mismatched puzzle pieces together. Loving the wrong person leaves you constantly feeling unfulfilled—not because either of you is a bad person, but because you do not bring out the absolute best in one another.
We both loved in different ways and no matter how hard I tried to make it work, his love was never enough for me, nor was mine for him. This was not for lack of love, but it still would not suffice. It felt like sticking two AA batteries in a remote that requires three AAA batteries. The quantity is enough, but the quality just isn’t what the remote needs to work. In the end, our love left us both feeling dead and somewhat useless.
This all could have been avoided from the start. I knew what I was getting into—love with a man that I couldn’t picture myself with deep down in my heart. Looking at our future from an outsider’s perspective, we just didn’t make sense. This doesn’t discount my love for him, nor did it make leaving any easier.
Even though I knew we were not right. Even though being with him hurt. Even though I no longer felt like myself. Even though I knew that staying was only hurting us both more and more as the days passed—it still hurt like hell to leave.
To finally let myself crash back to reality and discover what a long and hard fall it was on the way down.
Now I accept that love is challenging, love is complicated, love is intricate and sometimes, love is annoying as hell. But I will never again accept a love that hurts.
Author: Emily Cutshaw
Editor: Nicole Cameron
Image: Satish Krishnamurthy/Flickr