Sunday, April 25, 2010

I Love You Not

"Love is never equal
The love between two people
Someone always gets kicked to the curb
Someone's always let out freezing
Battered down and bleeding
Love is never equal after all."
- Jill Sobule, Love is Never Equal

I had convinced myself that if someone truly loved me then we wouldn't have to say, "I'm sorry" to each other. As I've gotten older I realize that I was wrong. Turns out those two or three words are sometimes the most difficult words to say to another person, especially someone you love.
I look back at my love life and there were so many moments where I bent over backwards for a guy to like me. So many moments when I should have walked away. I over looked their callous treatment of my heart. I pretended that I didn't need to hear how they felt for me. I realize now that my relationship growing up with my father is at the core of this destructive submissiveness. He had a temper and was verbally abusive at times to my mother, to his mother and sister and to myself. He would always apologize after the fact, but growing up in a house where I constantly felt like I needed to prove my worth, subconsciously later in life has affected my dealings with men.
I entered into relationships where I took care of the guy, did somersaults to gain their love, bought them gifts, took them out for expensive dinners. For the most part I was the breadwinner and I am proud of the fact that I don't need a man to support me. The thing is I am not a submissive, insecure person. I am typically an extrovert so it surprises me now to realize that how needy I have been in my past romantic relationships.
Ultimately they would leave without knowing what they did to me. I smiled through all the rejections, all the while knowing deep inside me that they were the ones who were in the wrong. They were the ones who needed to apologize; they were the ones who needed my forgiveness. But, time and time again I never required them to apologize for their actions, instead I kept apologizing for mine. I wanted to win their love so badly (win my father's love and approval). I thought somehow if I remained as kind and genuine and sweet and loving as I could be one of these guys would see me for who I was and appreciate having me in their lives and wouldn't ever let me go, but I was wrong because none of them were the right guy for me.
That was until I met Andy, or so I thought. He was the first guy who really got me. I didn't feel like I needed to pretend to be someone I wasn't when I was with him. I spoke my mind and didn't fear what he would think of me. I felt like the luckiest woman in the world. He was the opposite of any guy I had ever been with. He was the first to say, "I love you," he remembered our anniversary even when I didn't, he would lavish me with gifts. I've never been one for over the top romantic gestures. But, over time you learn to love the grand gestures. Everyday is like living in a pretty woman moment. But, the honeymoon can't last forever.
Real love is having to say "I'm sorry," many times and actually mending your way to show that you mean it. Nothing is what it seems. Everything can change in the blink of an eye.

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