I’ve written about the people I’m about discuss before, and honestly, I want to make it clear that I absolutely do not want to discuss any of these people ever again. In fact, I hope I can confidently say this is the last time I ever do. What I’m about to share is an important lesson I learned this year, and I feel some obligation to share what I’ve learned, and unfortunately it requires me to discuss people who don’t mean anything to me anymore. But I’ll burn through this anyway.
I was 13 the first time I fell in love. Most would agree that you don’t even know what being in love is at that age. Well, I’m 25 now, which means I first fell in love almost half a lifetime ago, and I still say I was certainly in love back then. Those reading this who know me personally already know I’m talking about a girl named Lisa, and they already know that she and I ended in 2010, when we were 19. She cheated on me with two other guys, which in turn also technically means she cheated on each of them with me. Still, I didn’t give up on her. She was the one who ultimately threw me away, though it wasn’t my wish. Lisa and I never got in a single argument that I can remember, ever. We got in plenty of disagreements, sure, but never outright fought. I don’t regret the 6ish years we were intimate (it was on and off), and I don’t regret having her in my life for 9.
Then in 2013 I fell in love again with a woman 16 years older than me named Shelby. She and I fought all the time; the complete opposite of what it was like with Lisa. Shelby and I were together accumulatively for 20 months; so, a bit less than 2 years. She ultimately left me because we wouldn’t stop fighting and it brought us both down emotionally too much. While we were together, we discussed why we fight all the time, and we both seemed to agree that it was because Lisa cheated on me and then ditched me like a heartless bitch. For the longest time, I honestly thought that was why. Recently, I realized that wasn’t true. Not in the slightest, actually.
Remember in Part 1 when I said that the reason we love people is the only thing that exceeds our love for the person themselves? Well, recently the thing I realized is that the reason I couldn’t get along with Shelby is because deep down I knew, very simply, that she didn’t love me, just for who I am; I was nothing more than serving a purpose for her. I knew this (subconsciously) as soon as she told me her history with men. Since she was a teenager, she has never been without a man for longer than 2 months. So, literally since the time I was born, she’s been in and out of relationships (either just sexual or romantic). She can’t be alone. At some point, only once I think, she outright admitted she can’t be alone.
When I got with her, I had been single for several years, but she had only been single for 3 weeks (tops). We broke up a total of 2 times, and the first time we broke up, after less than a week she began a long-distance relationship with a man she’s never met in person, and that didn’t work out after a few months, and then less than a week after that ended she started seeing a man she barely knew from work. When she and I got back together, it was only 2 days after she broke up with the guy from work. And then, after the second and final time we broke up, she waited almost, almost, two months before she started another relationship with a guy she at least knew a bit better. For this article I looked at that guy’s FB page, and I saw they’re not friends on there anymore. So, yet another failure.
Point is, I always knew she can’t be alone, and that men are just a means of filling a void, and further proof of that came after we ended for good. Often times, while we were together both times, I wondered if I, just as myself, meant anything to her. I don’t think I did. I think, like every other man she’s been with and every man she will be with in the future, I was only being used to fill a void. And that, right there, is the thing that is more important than any person, to Shelby. Yes, she loves the men she gets with, but the thing that draws her to so many is a complete lack of self-love.
If I were to be honest with myself, I think the thing that I serve, the thing I am most loyal to, the thing I love that drives me to love certain other people, is my principles. When I learn that someone is not as good of a person as I thought, my feelings for them almost completely vanish. The opposite is true, as well, in that when I see someone is a very good person (not the same thing as just being ‘nice’), I come to admire them greatly. I recently reconnected with my sister, who for years I was estranged from. To make a very long story short, I started believing my sister is a conceited, manipulative person. Until one day we happened to be talking (about our mother) and as we were talking, we cleared up all of our misunderstandings, and agreed to forgive all past wrongs. And just like that, we were siblings again, not enemies. My principles forbade me from wanting her in my life, until I understood the things she did that I held against her. Coming to know Shelby, and more importantly, admitting to myself the kind of person she is (not evil, just absolutely selfish), I ceased feeling anything for her. I’m not hurt that she’s gone, I’m not hurt at the thought she’s probably with someone right now. I just simply don’t care anymore. I fell in love with her, thinking she’s a wonderful woman, and upon realizing she’s not a great person, it all vanished. That’s why I wasn’t excited to write this article. I’m talking about feelings for someone that don’t exist anymore. It’s …. awkward.
I realized an additional thing as well. Lisa and I didn’t fight, despite the fact I knew she was cheating on me, because I knew, yes knew, that she isn’t actually a bad person. More than anything I think she’s a good person who did something atrocious, unfair, and heartless. No one is perfect; we all balance good with bad every single day. Lisa, I think is more good than bad. I remember how we went to Portland every Friday night to serve homeless people (her idea). Lisa hates feet (and I mean really hates feet), but on several occasions she said she wants to wash homeless peoples’ feet because she finds feet disgusting. I remember she once said, “I want to live in a foreign country for a long time and just do nothing but witness to people.” (‘witnessing’ is Christian talk for ‘spreading the gospel’) I remember that Lisa did, undeniably, love me. She wasn’t using me to fill a void, she wasn’t using me for physical satisfaction, she wasn’t using me just to kill time when she was bored. Every time she saw me, she greeted me by jumping into my arms. Sometimes, she would randomly look at me while we’re out and about, and just smile and say “I love you.” She often texted me out of the blue just to remind me she loves me. Yes, she cheated, yes she sometimes bragged about how skilled of a liar she is, but after knowing her 9 years, and even after she broke my heart, I’d still say she’s not a bad or even a selfish person.
That is why we never fought. I knew, deep down that Lisa is flawed, but not self-serving, or evil. I always knew Shelby was both flawed and self-serving.
Shelby and I were destructive to each other. Every day we were together, we brought each other down. I never felt like I was free to be who I am. I never felt like I was free to be myself. She hated most of the things I like, she never wanted to do anything that involved not staring at a TV, or sex. I loved her, though. I loved her immensely, and though it was for very wrong reasons, I know she loved me. It was because we loved each other that we were so destructive to each other and took so long to finally cut ties. My principles collided with her innermost nature. Our relationship turned me into someone I didn’t recognize; someone who behaves in a way I never have before.
I tried to find a way to make us work. I thought of some pretty unorthodox methods to make us work out. But what my emotions wouldn’t allow me to understand is that we were doomed from the very beginning. From the first moment either of us even thought about getting together, we were doomed. And it’s for the simple reason that I will never compromise what matters most to me: my principles, and Shelby will never be with a man simply because she loves that man (it will always be to fill an unfillable void).
I’ve written several other things about her, and all those other things still stand, which is why I’ll leave those pieces where they are. This article is just me looking up at the whole thing from a high altitude. The whole picture. The same way I needed to fly up high and look at the whole picture with the relationship I have with my sister. It can make you realize you two can be great friends, like it did with my sister, or it can make you realize there’s no possible way you two can be in each other’s lives.
I still have more to say about the subject of loving the wrong person. This part, where I talk about the mentioned-above people, is complete, but there is still more. So, here is Part 3.