Who We Love

We don’t really choose who we love.

Now that Jaime Lannister’s story arc has been completed in Game of Thrones in the episode “The Bells” (a hell of an episode), I thought I’d talk about the subject of who we as individuals choose to love. Honestly, I thought Jaime was emotionally rid of Cersei by the end of Season 7, and when he left Brienne he was just lying so that he could save the realm by killing Cersei. Nope, he was permanently under her spell. What a shame that my favorite character in the franchise was always in love with the character I hate the most.

My best friend Mitch and I have each been in 3 major relationships. His and mine vastly differ from one another’s. How so? Well, his first two ended on relatively good terms, whereas all 3 of mine have been far worse. Not long ago, I was at his house, and this wasn’t long after my divorce began, and I told him an honest fact. I told him, “I always liked the girls you’ve been with.” Of course, he understood I didn’t mean infatuated. If that wasn’t understood, I would have been in trouble, because his wife was right there when I said it (which I’ll get back to later)… It’s nice being understood. I then added saying, “I always liked the girls you’ve been with, while you end up hating all the ones I’m with.”

He laughed and said, “Yeah, because all yours turn out to be evil!” He then said something to the effect of, “Lisa cheated on you, and Shelby didn’t respect you at all, and [your wife] is trying to take away your daughter for no good reason! What is wrong with you??”

Mitch’s first relationship started when he was 16, less than a year after I first met him. It was with a girl named Katie, whom we were both already friends with at church. Those two obviously (and I mean obviously) liked each other long before they actually started dating. There was just one problem with the situation. See, Katie was closest to Mitch, myself … and the infamous Kyle, who I’ve mentioned on this blog before. Not going to describe Kyle again, but for the unfamiliar, he was a scumbag. Kyle happened to be really interested in Katie (like every other girl he saw), and this created all kinds of drama. Stupid, frustrating drama.

I was the only one of Katie’s male friends who wasn’t interested in her. To this day, I’m still not sure why. She was quite pretty, she was smart, she had a solid moral center, and she was a devout Christian (which I also was at the time). I don’t know why I wasn’t interested in being with her. Maybe it was because I knew Mitch wanted to be with her. The bro code doesn’t forbid two guys from liking the same girl if she’s never been with either one, but maybe I still felt it was wrong. And Katie really did have a strong moral center. She had the same teenage immaturity that we all had, but that was the fault of her age, not character. She never cheated on Mitch, nor did anything else to break his heart. She simply … left. Her family were all missionaries, and before she was done with high school, they returned to the Philippines. Then afterward, when she returned to the States, I guess she and Mitch just weren’t interested in each other anymore. I feel like I was more depressed by their breakup than they were…

The second of Mitch’s girls was named Cari … who also came from a missionary family. And yes, this relationship ended the exact same way. Cari was a lot like Katie, but I guess with more energy. The first time I ever had alcohol, she was the one who offered it to me. I was only 17 at the time (which is four years too early, legally, in the US). And speaking of age, Cari and I had the same birthday, I was just a year older. She also had a twin, obviously born the same day, and two younger sisters (not twins) who also had that birthday. Weird as hell. Anyway, like I said, things ended with Mitch and Cari the same way it had with Katie. I think I was also more upset by that breakup than they were.

Seriously, neither of those relationships had turmoil, nor did either end in an ugly manner. This might be why they upset me so much, even though they weren’t my relationships. Mitch was happy with both of them, and they seemed super happy with him, too. Why must happiness ever end for no good reason?

Remember when I told Mitch that I always liked the girls he’s been with and I wasn’t scared that his wife was standing right there? Well, that’s testament to why I like her so much as well. I’ve never felt I have to watch myself around her, like most guys have to do with most girls, especially when she’s a Christian and I’m definitely not anymore. Mitch has been with his wife, in total, for about 5 years I think. I’ve always appreciated that she’s never treated me like “one of her husband’s buddies.” She treats me like her brother; at least that’s how it seems from my perspective. What I appreciate most is how great a wife she is to my best friend. She’s a great mother. Strong-willed, strong moral center, honest, loyal, devoted…

So, seeing the girls my best friend has been with, and comparing them to the ones I’ve been with, along with fictional-character Jaime Lannister’s choice of lover… It really makes me wonder why we choose the people we choose. In my case, and Jaime Lannister’s, it seems we can’t ever choose people who are good for us. I keep wondering how Mitch does it.

I don’t know for sure if I’m a good person? I try to be. That’s the best answer an honest person can ever give themselves. The worst people to ever live all thought they were good, so the safest way to think is to merely know you are trying to be good. Do I doubt this in myself? I do, actually. Often. I avoid evil at all costs, and frankly I’m very rarely even tempted to do things I feel are evil, and yet it’s things like this that make me wonder if there’s something wrong with me. I keep choosing the worst people to be in relationships with. Is it me knowing deep down what’s wrong with these girls and subconsciously trying to fix them? Is it me only accepting what I feel I deserve, which is not much? What is it? Is it because I’m exactly like them, just in different ways? Like for example, I’d never try to take someone’s kid from them for the sake of greed, but am I just as bad in other ways?

Thinking of Jaime Lannister, even though he’s not a real person, I wonder if he loves Cersei because he is a lot like her? He attempted to murder a little boy to conceal his relationship with her, murdered his own cousin to be reunited with her sooner, and even raped Cersei herself right next to the corpse of their son. Jaime clearly has an evil side. But he still tries to do good sometimes, unlike Cersei. He was good to his dwarf brother, when literally everyone else treated him like a monster. He pledged to ride north to fight the White Walkers and defied Cersei’s orders not to go, simply to honor his pledge. He wants to be good, clearly, but he has admitted, “My honor is beyond repair…”

Maybe Cersei ruined him from an early age. Maybe he would have been a much better person were it not for her. Sometimes those we love can utterly destroy us, and I don’t just mean those we love romantically.

We don’t really choose who we love. Yet, there’s always a reason we love who we love. We may not understand the reason, but there is a reason nonetheless.

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