I think falling for someone who doesn't love you can be qualified as one of the worst things ever. It is an experience I had that I truly wish I wouldn't have to to go through. It is something I don't think I could really wish on my worst enemy as well as something I truly never thought I would know for myself. I had often heard of this pain from friends, but I offered faulty advice on it. As I have written in a previous article, the thing about advice is that anyone can give it, thus often taking the qualification away from it.
I told them that the person they fell for wasn't getting married. There isn't any permanent tie and they should not lose hope, however, this is so much easier said than done when you find yourself in the actual situation. I fell for someone who, realistically, was never meant to be mine. I knew he was bad for me and he even had someone else, but I couldn't stop myself from feeling the way that I did. It was like an infection that was buried deep within me and no amount of vaccination was able to heal it.
I would have periods of time where I was truly convinced that I was over it. In my heart of hearts, I felt like I could move on, but then I would see him or even hear his name, and I fell right back into it. I was in a constant battle with myself and it seemed there would be no true winner in the end.
The feminist that I am was at a complete loss through this entire experience. He was with someone else and me pining after him was pitting women against women which is a gross and tired narrative that I think is constantly being pushed.
Girls are supposed to catfight over the guy they like, losing all dignity in the process. Even though I was aware of the grossness of all of this, my feelings were still there. I couldn't seem to shake them or push them down within myself even though all I really wanted to do was move on and find someone who actually cared for me.
The person seemed nonexistent, though, and truly, in my heart of hearts, I hadn't felt something like what I was experiencing in a long time. I felt like a bit of my self-worth was tied to him, too, just to make the entire event even more unhealthy. My obsession with him as well as my sense of worth that I felt I received when he acknowledged me or spoke with me was chaotic and unhealthy. I knew that the behavior was ludicrous as well, but I continued doing what I was doing because there were moments where I truly felt in my heart it could happen.
We went through a brief stint where we were close and I felt that the dreams I had might actually come to light. It was false hope and I think I was aware of this from the start, but I continued pining because I really didn't know how to do anything else. Someone telling me to simply stop thinking of him was the equivalent of someone to just tell me to stop breathing. I was obsessed and even though loving him in the way I did was wrong and went against everything I had ever stood for, I knew that stopping wasn't an option.
It brought me a lot more pain than it ever did happiness and when I think of him, the only feeling I am struck with is waste. I wasting my time, energy, and emotions in someone who was simply never going to see me as a friend and towards the end, I was less than that. A piece of my heart will always be with him I think. I spent too long of a time pining for him to have him be so easily forgotten. I invested myself to the point where I sometimes wondered if I would ever be able to go back into the calm, sensible person that I once was. I think that sort of love was actually anything but love.
It was a radical, unhealthy obsession that I had convinced myself was affection.
I had never felt this way, but I had friends experience similar things before. I had always seemed to make a sort of mockery of the pain seeing as I had never before weathered such a pain before in my life.
However, this kind of pain is the sort that keeps you up at night. It gives you a sickening feeling when you see them next, the kind that causes a lump in your throat, an unsteady beat of your heart, and a queasy feeling in your stomach. I felt my temperature rise when I saw him and was unable to really give any sort of reason for that other than the fact I was looking at someone who was I pretty sure was aware of my obvious feelings yet had chosen to ignore them in pursuit of someone else.
Such a realization was painful, perhaps the most painful I had ever faced, but I knew that I was going to have to toughen up as I was going to have to see him every day. I avoided conversation and when I did happen to make conversation it was some of the most pathetic, half-hearted, obviously forced attempt at it. Everything in me wished to not see him anymore seeing as that might aid me in moving on from him.
I didn't want it anymore. I didn't want to hurt. Sometimes I'd almost forget. There'd be a long weekend and I'd stay home, write, or go out with my friends. Perhaps I'd play video games with one of my buds and life would almost seem to take a shift. Then, just like that, the weekend would come to a close and I would see him again and be reminded of all the feelings I had worked so hard to run from. It was like a heartbreak you're forced to live over and over and over again. It just never seemed to stop and watching him be with someone else was the hardest thing I've had to do.
It was nothing like the movies. In every film I'd ever seen, girl loves boy and boy doesn't love girl. Boy goes off with someone else and is happy only to fall into the arms of said girl, breaking his other lover's heart and then there is a "happily ever after" ending. I had watching film after film and scene after scene of this. Dramatic moments of cinema where a girl breaks into her crush's wedding and professes her love. Even my favorite song is fifth grade was Speak Now all about a girl who goes to the wedding of her the man she loves only to interrupt it so that she can inform her of the love she has for him. Another favorite was You Belong With Me all about how a man should leave his girlfriend and be with her instead.
None of these songs, movies, or books that I had so faithfully read as a child proved to be even remotely realistic. In reality, they love someone else and you often have to sit on the sidelines and watch as that happens. It's heartbreaking and not even close the dramatic display of romance and that the entertainment industry often paints it to be. Life isn't anything like the movies especially when it comes to love and this realization was one that was super difficult for me to come to.
I wanted it to exactly like the movies.
I wanted a young man to come tapping at my door and have a profession of love. These things exist in works of fiction for a reason though. It is because that is where they belong — because events like that are a rare occurrence in everyday life. Perhaps I'm a romantic and perhaps I'll never stop hoping, but I realize when love is not reciprocated to me and damn does it hurt.
I realize when it is time to move on, but that does not mean it stops me from hoping.