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18 March 2005 @ 11:11 pm
Better Now  

So... how I've been feeling.

My time away from LJ has been good for me for the most part. I needed to not be reminded of my ex even more than my own psyche inflicts on me, and even the most minor things were getting to me, so isolating myself seemed the only way. It was hard at first - I missed you guys and wished I knew what was going on with you, but it had to be done. It got easier as time progressed, and trying to re-acclimate myself to actually looking at LJ again has been odd. But anyway. I've been playing computer adventure games and reading a lot and playing in _dark_chaos and trying not to think. Really didn't succeed with the last one, hence this post.

I guess the best thing to sum up is that I've given up on understanding and am working on acceptance. Accepting that, no matter how I feel, if he doesn't feel the same... there's nothing I can do. I can't change how I feel and I can't change how he feels. How I feel could change and how he feels could change, but to actively make it happen? No. I wish I could change it, but the fact remains that I love him and I still feel he's the only person for me. I've tried to get interested in others, but I just can't see being with anyone else. Maybe that'll change someday, but I really can't even conceive of it at this point.

I'd decided long before I even met my ex that I was never going to look for love again, and when he and I met that wasn't what I was looking for at all. I'd never planned to open my heart to anyone again, but when I did to him, it did seem completely right and for 1 1/2 years it was a mostly happy mutual accident. Could there be another accident like this? *shrugs* I had 18 months of being happier with another person than I had ever been, happier with that one person than I'd been with all of my previous partners combined. Luck alone seems to indicate that such a thing or better couldn't happen twice, and I'm not about to settle for anything less ever again.

Supposedly you learn something from every relationship and breakup, and at first I thought all I'd learned was how to deal with more pain. Now I'm beginning to see what I'm to try to understand - like clarifying further what I believe about love. Or maybe what I don’t understand would be more correct. About a month ago I was asked to do an in-depth interview about monogamy, polyamory and love by someone working on her doctoral thesis (she’d interviewed me a few years ago for another research project on bisexuality and was contacting people she’d already talked to). In talking to her I realized even more that I am such a misfit when it comes to relationships. If there are any other people who started out poly and then decided on monogamy, they can’t be many. I know I’ve never met anyone else like me. But another part of the interview was talking about what love is – and I had to say that I didn’t know anymore. I thought I did, and to a certain extent think I still do, but I have doubts now. It’s like the old philosophical question: If a tree falls in a forest and there’s no one to hear it, does it still make a sound?
So if you love someone and they don’t feel the same, is it still love? Does it mean anything? Does it matter? I don’t know. I’d like to think it still matters, that the emotion and caring doesn’t just go into a void. But as I’ve never had any indication that my ex misses me, wishes that things were different, or still cares at all, I guess it’s largely irrelevant. I've found that apathy is much harder to handle than dislike.

It’s hard at times not to focus on what went wrong. I’ve read He’s Just Not That Into You and while I definitely understand the point and I can see how it could help many women, it really didn’t help me. For those unfamiliar, it’s written by a man and a woman who both wrote for Sex and the City and the main point is that women tend to make excuses for men’s behavior when the truth is, men are not at all complicated. If they do or don’t do certain things, the fact of that matter is – he’s just not that into you. But I have a problem with this for two reasons: 1) It’s selling an entire half of the population short. Sure, there are men who find life, love and relationships simple and easy – but can they possibly all be that shallow? I just don’t buy it. And 2) it basically erases everything you had with that man as not very important. I suppose that could be true – I really don’t know. And so I do think there are reasons why we didn’t work, things that could change. There are things I wish I'd done differently in the relationship, things I'd go back and change if I could. I’m not perfect and I’ve never pretended to be so, and a part of me wishes I could have a second chance at some point.

The upshot of it is that there are 3 possible outcomes here: 1) My feelings change and I no longer love him, 2) we get back together and try again, or 3) my feelings don’t change and neither do his. Obviously, one of the first two options would be much preferred, because three leaves me pining for him for the rest of my life like a lobster without its mate. Which, truly, is how I feel sometimes, like half of me is missing. The friendship aspect that's missing is also very difficult, as I think I illustrated with that song I posted recently, but as I know he has many friends, I don't think he has any need of my friendship.

But I realize that considering my feelings now, nearly 6 months later, are significantly different than they were even 2 or 3 months ago, it’s at least possible they will change further. Overall I do feel better – I haven’t cried in ages, haven’t been depressed or really sad. I still think about him every day, what with one thing or another to remind me, but even the thoughts aren’t the same. A long-distance end is not easy, either – it seems like there isn’t real closure and it’s hard to get past that. But you can’t change the past – you can only work on the future. And I’m trying.

If anyone has a copy of this song, I would love to have it. Please comment if you can get it to me. <3 Got it, yay!
I feel: contemplativecontemplative
I hear: Better Now - Collective Soul
Vicki: Heeeeeeeeeee!hermorrine on March 19th, 2005 05:36 am (UTC)
I thought it was Fun Dip!: os peter & joanna hug by tariedsneyvoice on March 19th, 2005 05:49 am (UTC)
That's good that you're still trying - that's all you can really expect of yourself, IMO. It takes time, and how much time I don't think can be predicted. But I think you'll know when you're truly OK without him. And when you're OK with yourself I think it's totally possible to find that kind of love again. But I'm an optimist like that. <3

Vicki: Natalie by amatiahermorrine on March 21st, 2005 04:19 am (UTC)
*hugs* I hope you're right. I'm just glad to finally be feeling somewhat better at this point.
longtimegonelongtimegone on March 19th, 2005 07:39 am (UTC)
Luck alone seems to indicate that such a thing or better couldn't happen twice, and I'm not about to settle for anything less ever again.

Oddly enough? I think this is a good attitude to have. You shouldn't settle. I remember telling an ex who just DIDN'T feel the same... "I would rather be alone that feel the diappointment you make me feel". As you know? I said it at the time to hurt him. And it did. But the more I grew...I learned that it was true!

So if you love someone and they don’t feel the same, is it still love?

Yes. It is love. Now, is it the kind of love you want to build a dream and a life on? Absolutely not. Love that is symbiotic, that makes you feel like more that you ever dreamed you could be, love that irritates you in its mediocrity one minute and astounds you with its complexity and reciprocated depth in the next? That's the love that I want to build my life on. And I haven't found it yet. Sure, I've had men I felt that way about, but they did not return that. And, looking back, I see that it was for the best. Also, at the end of the day, it really doesn't matter why they don't love you back. They just don't. And that, in and of itself, makes it "not enough".

It's an evolving process, bebe. One that you may need more time to see through. And that's okay. I guarantee, when all is said and done, you will be a better person because of his love...what you had of it, even though it might not have been what you hoped for, rather than in spite of it. It's accepting how it changed you as a person, and not being so much bitter about it, as appreciating what it taught you and what it will enable you to reach for next.

I'm rooting for you, love. <3
Vicki: Juliet largehermorrine on March 21st, 2005 04:23 am (UTC)
Thanks. You make a lot of sense, but it's awfully hard to convince my heart and soul that they were so wrong about him. My head gets it, but those two? Not so much. Still, there has been some progress, so there's hope for more. *hugs*
longtimegonelongtimegone on March 21st, 2005 04:41 pm (UTC)
*hugs back*

It's easy to see how things "make sense". it's quite another to remember than when you are just there in everyday life. Just take it a day at the time and think of the things we've all said to you. I know it will happen for you too. <3
Kay Taylor: little redkay_taylor on March 19th, 2005 10:04 am (UTC)
But you can’t change the past – you can only work on the future. And I’m trying.


I'm so glad it's getting better for you, Morri, I really am. You've been incredibly strong about this whole thing and it looks like it's starting to get to the less-ouchy part.

I flicked through "He's Just Not That Into You" the other day, and I really don't think it's meant to apply to these sorts of situations (love, long-term relationships etc) - my impression was that it was directed at those girls who make ten million excuses about why their date never calls ("he could be ill!" "he's threatened by your job!") and never think about the right-standing-there-obvious one.
Vicki: Harry/Ronhermorrine on March 21st, 2005 04:41 am (UTC)
*hugs* Me too. It's far from wonderful but at least it's better than it was.

That's part of it, yes, but there are chapters called He's Just Not That Into You If He Doesn't Want to Marry You and He's Just Not That Into You If He's Breaking Up with You as well. And there are some good points in the book, don't get me wrong. But I just have a hard time believing an entire half of the human population is that simple. But then again, to quote Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger:
A slightly stunned silence greeted the end of this speech, then Ron said, "One person can't feel all that at once, they'd explode."
"Just because you've got the emotional range of a teaspoon doesn't mean we all have," said Hermione nastily, picking up her quill again.
Kay Taylorkay_taylor on March 21st, 2005 09:09 am (UTC)
Hell, if not wanting to marry someone is "not that into them", then I'll never be 'into' anyone in my whole life. Bloody mainstream patriarchal bollocks.

And re the other one, experience has shown me that some men have emotional defences so deep that breaking up with you is a sure sign they're really, really into you (and terrified by it). Hmm. Some really DO have the emotional range of a teaspoon (and that's one of my favourite quotations from OotP, btw. I love sarcastic Hermione).
Lissanne: roselissannej on March 19th, 2005 10:48 am (UTC)
*hugs* Good to see you posting again, and feeling a little better. It's not an easy thing to get over, but I'm hoping time will ease things for you -- you're a wondrful person who deserves nothing but happiness. ♥
Vicki: Sara - CSIhermorrine on March 21st, 2005 04:42 am (UTC)
Thanks sweetie. *hugs*
MamaCheshire: Florimel (random cuteness)cheshire23 on March 19th, 2005 03:03 pm (UTC)

I've been on both sides of this, in the past - the hopelessly-in-love with someone who never quite could feel the same (this was mostly trying to convince myself that a fuckbuddy would turn into a serious relationship, when sometimes I think all he saw in me was that I was there and convenient and not completely unattractive or unintelligent), and the person who had to gently but firmly tell an ex "I know how you feel, but I don't feel the same, I can't make myself, and I'm sorry." That's happened twice - I'm still friends with one of the two, and she is happily married to someone else.

I know that sometimes it seems like it will NEVER get better, but it does. I think that sort of grief has a half-life - it might never go away entirely, but there's the point of realizing "yes, I'm going to live" (the biggest step) and lots of other points along the way...some of the hurt might well always be there (it is for me, despite being happily married to someone else), but it will stop being a constant overwhelming presence and fade to the occasional painful reminders.

And not-looking and not-dating would be good for you, I think. Focus on yourself, on what you want, on making yourself happy, and on good friendships. I know, easier said than done, but I really think that it helps.
Vicki: Hermione GOF - WORRIED by Jenhermorrine on March 21st, 2005 04:48 am (UTC)
*hugs* I'm not looking for a while for a number of reasons. One of them is that I'm not completely over him. Another is the fact that I'm going to be going through major life changes over the next year or so and if I had an established relationship that would be one thing, but to start something new before all of this? Ack, no.
Alexandra Lynchalexandralynch on March 20th, 2005 01:41 am (UTC)
For someone polyamorous, I sure spend a lot of time monogamous.

But it's like being bisexual for me...I don't stop defining myself as poly when it's just Bear and I and neither of us happens to have any fuckbuddies or whatever, any more than I stop defining myself as someone attracted to other women just because all the lovers I have are male.

That said, you did learn something. I second the advice to cultivate your own garden for a while. And send hugs.
Vicki: Bi as mehermorrine on March 21st, 2005 04:56 am (UTC)
Ah, no. I understand your point and completely agree with it - that you can indentify as polyamorous or bisexual and yet only have one partner or only be with either the opposite or the same sex. Indentity and behavior are not the same. But that's not what happened with me. I had only poly relationships from the time I started 'dating' (or whatever you want to call it) until I was about 28. But after that primary relationship ended (my ex before the current ex), I did a great deal of soul-searching about why I'd been so miserable in that relationship and realized it had a great deal to do with the fact that I really am not meant to be poly. I was alone for a few years by choice before I met the current ex, and he was my first monogamous relationship. All things considered, one of the things I definitely learned was that I was definitely right - I'm a one-person girl. Right now, however, I still feel like that one person is the only one. We'll just see if that changes.