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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
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