It’s been 10 years since I fell in love.
Like, actually, this December will mark 10 years since I lost my fucking mind and fell batshit in love. Only time it’s ever happened so far, for a number of reasons.
1) I stayed in love for the better part of seven years. Luckily, dude in question loves the shit out of me too, so we did pretty good for a long time and I didn’t need to fall in love with anyone else well into my adulthood. “Adulthood.”
2) Now that I’ve done it and experienced how truly hard it is to make relationships work and how much harder it is to break them apart and move on, I am absolutely fucking terrified of ever doing it again.
I admire those of you who can shack up for a few months or a year, break up, move on and do it all again. Over and over and over again. I just don’t know how you do it.
In the name of self-preservation, I’ve become a bit of an ice queen in the last three years. I’m told it takes half the length of your relationship to get move on (Hi Nadia!), so I’ve been using that as a shield to prevent anyone from ever getting too close to me (and I’ve got another 9 months to be a closed off sociopath before that excuse runs out!).
As I re-learned what it’s like to be my own person and to not be part of an automatic pair, the notion of ever sailing myself down the monogamy river again seemed absurd, suffocating and nauseating. Like, send the men in white coats after me if I ever try to pull that shit again, because the mere act of falling in love is insane.
You basically allow an emotional parasite to enter your very soul and fuck around with every single aspect of your life: your sense of self, your relationships with family and friends, your ambitions and priorities. It siphons your focus on your career, hobbies and routines. For every glittering, rainbow butterfly in your stomach, there’s a steaming serving of vile and uncontrollable emotion: jealousy, insecurity, fear. The ability to process basic information and apply logic? Gone.
So, I’ve gotten very good at the stop, drop and roll. The second I feel even slightly smothered (it doesn’t take much), I evaporate from the situation. Does he have feelings? Bye bye! Do I have feelings? Time to sabotage myself!
Now, maybe it’s because I’ve done the bulk of my 3.5 years of post-relationship recovery time and I’m starting to soften a bit, or maybe I’m not as dead on the inside as I’d like to think, but I am vaguely — vaguely — entertaining the notion of not being militantly single for the rest of my days. (Or maybe it’s just the impending winter and me not wanting to leave the house – who knows.)
So, I guess what I’m saying is that I’ve forgotten how to lose myself in a situation. The guards are up and I’ve long forgotten whatever the code word is to make them stand down. I don’t know how to trust myself or my judgement, or you or your character, so maybe just I’ll watch vintage Soundgarden videos to appease myself forever.
I don’t think I believe anymore that love is sustainable. And, to be fair, I never did until it happened to me.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is that those of you who fall in and out of love regularly are brave, crazy morons. I am both envious of, and filled with disgust by you.
If I ever become one of you again, stock up on supplies. The end is nigh.