I was watching a show on TV a few days ago called Vampire Diaries (I know, I know!), and there was a part where Matt says to Elena “When you fall in love with somebody, I don’t think that ever really goes away.” That statement got me thinking. I also remembered a scene from Sex and the City (Yes, I watch too much TV), in which Carrie is trying to deal with the fact that her ex, Big has moved on with his life and has a new girlfriend. Carrie asks “Where does the love you had go?” One of her friends was quick to chip in and suggest that the love is transferred to the next partner, but Carrie argued that the love you experience for one person, is completely separate to love you feel for another.
After much pondering, I came to the conclusion that Matt from the Vampire Diaries was right. I think that deeply falling in love with someone, to the point you almost become one, and you know them better than they know themselves, changes you irrevocably. Whether that relationship goes on to end in disaster or on good terms, the love you once had can’t completely disappear. It has become part of you. Sure, you can move on with your life and fall in love again, but I think the love you had for previous partners still remains. It may morph into a different emotion, but it’s still there. A fossil along life’s path.
There are certainly different kinds of love. I broke up with one guy years ago, there was no screaming match or huge fight, we had just grown apart. The love was still there, which is probably why we had stayed together longer than we should have. The spark had gone though, that electricity that keeps a relationship alive was gone. Over a decade later he is still one of my best friends. We can talk to each other about anything and everything and I love him dearly, but that love has evolved into a friendship love.
My next love experience was not the mind, body and soul kind of love. It was more of an infatuation on my part and I was truly in love with the idea of us being together. This is the kind of love that can really mess you up, because it’s not real love. In romantic stories, this kind of feeling is referred to as being ‘besotted’, but in truth it’s an obsession. An obsession doesn’t sound so healthy, and it’s not. It changes you and usually for the worse.
And then of course, there is the very worst kind of love, an unrequited one. Some cynics may say this doesn’t count as love because it’s so one-sided, but I beg to differ. Unrequited love is dangerous, the kind that can break you. An unrequited love transforms you into a sad, desperate mess of a person, waiting around for any scraps of affection that are thrown your way, constantly hoping love will blossom for them too. It makes you question yourself and examine what is wrong with you. A lowering of self-worth is inevitable outcome.
The truth of the matter is quite clear to an outsider. You just don’t do it for them, simple as that. It’s not your fault and there is nothing you can do to remove this roadblock, but all the time you are in love you can’t see the wood for the trees. And you certainly can’t be told! I always refer to it as being ‘in the zone’. Eventually, when somebody comes along and loves you for you, it is easy to see that your previous love was unhealthy and destined to go nowhere. So you move on with life.
All in all, the conclusion to my pondering has revealed two important truths. Firstly, love is powerful and whichever form of love you find yourself falling into, it will change your life forever and never fully leave you. If it does leave, consider that it wasn’t really love in the first place. Secondly, I should probably watch fewer box-sets.