Finally, this stubborn zombie of a relationship stopped wriggling!
Here's a story about why happiness should be your responsibility, and that it's NOT something you can siphon out of a relationship you have with another person.
My ex-partner once said to me that relationships are like glass. She said that if it breaks, it won't matter how hard you're going to try to fix it. All you'll end up with are bloody hands and an ugly, super-glued vase. The smart thing to do is to sweep the floor and buy a new vase.
I was stubborn and I didn't want things to end even though we kept "breaking up" every few days for over a year. I was under the control of obsolete, childhood beliefs that love can last forever if you really, really try.
So finally I caved! I agree with her. And I think people can improve their lives and increase happiness levels if they adopt this philosophy:
If you're in a broken relationship, end it. Do NOT waste your time trying to work things out. Do not look for ways to go back to how things used to be. It's over. You need to mourn the loss. You need to accept it. The love is gone! And it will NEVER come back no matter what you do.
End your relationship, cold turkey. It's for the best. Then when you are ready to love again, start a brand new relationship! The kicker is this: the relationship has to be new, but nobody said it has to be with a new person...
We became a dysfunctional couple. The atrocities we've mercilessly committed against one another were sadistic. Hitler would have been fucking proud.
I was a generally happy kid. I liked to be nice to people. I would feel such an overwhelming sense of joy when I would do something to flip upside down the frowns on others' faces. And I did it for free! Their smile was all the pay I'd ever need. Really, no strings attached. Just like that!
When I was about 14, my 36-year-old (36 back then) friend lent me a book called "Social Psychology: The Heart and the Mind." His recommendation was that social psychology places emphasis on the scientific method rather than a bunch of speculative Dr Phill-esque vague horseshit.
My mind was very new at the time. To me, learning what I learned from that point on absolutely changed my way of thinking about the world of people I lived in. I came to intuitively understand what buttons people have, and which ones to push for what desired results.
I could then see manipulation from miles away. It's like a veil has been lifted from my childish eyes and I could finally see from behind the scenes.
I was excited! People can be controlled. With this new knowledge, I can more quickly, more effectively, and with more precision be able to help people. The thing I most commonly did was speak to depressive peers and walk them through into relief without having to resort to self-destruction. Every time I changed someone's life for the better, I felt another wave of self-worth and high self-esteem come over me. I wanted to be a good person, and I got it. I was successfully improving lives of those I'd randomly bump into.
Of course, I was still patiently waiting for my own batch of happiness. I was convinced that the thing which will give biggest bang-for-buck in terms of happiness was to find love. "The one."
I wasn't an ugly kid, so I got attention here and there. When sparks would fly, I would be happy and enjoy the fireworks. It stung like a bitch when things ended, but I kept my chin up. I took solace in the fact that there is someone out there specifically for me.
Soon enough, I started to show interest in whether or not attracting the sex of my interest, women, can be done. There was a time when I thought that "love just happens, it's magical, and science can never explain such beauty." lol... c'mon, stop laughing, I was just a kid. But anyway, turns out, yeah, women are people and they have buttons.
I started to realize that in order to get love from women, I'd have to use... sex, basically. Otherwise it's "just friends" unless you're running into your meant-to-be candidate. I was a little bit reserved with this, because I thought that love should be completely, 100% voluntary, it should be allowed to happen as it happens, and that real love cannot be solicited anyway. The powers that be send love your way when it's most appropriate.
I got over that. My rational thinking went like this: Love and sex are two, completely different things. When they overlap, you have the ingredients for a soul mate. So if I'm interested in loving a person, and by observing, come to believe that the person is interested in loving me back, it is ethically 100% OK to push her sex buttons to go along with the growing love.
Anyway, here's what happened:
Armed with a degree of skill in manipulating people, it is my duty to use those claws only to protect those I love. We fell in love, things were going great. Yada-yada-yada. Shit happened. I was hurt so badly. Thing is, I am a human being, and just like the others, when I am hurting, I lash out. Most people aren't great manipulators. They have tiny claws, and very little damage is done when they're in pain and are moved to growl around in painful exasperation.
But in this last relationship, I turned into a monster. And it did not feel good. The horror I experienced, when waking up to see the mauled body of a loved one in the living room, the morning after the month's full moon was pure and brutal agony. I discovered the terrifying truth, that I was a werewolf jacked up on PCP and there was nothing I could do to change that.
I used to take pride in never laying a finger on her, but who gives a shit! What I did was so, so much worse.
I believe a relationship cannot survive under its own weight. I believe that all its participants must give their share of support, averaging out to being about equal parts between everyone involved. For many relationships, this means that one person carries about half the weight, and the other person carries about half the weight. If one has a moment of weakness, the other kicks in and carries more than half.
I believe a strong person is capable of holding more weight. But there are no superheroes when it comes to love. Even the strongest cannot sustain 100% of the weight of a relationship for 100% of its duration. Everybody needs to pitch in.
One difference between a teenage romance and an adult relationship is that upon the adult(s) falls the responsibility to contribute their share to the relationship.
Unhappy people are very, very weak. They can heal before their time in this world ends, it's always possible. And then they can be happy. The problem is that most people actively looking for a love are operating under the misinformation that another's love for you will give you happiness.
If you take two unhappy people and throw 'em into a hormonal relationship, they will end up tearing each other apart. The poison will sink in. This is where TOXIC relationships come from.
If you take one very happy, self-sufficient person and pair her into a relationship with a beautiful, but unhappy person, the timer goes off. Fingers are crossed, and the happy one hopes the sad one grows stronger soon enough. Even all the friends and family members wonder "They were so perfect for one another. I don't understand how this could have happened. It's so sad." The reason these epic love stories are so rare is because most happy people refuse to enter into a relationship with an unhappy person. It's just not worth the risk...
If you take two very happy, very self-sufficient people, and pair them up, the results can be absolutely gorgeous. The happiness of one compounds upon the happiness of the other(s) involved.
So anyway, I broke it off with her. I apologized to her. It was the kind of apology I never before gave. For the first time, I was willing to live with that she just might not forgive me.
I love her madly. I am convinced that it IS possible to last a lifetime and to get through absolutely anything in life. I am convinced that this is impossible without proactive effort of everyone concerned.
I am convinced that love is not a feeling. It is not a high. Love is a lot more boring than chick flicks would like us to believe. What they're showing is not love, actually, it's attraction that overlaps a strong friendship.
Love is a decision. Love is having the discipline to do your share for the relationship, even on those comfortable days when you are lazy and "don't feel like it." Love is what happens when the happiness of someone else becomes as important to you as is your own happiness.
Hollywood love is nothing more than a line of cocaine. Drugs can be fun to experience. So many junkies are shooting up with complete strangers.
Me? I think it's safer to do drugs with your best friends. And it's more fun because you can take pleasure in seeing them be happy, whether or not you are the dealer.
I have ended our relationship. I am ready for a new one. If I'm lucky, this time I'll get high with my trusted best friend.
Welcome, that's quite a story!
I love this:
Interesting and disturbing post. I see you have only posted once so far unethical. I'm wondering how much of this post is metaphorical, if any.
Love is indeed a decision. I agree in part. Its a decision to commit through everything, but can also be a faint tickle and smile on my heart without the other knowing. There are many ideas on what love is really.
Yeah. Agreed. Love is more boring than chick flicks and takes work. It doesn't give you the high of NRE or control, but it's way more enduring. Good luck.
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