April 28, 2020

I am Done Sucking at Love.

Okay. Here it comes. I suck at love.

I don’t know how to do love.

I am really unsure how this married couple on my Facebook timeline is happily baking lemon loaf cakes together after a year of marriage. Or how people balance their work with self-care and their relationships with their partners. Or even how love works.

One thing I know: regardless of how toxic I might think some of my past relationships were, I’ve been doing it wrong all along. I admit that I was wrong.

Here’s a little demonstration of my sh*tty skills at love:

Somebody I like texts me. I am left with one of two choices: ignore him and feel free, or respond and eventually feel doubtful that he even likes me.

What the f*ck? Why can’t I just let it be?

I think it is time to break the cycle. I know this is coming from a place of insecurity. And it is about time I listen to what this insecurity is trying to tell me.

To give this a little bit of context: I’ve been single for quite some time. I’ve consciously decided to focus on myself for at least a year. Taking a break from dating has been one of the best decisions I’ve made. A break from relationships.

I wouldn’t call this a break from love because love transcends what we feel for a lover. Love in its highest form, “agape,” is love for all that is, as the Greeks so beautifully described it.

But here I am now, and I refuse to run away from that feeling of insecurity. I refuse to fill an uneasy situation with assumptions—about my lack, about men’s inability to give a f*ck, about what is really going on.

I have to say that I value space a lot. I wouldn’t respond to a text or a call for a full day. Not because I am being an a-hole, but because I really value the time I spend with myself. I can be thinking about you all day—of the stars I want to watch with you on that empty beach (so empty that we could hear nothing but our own voices) and of all the music that moved me that I want to share with you and watch the look on your face to see if it moved you too—but still not respond to that text before I get back from work, change into my pajamas, make dinner, do my 20-minute gentle yoga practice, and drink my cup of bitter hot cocoa.

I might even sit in silence for half an hour after before I am able to pick up my phone and respond.

I don’t feel you should be mad or insecure if I see a 10 p.m. text from you but decide not to respond until the next morning because I really value my sleep. And I have an early meeting. Or no excuses given: I just really want to get at least eight hours of sleep. I will probably be thinking about you before my eyes close and when I first wake, smiling at the thought of that text—but would still respond at 10 a.m. in the morning (and I don’t wake up later than 7 a.m., really).

Is that selfish? Well, judging by my extremely unrealistic standards, it is.

If I can accept this of myself, then why can’t I accept it of you? Why do I have to assume that you are purposefully uninterested in talking to me and not that you are taking care of yourself, or writing, or reading, or doing nothing—and that it’s actually okay?

I am done with judging your space. I am done demanding your time that I do not own. I am done projecting my insecurities on you. I am done having unrealistic expectations of people when I really wouldn’t tolerate that they have the same expectations of me.

I am done tying every action that a man does to my childhood insecurities.

I am done.

I am done.

I am done.

As I write this out, I shake it off and let it go.

I let it go.

I let it go.

I let it go.

I hope I will forever remind myself that no person can ever take away the space and the love that I cultivated within me, for me.

I hope I will always know that I do not need the love of a man to save me. Or to make my life better.

I hope I will always remember that life is perfect as is, in the here and now, in that very space where I sit and write this piece. On that green and yellow bean bag in my balcony with my white cup of lavender tea and Nina Simone playing in the background.

And I hope I will always believe that love doesn’t expect. And that love that expects is not love.

Note to my future love: please bear with me as I learn to suck less at loving you.


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