I’ve Never Loved Lightly

Though relationships have always been difficult for me.

Both of my best friends will tell you that I love obscenely, not in a fuckboy way — more like I’ll come to your house and cook you dinner while you’re coughing vomit over the porcelain throne having drunk too much, weeping over an ex-boyfriend.

Seriously.

I love taking care of people. There’s the old adage to love yourself before loving others, although I’ve learned over the years of virulent depression mixed with extraordinary social naivete that I can love myself vicariously through others. While connectomics isn’t at a stage where I can implant my brain into my best friend’s and call it a day, the things I find myself doing like frequently checking up on friends and talking more about our problems rather than small talk are what I believe make a relationship grow. Being constantly surrounded by people that are bickering about politics or about which girl has a nicer ass or which way is easier when it comes to solving integrals, I find light and comfort in discussing the things that matter most: Ourselves. And in turn, it inevitably brings me closer to that person which I, at this point, already have come to love.

There’s a dark side though. One where, until only recently, I was completely unaware of and lead to many past deteriorated relationships. Being such a heavy lover, and one with a multitude of hours of free time (this is important to consider), I’ve developed unconscious expectations of how others love; and worse, how I expect them to love me. I often love busy people, and being someone that isn’t busy; my head runs rampant with overthinking and assumptions, my fabricated expectations eroding a relationship that’s just fine. My perception of love has evolved over the years of my life, however I never realised that it would be an issue in my personal life. In fact, I believed that I was immune to such a disastrous conception that I would subliminally be the oppressor in love.

Recently, a friend with whom shared a mutual love for me (or so I thought), left. She said that things wouldn’t work out after divulging the fact that she felt cornered and pressured by my expectations of her. I was bewildered. Hell, I still am. In my flurry of attempted articulation to try and change her mind, that this was going to work out, I felt like I was spewing out nonsense. Slowly the feeling that all of my explanations and words were no longer tenable. I had stopped trying to come up with a resolution and simply apologised. My aplomb had dissolved amidst the frenzy of thoughts polluting my mind and stiffening my thumb to type.

Yes, I text with just one thumb. Large hands.

Today, I texted her for my own closure. She had already moved on and frankly stopped caring before her breakthrough to me. I’m thankful for her, giving me the knowledge of this needle in the way I love. Now I am able to ask my best friends if they’ve felt the same and some steps I can take to fix it.

I don’t know if I will love the same, as this is the third time I have viscerally loved someone so and watch them go. I love my friends. I do. I can’t bear to watch them go, much less for reasons I cannot even begin to explain. But it’s thanks to them I can go on living — and more than that, continue to love them.

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