Even though others may hate you for it.
Love is one of those emotions that can be universal. You can love your job, your pets, your family, your friends and your life. You can love yourself or a pair of shoes you just purchased.
However, falling in love with someone is very different. The circumstances around falling in love with another person can also look very dynamic, and in some cases, it can even hurt others or cause them to hate you.
So, be it.
The Trouble with Love
Falling head over heels, over heart, for another person is a complicated roller coaster. You become distracted. You feel “different”. Your priorities change and in some cases your entire life changes, all because of your desire to be with another human being.
Often, the emotions behind falling in love can cause you to reflect on your entire life and situation. The feelings in your heart, and your gut can urge you to jump ship from your current status and environment, in order to maintain the rush of new feelings that come with being in love.
It can become one of the most high-risk gambles of your life.
Would you take it?
If you were in a life situation, where you felt unloved or unappreciated, would you leave for a potential chance at true love? Alternatively, if you lived in a “comfort zone” of complacency, and felt like you were obligated to stick it out, even when you felt uncomfortable, would you be able to find love and those meaningful heartbeats again in your current relationship?
Being in love with someone is much different than simply, loving. At least, that is my experience.
Having someone fall in deep love with you, as you fall with them, is a set of emotions that are typically uncontrollable. However, putting yourself in the position where you are vulnerable to the fall, that, is something that can be controlled.
My Greatest Love Story
When I was a kid, my brother's friend lived with us for a while. I can’t remember how long he stayed in my parent’s home with us, but it was long enough for me to develop a crush. He was 5 years older than me, and he knew that our age difference would cause issues, but he felt “something” for me too.
He would secretly take my hand and hold it, and I would feel his thumb, slide up and down mine, telling me that our entwined hands were full of intent. It was so nice, at that age, to be adored, even if it was only in secret. He was a troubled teen from an adopted home, and I was a traumatized kid in a house full of monsters. We had a quiet understanding of each other and enjoyed being beside one another.
Then he disappeared. One day, he just up and left, and I was left pining for him and the warmth of his hand. My soul felt crushed when he left, and to this day I don’t think I ever truly recovered.
I have vivid recollections of staring hopefully, out the windows of my parent’s house, wishing I would see him walking back home. It never happened.
Fast forward, to years later, when the World Wide Web became a thing, we found each other on Facebook. He was all grown up, as was I, and we both had kids and spouses. His photos made my heart race, remembering the boy who held my hand, but I never reached out to him, other than Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas, as Social Media and convention request. He looked like a happy man in a happy life. I appeared happy in my life. We were both “Facebook Happy”.
I flew through my life, with a divorce under my belt, and a long term relationship where I felt “obligated”. I never saw the red flags in my current relationship, but my friends and family made no bones about telling me their opinions of it. I was living with a bully who controlled much of my life. I never thought to leave because of the hard work I had put into staying. There were empty promises of marriage and dangling carrots of vacation trips. Plus, I had a pretty easy life with the guy, other than putting up with continual emotional control. In face value, I looked happy. I was also medicated on Anxiety and Antidepressant medications.
One afternoon, I was sitting at home, watching my partner watch his TV shows when my phone buzzed beside me. It was my brother’s old friend (I’ll call him “M”) sending me a “wave” and a message. That was the start of something I never expected.
We chatted daily and he told me about his life, while I shared mine. We never got emotional right away, but over time, we began to bounce our struggles off of each other. As it turned out, we still had that unspoken understanding of each other, that we shared as youths.
Everything Happens for a Reason
While M and I were chatting, things at my home took a bad turn. My partner was becoming more and more controlling, and had begun stalking me on our home surveillance cameras and even on my phone.
I had never given the man reason to creep me or to feel concern that I would ever cross a line in our relationship. He, on the other hand, had been unfaithful multiple times, but I had forgiven him.
One day, I realized that my “pretty lifestyle” simply wasn’t worth the emotional battle I had within myself, so I packed and left. I spent some time with a dear friend, and she talked me off the ledge that I perched on, not knowing where to fall.
And M was there to catch me when I did.
At the same time as I was going through my struggles with my partner, M had been re-evaluating his life and made some changes himself. He left the house he shared with his wife and changed jobs and provinces. He decided to move back home, to my city, and I was over the moon.
I struggled more with his decision than I did my own. I worried that he would have regrets, even though I had none. I felt responsible for his huge life alterations, even though we were nothing more than friends and confidants for one another. Yes, we were attracted to each other physically, but our emotional connection and deep friendship were the foundation for the new world we were embarking upon. The understanding we shared for each other, and the way we could communicate without judgement got us both through our transitions.
And then. we fell madly in love.
I Know We Are Judged
Since M and I have gotten together, there are people who see us together on Facebook photos and in public, and I know they judge us. Specifically, they judge ME.
M has left in-laws and friends behind him, and although he knows they aren’t happy with his choice, he doesn’t seem to allow it to bother him. He has also left his kids and grandkids behind, a few provinces away, and I know he misses them, yet he is finally free to be himself. He is actually HAPPY and not just Facebook Happy.
I feel the same about him. I want the entire world to know that I am in love, happy, and comfortable in my own skin, for the first time in decades. There have been people commenting on my “jumping from one relationship to another”, and I could care less. They don’t know the whole story, and they only know about my past relationship, based on what I was willing to tell and share. The same was for M.
I am ALLOWED to Be in Love
Regardless of what naysayers and haters say, I am 100% allowed to feel the love I do for M. It may look as though I leaped from one man to the next, and perhaps that is because I actually did. I knew I loved M from early on in our online chats, but it was a confusing mix of an old friend/brotherly/new friend/confidant kind of love. His messages had such meaning and depth, and our relationship was one I could not explain, even when we hadn’t seen each other, in person, in almost 40 years.
I have a clear conscience, as I was never unfaithful in my relationship. I hadn’t felt love in my life in a very long time, and I knew from the start that my 9-year relationship was never going to last. I tried to force it, but it was never my home or my comfort zone.
Finding M was like finding a diamond in a field of glass. He was the rare gem that showed me what a true, meaningful friendship could be. He taught me how a man should treat a woman. He taught me respect and dignity, and kindness.
He came into my life when I needed him most, and I did the same for him. We were both at crossroads in our current worlds, and we helped each other to the path of happiness, joy, and pure, unconditional love. We were blessed to have had each other to get through the stress of breaking up. Our young crush had morphed into a mature comradery.
I am sure that there was no intention of us to find this love with each other, the day he messaged me. He was lonely, and felt the urge to reach out to an old friend, and I reached back. It was honestly, just “Our Time”. And, that is okay. We are allowed to have feelings for one another. If our individual situations in our current relationships were of any quality, we never would have looked to each other for help. We shared a deep bond as kids, and I honestly believe that he carried a piece of my heart with him, his whole life, as I did, of his. That kind of pure, adorable, young love, stays with you forever, and we speak of it often, to this day.
We understand each other’s emotional traumas, and the lives we lived independently, were replete with hard lessons and tough experiences. Our communication is raw, deep and full of concern and empathy for one another. We are truly best friends.
I know we have left a wake of bitterness and inquiring minds behind us, as we move toward a life together, and that is a challenge. There will always be people who will see our relationship as something that it’s not. There will also be people who are in our corner and want nothing but the best for us.
Regardless of the conceptions or misconceptions that others may have about the love we share, it doesn’t matter.
We are ALLOWED to be in love. We owe it to ourselves to finally be happy and live in a world where we can be ourselves. It pains me to know that in order for us to have love, others will be hurt and they may even hate me for loving the man of my dreams, and I will deal with that.
Over time, everything will work itself out. Our past partners will find new loves, and M and I will simply just “be”. The excitement and drama of the business of our relationship will fade into the Social Media gossip archives, and we can begin our new life together, happily in love.