One cannot control the depth or intensity of a wound that another soul inflicts on yours, and there is no choice involved when it comes to heartbreak and the feelings that we feel as a result. Whether we are the perpetrator of the events that led up to the heartbreak, or we are the afflicted whose life has been wrenched out from underneath them, how we feel as a result, and the spectrum of these emotions is far beyond our control.

Love is a funny thing. Some feel it at first sight, some claim to have never felt it, or only experienced it once. It can disappear without warning, or appear in the most inconvenient of places. It can soothe, heal, empower, break, and destroy us, and yet above all, we crave it. It isn’t something that is dependent on time, or how much you know someone, or even if you find them physically attractive. It is an uncontrollable, unquantifiable force that bulldozes into our lives and then fucks off without so much as a word of warning. It doesn’t matter who the object of your love is, or whether you have known them for a day or a decade. How much we feel, and how much we grieve when it has gone is as unique to each of us, as we are.

I am currently embroiled in a protracted break up/lets make this work/argue/fuck/whatthefuckarewedoingtoeachother drama of cataclysmic proportions. From what I can see, I believe he has fallen out of love with me and hasn’t admitted it to himself yet. He stopped caring, stopped being concerned, stop thinking I was this wonderful, beautiful, clever woman, and became complacent and cold. After weeks of bickering, followed by the most miserable Christmas and birthday on record (no card, no flowers, no fuck, no “I love you”, no effort – instead I took him a double espresso and gave him a blowjob), I felt that I had nothing left to give – as if an emotional vampire had sucked every last bit of love, feeling, and happiness out of me, leaving me with nothing but bitterness and anger simmering away in my very bones.

We have talked at length, some times more successfully than others, but I still cannot wrap my head around what is going on – whether I should give it a chance and be patient because I love him, or whether I should cut my losses and move on because I am just going to end up getting hurt. I keep telling myself that loving someone is not a reason to stay with them, and whilst I have said I can be patient with his issues, he is offering me nothing in return. Instead, I am trapped in this emotional no-man’s land, in a foreign country, surrounded by strangers, wondering why I gave up the simple but comfortable life that I had before. I cannot describe the pain that I feel when I think of what I sacrificed for this relationship, and then compare it to what I have received in return. The closest I have had to any support from him, is him telling me if I don’t stop crying, I need to go away because the sight of my tears makes him want to be far from me. It is almost as if he thinks I have control over these feelings.

I keep telling myself that just because I love him, doesn’t mean that I should be with him. I should be with someone that is proud to be with me, wants to take a cute picture, wants to fuck me, wants to know how my day was, wants to hold me if I am sad, wants to do activities with me, wants to give their heart to me, wants to be romantic, wants to do something small to make me smile, wants to be sweet, wants to sleep next to me, wants to tell me he loves me, wants to see me, and would do anything to fix a problem between us, instead of…well, not. After all, these are the things that I put into a relationship as a standard, is it too much to ask for the same in return?

The answer: It is not too much to ask and in fact it should be the baseline that all of us look for in any romantic interaction. My realization of this has made me understand that yes, I feel like shit, yes, I am sad, and yes, I am heartbroken, but I deserve so much more. My conclusion is that it is better to be alone than to be with someone that makes you feel alone. For that reason, I am going to learn to love myself again.