Most of us, not all of us, because some of us have to learn things the hard way and do everything backwards and find out through the mistakes we make, have the wrong impression of what equality means in a relationship.
What I mean by equality - is hanging onto the idea or belief that you will receive an equal portion of whatever (love, devotion, honesty, trust) you put into it. That’s never been the case in my experience, yet is it the main foundation to a lot of my disappointment, because it’s what I expected, it’s what I was taught, it’s what I believed.
Case in point: We are told that we will reap what we sow, to do unto others as you would have them do to you, that whatsoever a man sews that also will he reap, that if we want love, we must first give love, so on and etc. Those concepts are right, but my understanding of them were wrong, and that has broken my heart so many times.
Hopefully I can explain it in terms you’ll understand. I’m an honest person to a fault. I believe honesty is the true key and foundation to any relationship (lover, friend, etc), that a relationship built and held by lies and deception will fall apart. In my life, I’ve never been able to heal deep hurts through lies and deceptions, especially in the things that I’ve deceivably thought . Only when I face the truth of something, even the truth that rips my heart into shreds and leaves me unable to breathe, I can only heal from that wound in and with truth. I lie to myself all the time because the lies are prettier, happier, sexier, and easier to believe. But my belief in them, never changes the truth of the situation, only my reaction and perception. Often I believe the lies to keep from getting hurt – which NEVER works and I get hurt anyway, not only from the starkness of the truth, but from the death of the beautiful lie I created. I sometimes miss my lies – because I have a great imagination and made many of them so beautiful.
So, with that said, I don’t lie to whom I’m in a relationship, not intentionally anyway. I’m open and refuse to have a filter on expressing what I feel, what I think, what I want, what I don’t want – even if I’m wrong or make a mistake. I don’t play head games, yet I’m constantly lied to and played for a fool. So, see… there’s great inequality in relationships. I sew honesty, faithfulness, trust, and the deepest of passion and love – but I’m not guaranteed those things in return. As a matter of fact – I’ve become an expert at loving deeply but never being loved deeply in return, of being lied to, of being cheated on, and being untrusted. I’m never ‘the one’. Don’t get me wrong, I’m loved, but there’s something about me that keeps others from falling in love with me. Even my husband of 20 years loved me dearly, respected me enormously, but was never in love with me. I don’t know what it is, I can’t see it, but something is definitely there. It’s my curse.
The funny (sarcasm inserted) part is that when I first start talking to men, almost all of them quickly fall in love with idea of me, my mind, my personality, my ideas, my humor, even my face. I’ve been told on many, many occasions that I’m quite possibly the perfect woman. But, after they meet me I somehow don’t live up to their fantasy and crash hard from their pedestals. I’m not sure where it goes wrong because I’m exactly the same in person as I am over the phone, Skype, text, or email. Most of them are still in my life today and consider me their best friend, their closest confidant, their buddy. Sometimes they even briefly forget they’re not in love with me, until we meet again face to face and they’re reminded I’m not the one. I’ve asked them why or what is it about that changes their minds, but have yet to be given an answer other than “I honestly don’t know.” I have watched them all go on to love other women, who seem to have kept their balance upon their pedestals and make my friends happy. Most of these men still keep in touch and tell me often to keep myself open because my match will one day come, but I don’t believe that anymore.
I get messages, what we used to call love letters, periodically from some of my male friends who tell me they love me deeply and would like to spend the rest of their lives fulfilling all my hopes, fantasies, and dreams. I know it’s not real. Sometimes these messages make me cry. It’s like dangling food in front of a starving child just waiting for them to reach out and grab it, to only slap their hand away and give it to someone else. It’s not equal. It never has been. It never will be. I’ve also been on the other end and did not possess the love others wanted from me, to find it just wasn’t there. I won’t pretend to love someone if I don’t.
Those statements I mentioned toward the beginning of this article are not lies. They’re absolutely true. My previous understanding of what they really meant is where the problem abounds. If I want love, I must first love, because in order to give love I have to first have love. To have love, in order to love someone else, I have to first possess love for and from me. When I love someone else, the love I receive in return isn’t contingent on how much I love them, but on how much love they have in them to share with me. To what measure I receive love from them depends on how much love they possess and how much they’re willing to give. It’s got nothing to do with me. The love I receive - from the love I give - is the love that comes from me. The love I receive from them is only the love they choose to give. The trust I receive - from the trust I give – is the trust I have in myself. The trust, or lack thereof, I receive from them comes from the trust they have in themselves. The respect, the honesty, the admiration, the passion I receive – from all those things I give – is the things that come from me. These things coming from them are contingent on how much they possess for/from themselves.
Bottom line: If these men don’t love me, want me, or desire me - it’s got nothing to do with the measure of love, want, and desire I have/had for them, but on how much they already have it in them and how much they want to share it with me. There is no equality in relationships that guarantees I’ll ever be loved, wanted, and desired. I deserve to meet an unselfish man who is willing to give all those things to me. I don’t believe he exists, but it’s what I want and believe I deserve. If they lie to me, cheat on me, reject me, disrespect me, or use me, that too has nothing to do with me – and everything to do with who they are and their personal integrity. Because I’m honest, doesn’t guarantee they are. Because I’m faithful, doesn’t guarantee they will be. Because I’m devoted, doesn’t guarantee they will love me. So, whatsoever a man sews (MY love), THAT (MY love) also shall he reap (I give/get my own love). If I want to be loved deeply, then I must possess deep love – but the love that I will receive will be the love to which I used to love deeply – it’s my own love returning back to me. While I want love from someone else, it’s not within my power to obtain it. I can’t make someone else love me, nor will I ever try. It has to be freely given by their own choosing.
I choose me. Now I just have to figure out how to breathe from being unchosen.
Till next time,
~Breathless in LaLa Land