Photo: Salvador Dali’s “Sleep”
By: Melanie Bates
“Gamble everything for love, if you’re a true human being. If not, leave this gathering. Half-heartedness doesn’t reach into majesty. You set out to find God, but then you keep stopping for long periods at mean-spirited roadhouses.” Rumi
You can try to avoid love all you want. You can decide you’re not ready to date after an OkCupid meet-up gone horribly meh. You can hole yourself up in your house, working like a fiend, watching reruns of Frasier, reading Fifty Shades of Grey and Rumi, eating buttered noodles and asparagus, and love will come knocking on your mother-f%@king door anyway. Literally.
Once you’ve opened the door you have to just let it in. Grab that dusty toolbox from the garage and keep those pliers handy because you’ve got to keep your heart open. I don’t care how often and deeply your heart has been broken in the past. I don’t care if you’ve been married twelve times to raging, abusive heroin addicts. Those exes are not this new guy. No projection. No clamming up. No shutting down. Take those pliers and pry your heart open. Clamp it with a cold metal speculum. Use duct tape if you have to. Keep your heart open when he doesn’t text. Keep it open when you’re getting mixed signals. Keep it open when he’s reminding you of your past dudes. Keep it open when it feels safer to lock ‘er back up.
All relationships will hurt. Even if you’re dating Mister Rogers of the neatly folded sweaters and soothing caramel-coated voice. You still might trip over his well-placed black dress shoes. He still might tell you he’s feeling conflicted and unsure about the depths of his love for his ex; the utter opposite of you on the human scale. He might decide that your lack of sheep’s clothing, abundance of tattoos, and devil may care attitude aren’t for him. The fact that you jump in rain puddles might freak him out. Your adventurous spirit in bed might send him running to a shower of holy water and bended knees at the altar.
Connections may not mean to him what they mean to you. You may see the magic and wonder in your meeting. You may be floored by the way you’re already finishing each other’s sentences and have the exact same favorite food and how you orgasm at the exact same nanosecond. You may feel the tingly bits of electricity when you touch, you may marvel at this soul that feels like a comfortable, worn-in pair of Converse that you’ve walked in for a thousand years. Honoring that connection and being fully present in the gifts of connection may be totally lost on the other person. Or, they make recognize it and give a voice to it but, let me tell you, it takes a certain size of balls and ovaries to give yourself over to that connection – to ride it out. Taking the comfortable road of known paths, free of briars and brambles, with a topological map may feel more safe for him. The fact that you’re wearing your purple galoshes and a blue peacoat, standing on the edge of a precipice so you can jump when you hear the call of the wind doesn’t mean he’s willing to do the same.
All relationships will end in hurt. Forget the connection, forget the love, forget the feelings. Let’s even say you reside in the relationship for fifty-plus years. Eventually one of you will die. It could happen tomorrow. There are no guarantees. There’s no “100% organic, certified safe” stamp on a relationship. Whether it lasts ten days or ten years or ten decades it’s going to end in hurt. If you’re trying to protect your gonads with a dixie cup you’re gonna fail. If you’re trying to play it safe in case it doesn’t end well, it’s still going to hurt. As Mirabelle Buttersfield says in “Shopgirl” it’s a simple choice, “Hurt now or hurt later.”
Once the connection is severed and the relationship has inevitably ended in hurt and pain there are a few things that are vastly helpful in getting over it.
Whatever you do, keep those tools handy, you never know when love’ll come a-knockin’ again.
With a crowbar,
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may
not reflect those of
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