We can hide behind poetic musings…soften whatever brutal edges with a little beauty and sweetness. But there’s no hiding in a post like this one. There isn’t any poetry to be had either. Here, in a space of simple truths, we piece ourselves back together, and we bleed as we pick up bits of heart and soul like shards of precious glass, to be glued with a bitter, difficult wisdom.
There is no subject more delicate or important than love. And truths in love are either magnificent or brutal. In this case, it’s a brutal one. And yet so necessary. If only more women could acknowledge it and act accordingly, so much pain would be spared in the long run – many hearts would end up shaken instead of shattered, and so many scars would never be deep enough so as to probably last forever.
So yes, the truth.
When a man loves a woman, he will not hesitate. You will be his priority, not an option. Being with you will be a privilege, not an obligation that freaks him out. He will do exactly what he offers with his words. He will take into account every obstacle with meticulous, infuriating pragmatism. And then he will set to remove it. Not “some day when” but starting now. The more challenging the circumstances, the more solutions he will come up with. Never excuses. He will only promise what he can deliver, even if he takes the risk of appearing a lot less impressive and romantic than he would like. He will never be too busy or too tired, even if the time and energy he has to give are very modest.
On the worst of days, after an argument, he will always help create a space of connection and understanding. He will do his best to show his feelings, weaknesses and needs, in his own way, even when he is most vulnerable or threatened. He will compromise, and do so thoughtfully. He will negotiate even if he’s afraid and feels uncertain. Nothing will stop him, even if he proceeds slowly and carefully.
Anything less than this isn’t love. No matter what words, gestures or gifts are offered. There might be interest of course, a temporary fondness and amusement, as it happens with anything someone comes across and decides to play with for a while because it’s new and serves a pleasurable purpose.
I learned it the hardest way imaginable…that the man who loves you is not the one who delivers an elaborately composed seduction, maintained by occasional grandiose declarations and gestures to sweep you off your feet. He’s also not the one who lingers in that never-ending lyrical existential crisis people use to mask their selfishness.
A common excuse is fear of commitment. Notwithstanding the fears we all experience to some degree, men are not afraid of commitment to a woman they genuinely love, or, for those with other priorities, to a woman who comes with assets that offer convenient, effortless advantages.
Make no mistake…those occasional, flamboyant verbal and material offerings are not about making you happy or meeting your needs. All they do is validate him, and temporarily silence his deep insecurities or soothe his guilt over using you, while essentially also bribing you to play along. Once you are no longer all that impressed, and naturally ask for more than words or trinkets, you are no longer useful and he will leave.
Many women feel betrayed, claim to have been completely deceived, and insist that throughout relationships – or after their tragic end – too many questions were and remain unanswered. I know how much it hurts because I’ve been there. Sadly, so were all the answers. People may not tell us the truth, but they do show us their true intentions and who they are even when they make every effort to paint a different picture.
The only reason we don’t call the bluff when we first see it is because of how much it hurts to admit both rejection and error. We likely also have deep and genuine feelings for whoever it is that’s obviously not in for anything beyond a fling. So to avoid the immediate, sharp pain of rejection and social humiliation, we trade truth for a seductive yet deadly illusion that buys us time. And we also convince ourselves that given this time we just bought, if we aim to please even more, we’ll make the man for whom we are a friend they enjoy chatting with at best, and a disposable commodity at worst, love us the way we deserve to loved.
It doesn’t work that way. People either love you or don’t. If they love you, they love you for who you are, and all that comes along with you. They will do anything and everything to show you that, and work on building a future together irrespective of your looks, age, salary, current employment status, number of kids, pets, debts, distance, and whatever other considerations.
And also, even if they can be ‘convinced’, people don’t value what they step on.
As for what comes after a tragic end, except in rare cases, we have all the answers we need if we take an honest look at what someone consistently showed us rather than what they said. The why is because they didn’t love us. And does the “why not” matter? They just didn’t. If they had, they would have acted differently. If they made a mistake, they would have apologized and fixed things. It’s that simple.
I know how it hurts. When someone doesn’t love us and is only interested in using us, we feel worthless and unlovable. Which is the more reason why accepting the truth about people’s behavior doesn’t have to be a wisdom every woman pays a horrible price for. We may not be able to completely avoid being hurt, but at least we can minimize the pain and wasted time. So if you’re invested in someone and things are just off, take a good and honest look at what’s being shown to you on a consistent basis, because that is the truth.