We call it a broken heart- that anguish, that searing pain, when someone leaves. If they die, eventually (one hopes) there is acceptance. They have gone to a better place; they are at peace, one day I will be reunited with them. These phrases help us cope; they are comforting. After the tears, and the sleeplessness subside you tell yourself that your life must go on, so you pick yourself up and you go do the things you have to do, and before you know it you have rearranged your life so that the space that person left behind becomes more manageable.
But the person is dead.
You accept that they are dead because on a conscious level you know that they are gone from this world. You are forced to adapt, so you do. You have no choice. It is unavoidable. Life, you are told (and you tell yourself) must go on.
Being in love is different. Being in love is your everyday life on drugs. Romantic love is like a hallucinogenic. Nature is more colorful, people seem more animated and alive, the sun, I swear the sun is electric; its rays infuse you with energy. You feel better, food tastes better, laughter comes more easily, and even problems seem solvable when you have someone to talk to who cares, who can encourage you and help you troubleshoot stuff. It is a beautiful thing being in love with someone.
I had never felt romantic love like this until I met him at 45. And man was I high. Seriously, I should not have been allowed to get behind the wheel, such was my euphoria. And not only that, I was distracted with thoughts of sex—who can concentrate? ****! Yield! Sorry officer, you see, I’m in love. And yes, I will take that warning to heart. Thank you sir. I had never loved the way I loved when we were together. Nothing came close. I am still in shock that he walked away from me. 
I never thought he would leave for good. I convinced myself that he was coming back. But I could never get inside his head. You see, he knew love; it was not an anomaly for him, it was an everyday event. I am only just beginning to understand this phenomenon. People who grow up with love take it for granted. If your parents loved each other and they loved you, your siblings, if you are attractive and outgoing and you connect with people easily you probably have many satisfying relationships under your belt. You dance seamlessly between them all, not in the least concerned that love may not be there for you when you want or need it.
That was not the case for me. A severely dysfunctional family and some serious betrayals had left me misinformed about what it means to be cherished, adored…loved.
So I was not prepared for him to walk away. Who I asked myself, who walks away from someone who loves them as much as I loved him? Who walks away from love period? I am still shaking my head.
The person who walks away walks away because they know that more love, better love is just a different person away. They are confident, self-assured, insulated from fear that it will not be there for them. They know it will be. So even though they have love, they are always on the lookout for something better. Love is a given for these people. It is just matter of degrees. So perhaps they take the path of least resistance.
I have never walked away from someone who loved me. I have been the leftee. I try so hard not to make it a commentary on me, on who I am, because if I have to accept that I am wholly leavable, then I will not be able to lift my head, straighten my neck, breathe properly. I have to just see myself as a victim of circumstance; I serve a purpose for a time, until I guess, I am no longer needed. I feel good about being there for people when they need me, not so good about being left when they no longer do.  
My heart is not broken though. Broken is not the right word. It knows what to do. It is resilient and resourceful, and expandable, and dependable. Broken implies that it needs to be fixed. It doesn’t.
It is just confused is all. 
Quintesse Quintesse
51-55, F
14 Responses Jan 13, 2013

You hit on it Dinah, as usual. I think, "try to appreciate the beauty despite the pain."
That's exactly what I'm trying to do, I guess. Thank you SO much.

I have read this several times, and have penned out several responses, all varied. None really express my heart- so just know that your are supported, cared for, and appreciated. Each day is a gift, like a rose- unfortunately with thorns. You have an elegant way to appreciate the beauty despite the pain. You are a lady at heart. My admiration, thoughts and support is always here for you. I hope your pain subsides, and that eventually, you will be able to open your heart to risk again, to allow love to find you again. You are lovable- never forget that.....Everyone is trying, no one is perfect, yet often we define others by their perfections(or when angry, some define others by their illnesses or perfidies) and ourselves by our failings......

You are right- you are not broken. You will find your way, and you have many friends who will accompany you on your journey.

Zoranna. Thank you. I know I'm not alone with these feelings, that they may even seem trivial when compared with the emotional turmoil that so many people experience in their lives, but this is life-changing for me, and it really helps to put my pain out there and then have people like yourself respond and say you understand. It really does help. Thank you again.

Sciguy, You're right--I do have friends here who support me and wish me well. It is the reason I'm here. I have to work through this stuff, and this is a good place to do it because of the aforementioned friends. Writing here and going back and forth with people makes me feel a little lighter at the end of the day. Thank you for being one of the people doing the lifting. I appreciate it more than I can express right now.

Beautifully and succinctly written. I not only could read it, I could feel it and totally understand it. Thank you for sharing this.

Ms. Q:

No pithy quotes. No words of wisdom. No corny cliches. No trite expressions. No saying exactly the right thing at the right moment.

Even though there are likely thousands of quotes about lost love, what would be the point in any of them at this time?

I could say that at least you knew real love - many of us never have. Does that ease your pain? I'd venture a guess at "No".

So...all I can say is that you have friends here who support you and wish you well.

I think people who come from loving homes, embraced by love, find it difficult, if not impossible to understand the mindset of someone who did not. And even those of us who were denied can never really be sure about how our approach to life is colored by what we have experienced because it is our "normal."
But then you mature and you see other people having relationships and it is fascinating--but also terrifying. When people talk about falling in and out of love for example, that dumbfounds me--because I had never done it. I had seriously never felt this until him. It is shocking and I guess pathetic, but it's the truth. b is right. He taught me.
So now, when I talk of love and how precious it is, it is because I talk about it with the enthusiasm of a novice. The trick for me is to not let the loss of it make me bitter. I think I have a good attitude. I think I will be okay.
Thanks Woman.

Thought provoking Q ... as ever, and also spot on. Interesting what you propose regarding those who come from stable homes etc. vs those who do not. I am lucky enough to come from the stable home category. It is a strength you take for granted ... and you've made me think deeply about the issue of being able to throw love away somewhat carelessly.

And thank you Mary for the condolences. I am processing it like a death, actually. Apparently this kind of pain brings out the philosopher in me. Maybe if I can figure out a way to learn some kind of life lesson from all of this I can find a way to grow, kind of reverse this shrinking that I have been experiencing of late.

b~ I appreciate the pondering, and the thoughtful response. I believe you’re right that people come into our lives for a reason, and he certainly did show me what love is. I got to experience it for a good long while, that heady joy, and I got to hear ‘I love you” those precious words, and I even got to the point where I believed them, and for that I am grateful to him. It was all new for me, and it was exhilarating.

And maybe it’s true that nothing remains forever, that people change—and leave.
I get it. And it’s true also that I will never be the same as a result of my interaction with him; his impact on me has been profound. I am not the same person I was when I met him. There is a lot more to this story that I will refrain from bringing up but suffice it to say that there was no altruism here on his part. I don’t think even he would dispute that.

People change. Life happens. I try to figure it all out, get on top of it, and then I write down my conclusions. That’s all this is, me trying to figure it all out. Thanks for helping me.

My pleasure - I am sure

This is so beautifully written *as usual*. I am sorry you lost this love, Quintesse.

Me too. Thank you for your kindness.

See here are a few issues.

Have you pondered on the possibility that that person was the right solution for that specific time in your life and that you grew through that phase and changed and became better, even? Could it be possible that he outgrew his utility to you and that he could sense this?

He did love you and he still does but he needs to move on as you do not need him any longer. You now know what this "good love" feels like and the standards are set.

Change is the issue that gets between people or sometimes even, binds them.

just some thoughts


Thank you for this. You're a smart man.

He would cup my face in his giant hands and look me in the eye and tell me very distinctly and forcefully, "I... Love...You. " because he knew I was having trouble believing it.

I am not broken, but, ...I am different.
I still have hope though. Thanks HurtingWithin. Thank you.

This is hard for me to process. I am really, really, really grateful that I have a place to put it all and that I have such good friends who help me. It is heartwarming. The title of this experience really does say it all--I am still trying to figure it all out. It is not easy. Thanks for the support.