I have always been a hopeless romantic, falling quickly and feeling deeply, often times it would be unrequited love. I would become enamored with women who were incapable of or had no genuine desire to return those emotions. They were usually initially emotionally intrigued but at a certain point, they would disconnect. I used to think it was them, that there was something flawed with them, however, I realize now that it was a mutual misunderstanding if not solely my misconception.
My concept of love and how to show it never came from a healthy place. It came from a place of narcissistic fanaticism as well as mysticism that lead me to believe I was the best suited because I was able to focus so much attention on them and the false assumption that we were soul mates, twin flames or other similar concepts. The issue with this is that those kinds of behaviors although endearing when reciprocated can lend themselves to extreme toxicity, rejection and for me impulsive reactivity that would manifest itself as verbal or emotional abuse when expressed by only one person.
I tend to deify or lionize the women that I have romantic feelings for, which usually ends in them emotionally disconnecting and me getting hurt, upset, etc. I attribute this behavior to seeing few to no real examples of what I conceive as a healthy relationship in my life. My parents divorced at an early age and my dad’s initial response was pining that lasted briefly before he remarried. When he remarried he became absorbed in my step-mother and really lost emotional, as well as physical connection to my brother and myself. My mother essentially went the opposite route where she focused whatever attention was not on her work or schooling at the time on my brother and I. The communication between my mother and father was incredibly verbally as well as emotionally toxic on both ends for some time. After my father moved past that stage my mother and my mother’s side of the family dwelled on it for quite some time, even as less than a year ago still talking about things that happened over 25 years ago.
These poor patterns of maintaining romantic relationships as well as how to respond to the ending of those feelings had an obvious effect on me. I have NEVER had a healthy, functional, romantic relationship. I have always had relationships that started out hot and heavy but then ended in embroiled romantic squabbles, extreme depression, feelings of worthlessness, feeling like a failure, etc. Those were just a few relationships where I had strong feelings and emotional connections to the women involved, I would essentially make myself a hostage to my own emotions. The opposite end of the spectrum manifested in my love life manifested much more often as well.
I could also be quite the charmer, prone to disconnect and disengage after receiving physical intimacy or distancing myself as the women wanted to become something more serious. I was the master manipulator, I would intoxicate them with the illusion of who I was, whisper all the sweet nothings imaginable in their ears and then be appalled when they wanted to have an actual relationship or become closer to me. I think a large portion of this was unintentional and was just how someone who never saw healthy relationships chose to cope. The other factor in this would be my addiction, one of those addictions being alcohol.
The narcissism associated with my addiction is unbridled. I swung between the poles of grandiose self-image and complete self-depreciation. Usually, the extreme pompousness of myself was just a mask intent on hiding the broken child that lay dormant under my skin. The one who just wanted attention, to feel loved, to feel connected, the issue was that when I was loved I could not conceive why, as I was unworthy of it in my opinion and when I loved without reciprocation I wondered why, because I was the best person, as well as soul mate.
Recent romantic feelings for someone who I can only assume struggles with similar issues has really caused a better understanding of myself to rise to the surface. I have never dealt with this kind of situation sober but I chose to understand my reactions and move past my behaviors in hopes of having a healthy relationship in the future based on love, not fear, control, or all the other negative emotions that are present in many modern relationships. I am thankful I chose to embrace sobriety as it has helped me understand myself, as well as the people I have loved romantically.
My most recent unrequited love has been one of the greatest guides in teaching me about myself, how I handle relationships, how I view women, etc. I have been able to accomplish much internal work in a brief time as well as learn to genuinely love people, which is unconditional acceptance. People tend to give love on their terms, do this and I will love you, don’t do that or I won’t love you, etc. The issue with that is that is the exact opposite of love as I understand it now. Love is not possessive, controlling, demanding, etc. Love is allowing the person you love to be themselves, make mistakes and loving them regardless. I blame part of the misrepresentation of love due to the abuse of the word in modern culture.
The term love is misused ad nauseam in our culture and it is especially nauseating to me when used in regards to objects. I love those shoes, I love my Iphone, I love your dress. When we use the term so loosely to describe our appreciation for an object, how can we not object the people we love as well. We may love our Iphone, until it has an error, then we hate it, we love our objects as long as they do exactly as they should and when they no longer do we can replace them with new ones to fill the void. This may seem unrelated to those who don’t understand the power of words but that is ok, I don’t need you to agree with me to validate this opinion. I have seen the repercussions of this kind of behavior in my own life as being both the perpetrator and the recipient. Thankfully I am coming out of the coma of consciousness our culture creates.
Love has never been an easy thing more because I was always unbalanced in my ways of expressing it. The ability to love is shaped in early childhood by watching how adults in romantic relationships interact with one another, due to a rocky childhood with poor examples, this led me to poor approaches to romantic relationships. With a little mental clarity and maturity, I was able to process a lifetime of poor relationship skills, thanks to a recent unrequited love. Our culture has bastardized the word love and turned those we love into easily replaceable puppets who should do as we wish or they will suffer some consequence. Thankfully, I am at an impasse with my previous behaviors and I embrace the opportunities to learn to love as I understand it now, unconditionally.
Follow me on facebook @spiritualfoenix