I’m A Gallery Of Broken Hearts

6 Feb

I had a wonderful discussion with a friend the other day about how neither of us has ever really been in a relationship and how knowing that makes us feel defective and like maybe we need to change to be worthy of someone’s love. We talked about how maybe it’s the most common thought in the world. Why we and thousands of others are plagued by it. And how to shush those feelings of inadequacy when they arise.  And then she said:

Well, then if I’m not… not good enough then why does everyone leave?

And I think maybe I found the answer.  And it’s a-few-fold.

First, it is not your ‘fault’ that you are single, and being single isn’t a fault.

Amongst the reasons why McMillian thinks I’m not (and still not) hitched: I’m a bitch, I’m a slut, I’m selfish, I’m a liar, I have low-self-esteem, I’m crazy and I’m a mess. If you’ve ever seen an episode of “Hoarders,” then you know that bitchy, selfish, “crazy” people with low self-esteem get married all the time.

People are single for lots of reasons.  Past relationships, things in your life that are more immediately pressing, like your health or career.  And completely separately, the attendance of a person who is right for you.  It’s a bummer when you feel ready to meet them and they don’t appear, but them’s the breaks, as my mother says.  Them’s is the breaks.

Secondly, maybe –as both Stephen Chbosky and my favorite english teacher are fond of saying– we accept the love we think we deserve.  And maybe, even when you doubt yourself, you know you deserve more than has been offered.  And from that perspective, holding out isn’t such a bad idea.


This is why we call people exes, I guess — because the paths that cross in the middle end up separating at the end. it’s too easy to see an X as a cross-out. It’s not, because there’s no way to cross out something like that. The X is a diagram of two paths.

– Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

Maybe people are just lines (or a dashed line if you’re Galifreyan) and we tangle up together out of fear of being alone.  And we cross and we touch and we run parallel for a while but everyone has a different destination.  Don’t resent someone for not following you, remember that though maybe you would have been willing to tangle yourself up in them for a while longer, you’re also not following them.

Maybe all we can ask for in this life is a series of friends who we can mix up with for as long as possible

It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.

― Friedrich Nietzsche

Some of those friends we make love with, some we go everywhere with, a few are good at both.  And they stay in your life as long as you can hold on to them.  I look forward to being the Fey to your Poehler as long as you let me.

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