All of us struggle with what love is and what we innately feel it should be. Letting go of love is as important as holding on to it, and it’s time we chase what we deserve and not what we’re made to settle for.
1. I let go of the innocent boy across the street.
He wore boy-next-door spectacles with a hesitant smile that widened every time he saw me move across the schoolyard. He wrote me letters in blood, stole money to take me out on a date. Every single night he sat in front of the computer screen, observing the details of my pictures.
He begged for just one chance, but no, obsession isn’t love.
A letter in blood isn’t proof of his love or a sign of what a man can do for you, but a warning symbol of his inability to understand that love for another person doesn’t come from the apparent lack of it for oneself.
2. I let go of the boy who wanted my body.
He would give me detailed descriptions of how he’d love to spank me, fist me, pull my hair, pinch my nipples and fuck me all day long.
When I told him I wasn’t into any of this, he would say, “Relax. I can be gentle.” I remember lying on his bed staring at the ceiling, and feeling like sinking into the eternity eluding me beneath his stinking bed. His desperation for my body and lack of the same for my spirit, made me move away from him. Please, don’t miss the warning call this time.
3. I let go of the boy who loved me, like a romcom.
He was an artist, loved conversations, Sufi songs and the wind. He knew exactly how to hold me when I shivered. Yet, my words left him hanging.
Every single reply, which didn’t match the depth of the ocean, was taken as his love going unreciprocated. I tried for a long time, but no, love is not reciprocation.
He was a bag of insecurities fuelled by his past failures, and I wasn’t ready to be the bearer of it every time. I stopped feeding his need for justifications and words.
Give yourself space, love is not a cage.
4. I let go of my Boy Best Friend.
We would spend 6 hours talking on the phone every day, hug a million times, carve each other’s success stories and discuss how language and thought are interconnected in more ways than we know. Then, I decided to color my hair blonde, without asking or informing him. I went to his home for the first time with the colored hair, when he joked, “My father just told me not to get into anything serious with you, but to have fun with girls like you for as many days as I like and leave.”
He said it like he was talking about the weather, and I couldn’t react. He went on to describe his mom’s concern of him being seen around with a “slut.” When confronted, he told me he was doing this for my future success, as no boss or colleague will accept me with the weird hair. I told him I could achieve whatever the fuck I want, with or without the hair color or with absolutely anything (or the lack of it) on my body. And I achieved every single thing, we used to talk about, whereas he lost all the friends he loved and even his vision of success. I would still hold him if he comes, but not with ego lingering on his chest.
Love is not obsession. It isn’t the need to please another person, measured by gifts and letters and gestures. Love is not sex. It does not have to crawl into a boy’s bed, with resistance down your throat, and fear at your fingertips.
Don’t let chemicals fool you into perceived chemistry. Love is not proximity. It isn’t the regular fights over trivial things just for a few moments of joy and silence. Love is grand and irrational and beyond to-do-lists and set networks. Love is not an onion. Let love flow and make you happy! Love is not control, in the name of anything. Love is not being told what to do. It’s being allowed space to express yourself in the weirdest ways possible, it’s the feeling of being able to do anything, being able to wake up and be anyone.
Love calms and hugs and gently whispers “you’re amazing” even when love is tired. Love knows when to hold on and when to let go. Love isn’t perfect, but love isn’t a self-fed idea of another person either. Love can be chaos and confusion, but it’s mostly calm and comfort. Love isn’t a restless spirit seeking solace in a man’s chest, because your loneliness terrifies you, and self-love seems like an impossible idea.
Love is an extension of the love you have for your own self. It is an extension of your ideas and hard work, flowing like waves of consciousness, carving homes into people’s psyches.
Love is about letting go as much as it is about holding on. I’m sorry to break this so late, but love isn’t the boys who “loved” you.