The problem with growing up in a conservative society is that it’s kind of a given that you’re going to confuse lust with love at some point. That you’ll tell yourself it’s love, because love is what you’re supposed to want. That lust isn’t something you should settle for. That love should be your only motivation.
When they kiss you, you think about the first kiss at the end of a rom-com. You think of the final scene to show the viewers that this is the start of your happy ending.
When you take your shirt off in front of them, the walls you have built up around yourself start to crumble, little by little. You think that you could love them. They could love you.
When their hands run across your body, you think about how much they care. You think about how they will be there for you. Forever, you think. Forever, you hope.
You stare into their eyes, you see desire. You see them wanting you. You fall in love.
And you fall in love every night. You fall further and further in love. Until one day, they stop.
They stop calling. They never respond to texts. You never bump into them in common places anymore. For whatever reason, they stop. They have no problem stopping while you’re left wondering what happened to your forever. And you realize, maybe this wasn’t love.
You realize you never knew them, not fully, not all the way. You realize they kept their life separate from yours all this time. You realize that this connection might not have been a one way street, but you definitely wound up in different places. You realize they only listened to collect their reward at the end of the day. They never talked about themselves, not because they were selfless, but because they never trusted you the way you trusted them. You mistook their lust for love, and so, you gave them your heart.
It happens, you know. It’s easy to conflate the two. After all, we live in a society that values one over the other. But really, each have their place. Each are crucial for us to survive. Ideally, you’ll just have a little bit of both. It’s about finding that balance.
So when you’re broken-hearted in your room crying, you don’t have pictures of café dates to delete from Facebook, you have photos of them sleepy-eyed on your bed to delete from your phone. You don’t have tales of romantic Valentine’s Day dinners to share, you have the memory of their body against yours to forget. You don’t have an ex to cry over, you learnt a lesson that everyone else learnt years before you did; that sex and love are not, in any way, synonymous.
At least you’ll know better now.