A Convincing Love Is No Kind of Love At All

He was the kind of guy you could easily fall in love with. The kind that cooks you pancakes in the morning, rubs your shoulders when you’re stressed, tells you you’re beautiful when you feel it least. Yeah, those kinds of guys are sweet in the beginning, but underneath there was always something else; a different side, a hollow shell.

There was always something about him you couldn’t put your finger on, wasn’t there? There had been traces of it all along but perhaps you just ignored those signs. Believed they were the results of a bad day, remnants from a previous relationship gone awry.

You were willing to see the worst of him and the best of him and love both parts equally because you thought it made you stronger. You thought if he was selfish and you were unselfish that was okay because sometimes people need to be loved a little bit more and you were always a willing participant in the Maybe If I Do This And Accept That Everything Will Work Out game where no one really wins anything except an exhausting amount of defeat.

So you kept it up knowing very well from the beginning you didn’t deserve this sort of behavior from anyone, certainly not from the man who told you he loved you after he came but right before he passed out with his head next to yours. And maybe it made you feel good to be someone else’s savior. It’s a bittersweet feeling to give someone the very thing you need so much in other people.

You believed in each moment of forgiveness or understanding you were proving yourself, showing off some of your loveliest traits, thinking you could convince him to love you, to keep loving you when the roughest times hit. But that was the problem all along – a convincing love is no kind of love at all. If you must persuade someone to remember you’re the home they can come back to then they never were truly yours to begin with.

Maybe he was kind and smart and knew all the right things to say at all the right times but eventually that other side of him slipped. It was all too much to handle for him. He was merely playing a character on a page. This you know to be true now. It’s evident in the way he talks to you now – never asking you how you are, never asking you anything really, but communicating events in his life through half assed gestures over various forms of technology with the expectation you should still care.

You’re unsure if you ever really knew him before. You’ve started to wonder if you’ll ever hear his voice again. Both of these things scare you.

The people we love linger inside of us long after they’ve said their last words. His ghost is still lingering there like an unfinished sentence, a waiting prayer. You still feel him there in the shallow waves of sleep each night and beneath warm memories of the past that will haunt you just as soon as you swear to yourself you’ve long forgotten about him.

You tried your best and it’s okay to feel stupid/slighted/hurt/fooled now. You deserve love and kindness too – the very things damaged people have such a hard time admitting they need. There’s going to come a time when all of this passes and you find yourself in that all consuming, exhilarating, is-this-real-life kind of romance. And one of the best things about it will be knowing you won’t have to convince the other person of anything, certainly not of loving you. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Former senior staff writer and producer at Thought Catalog.

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