People always talk about ‘not giving up’ in difficult times as some sort of huge romantic gesture. They talk about pushing through the ‘rough patch’ and fighting for each other because what’s more romantic than loyalty? But what about when the rough patch doesn’t have an end? What if when you really think about your time together, all you can remember is it being difficult? What if it’s been this way for so long that you just assume all relationships are supposed to be this exhausting? What if you aren’t actually fighting for the relationship, you’re simply fighting each other?
Because there’s a difference between not giving up and being reckless.
There’s a difference between staying with someone because you love them, like really, honestly love them to their core. Loving them when they’re grumpy from a hard day at work and loving them when you’re shouting at each other across the room, there’s a difference between loving who they are on their worst days, when you’re both hurt and angry, and just loving the idea of them, and staying with them because it’s all you’ve ever known.
There’s a difference between staying after a fight because you know it was just a one-off and knowing that you’ll be okay, that you’ll forgive and forget, and staying because you have nowhere else to go. There’s a difference between arguing with love, arguing about the argument, about what caused the rift and arguing with malice and venom, arguing in a way which digs into each other, pulls each other apart, unpicks old wounds and pours salt into them. There’s a difference between wanting to fix what got a little broken and simply wanting to break each other, just to win the fight.There’s a difference between being a team and living on opposite sides.
There’s a difference between being excited about your future together, between imagining little children with his green eyes and your fire red hair, of picturing his face as you walk down the aisle towards him and feeling a rush of euphoria throughout your body, and looking ahead and only seeing darkness. Of feeling a suffocating dread when you imagine a life spent with him. A life of the same old fights, the same old routine, the same old heart-ache. There’s difference between choosing your future with him and simply accepting this is just how your life will look now.
There’s a difference between craving his body, of wanting to taste his skin and feel him against you as if it’s the only thing which makes you feel alive, and laying on your back, counting marks on the ceiling, waiting for it to be over. There’s a difference between a touch which feels like fireworks coursing through your veins and a touch which makes you cringe, feel on edge, want to hide inside yourself.
There is a difference between staying because you cannot imagine a life without him and staying because you worry what will happen to him after. Because despite the pain he’s caused you, you still care. There’s a difference between choosing him, even when he doesn’t choose you, and choosing happiness, choosing adventure, choosing a love which does not exhaust you and disappoint you and break you, but one which lifts you up.
Lovely girl, there is a difference between not giving up on him and being reckless with your heart.