1. You Will Believe You Can Help Her
You will believe this because you will love her. Believe me, before I swore off of dating sad girls I was constantly, 24/7, in ‘fixer’ mode but it never helps for long. You can schedule the perfect day and include everything the two of you have been talking about doing since forever and at the end of it she’ll still end up staring longingly off into the distance. To her, happiness is false and impermanent. Only the sadness is real.
2. She Will Trick You At First
She will put on a show that tells you that she is spontaneous and fun loving. She will read you poetry by candlelight as you lie together naked. She will laugh and her laughter will sound like music. She will feel mysterious, an old soul you’ve been blessed to finally encounter. She will seem wise. But all this is a ruse designed to trick not just you but her as well. She will play this character as long as she can bear to but it will almost always be long enough for you to fall in love with her.
3. Her Sadness Will Seem Temporary
At first it will seem circumstantial. It will be a product of work. It will be a product of family. It will be a product of hormones (she will say). These will be the reasons that she gives. But they are not the reasons, they are the accessories to her sadness which has always been there, just under the surface. These accessories aren’t the cause of her sadness, they are the insulation she uses as an excuse to keep from being happy.
4. You Will Not See It Coming
You will not see, at first, that this isn’t a phase but simply the way that she is. You will dash yourself against her like throwing yourself against a stone just trying to make her smile. You will laugh too much, joke too much, tell her “I Love You” too much just trying to get her to feel something besides a world that is dull gray. And, before you know it, months will have passed, a year, two? You will awaken to find that your world is now a dull gray, that you are a sad person, a depressed person. You will find you have gained weight, that you forget basic things like haircuts. You will not recognize yourself.
5. She Will Never See It
Once you’ve realized how sad you are, that your attempts to make her happy are the source of your sadness, she will not hear of it. Bringing it up, suggesting that she is always sad will fall on deaf ears. It will become something that is your problem. She will say that you are depressed, that you have made her depressed. She will blame you. She will say that you have taken her fire, extinguished her light. She will say that she was happy once…before she met you. That this is obviously untrue will be of no consequence. That she was never happy past the few months when you first met will never occur to her. That you have been burning yourself out in an attempt to bring her joy will not matter. She will have forgotten every special weekend you planned and every evening you spent trying to make perfect just to see her smiling. These will be ashes in the wind.
6. She Will Believe That Her Sadness Is Depth
All the great writers were sad, you see. She will believe it. She will not see that she has chosen sad writers because she is sad, because loving sad writers is just another layer of insulation for her to block out the light. She will romanticize tragedy and you will remember that the poem she read to you long ago was bittersweet and that it focused on the beauty of doom, like watching a glorious flower fade and wilt. You will think “this was always what was going to happen” and you will despair at the loss.
7. She Will Be Angry With You
Like an addict, she will lose her temper when you point out her problem and addiction. She will obfuscate, she will blame, she will find causes, she will say that you don’t love her, that you never loved her.
She may cheat. She may not. She will want to get away from you because you see her as she is now that the facade has failed fully. She will begin to find things wrong with you but you are a fixer and you love her so you will try to fix. You are a fixer.
8. Eventually You Will Go Clear
She will leave you or you, finally drowning, will surface for air, taste happiness again in some unexpected moment and refuse to dive back down into her. When you part you’ll try to tell her, you’ll plead with her to seek help because you love her and want what is best for her even if you’re not with her, even if you never see her again. You will always love her, you will always hurt for her but you will not die for her.
The hottest fire consumes everything and you will have come to find that even sadness and misery are a passion for some, that lust for a world of dull grey is no less powerful or intoxicating than a lust and love of joy.
But you will have gotten clear and, hopefully, realized that loving someone doesn’t mean you have to destroy yourself.