What’s Love Got To Do With It? (Tales Of The Unexpectedly Divorced).

Time to read: 5 minutes

While in lockdown and slightly losing my mind, my thoughts start to wander. Amongst all of the Facetime, Houseparty and video chats in general at the moment I notice myself saying ‘I love you’ more than ever to family and friends. This made me question why do I struggle so much with saying this to a significant other.

I love you…one phrase. Three words. Eight letters. Simple, right? Then why can we all find it so hard to say

Do we know when we truly feel it? Of course we do, it’s a force, a magnetic force, how could we not feel it. Yet I have gone through over a bottle or two of Merlot, more than three hundred emails, 80 percent of them ending with Bear telling me he loved me, and not in a cute or whimsical way, but pen to paper, finger to key ‘I love you’. How many times did I retort the same? None, not a single one. Not once did I say it back.

Not Quite Saying it

I by no means, am attempting to suggest I never uttered the words. I most definitely did, but via email only it would seem in a ‘round about’ way… ‘Loves’, ‘big love’, ‘mucho love’, you get the idea.

So why is it that we find the phrase so hard to say at times? Is it because we don’t truly feel this way? Is it the fear of rejection and pain or worse still the fear it may be true and the walls so carefully constructed may finally be under demolition with no planning permission to rebuild.  

A written contract derived from consideration on both sides, two signatures, and no duress on the side of either party. A verbal contract created from the same, lacking the signature of either party. In a way I suppose some of the fear and angst may come from this. All parties in agreement you are agreeing to love this human with your all and I mean… Who even knows what that means?

Death by email

I doubt anyone is questioning my decision to go through these emails. If you are, I promise you there is some form of logical reasoning behind it. What could that reasoning possibly be for ransacking past emails?

One step to getting over a relationship (as mentioned in the survivors guide to a break-up) is removing that person from your life completely. I have said before, it is like a death you need to grieve and you can’t grieve someone you see on a daily basis, or anything you have a constant reminder of.

Being completely frank, I, like us all am stuck in lockdown meaning there has never been a better time for me to go through the myriad of emails between bear and myself.

It is so strange, Bear was the first person in my life who I had ever solely loved. Yet I could never say it and honestly, I don’t know why. I am writing this as much for you as I am for me.

 I will keep subjecting myself to reading these emails. I do it not as a masochist but because I hope in doing so, I will learn why I couldn’t say those three little words and in turn unravel why we all occasionally struggle.  

Act 7 Scene 4 – a thousand Feet Apart

Bear:

 I love you.Have almost finished going through every drawer and cabinet ! Then going to sort out our room in a bit xx

 Keye: 

 I need draws!!! and for you to start glossing…

(It is moments like this in which I understand why I could never say it back to him. This is not an act of love, this is the act of ‘making up’ for a misdemeanor and therefore not good enough. Maybe once something is broken, it can’t be fixed.)

Bear:  

Let’s talk this evening or over lunch if you have time.

Keye you make me very happy, but two days this week you have said you either don’t want to be with me or that you’re not the right person for me so obviously I’m not feeling great. Apart from anything else it’s making me feel insecure, and it’s difficult because I am making plans for us for the future and then twice you’ve brought up ending us.

(beat)

You have to understand that puts me in a pretty awful position, so we do need to talk properly.

 (beat)

Please don’t suggest that I am the one who is unhappy. xxx

There we have it, we sometimes forget the other person is also scared, whether it’s saying “I love you” or insecurities that are not on you. Alas they are still there in your head space simply 1000 feet apart.

The TV guide to Love

 What was I doing? The issue here was not simply my inability to utter the words ‘I love you’, it was my inability to know in fact what ‘love’ actually is. Is that the real as day issue? None of us truly understand what love actually is. It comes in and ‘sweeps’ you off your feet, so we as people are unprepared, it is the unknown.

 Bear was my first ‘actual’ relationship, all I had to go on was what I had seen on TV and in friends. I had no idea how this worked, I was an audience member attempting the lead role. What was I doing?

 There were just so many spectacular ‘take your breath away’ moments, holidays, trips, restaurants, all ruined by Bear, by me, by drinking too much, by not communicating with each other the way you are supposed to with your best friend, your person. For two people who emailed all day every day, we never spoke or heard one another.

Don’t hold Back…just say it!

We entered this, I just as blind as yourself about the need to say, well to say it. Have I answered that? No, of course not, we can only do this for ourselves after all. I simply hope that this has given you indication on my downfalls to help you see your own.

I was insecure, I am insecure. I need everyone, and I mean everyone, to tell me I am beautiful as I honestly believe this is all that I have. As though without my looks I simply die, wither away in the backdrop of my own movie. It is not for me to tell you why you can’t say ‘I love you’. It is for this to provoke thought in you while stuck in lockdown as to why that is.

Bear has now received his final email from myself. The email that allows me to begin moving on and accepting that people and the love you have for them, comes into your life for the allotted time and no longer.

It was nothing apart from, the wishing of him to live his ‘best gay life’ and the inclusion of what we can admit started as a love letter to myself and ended in a weird way as a love letter to Bear. The email has been sent all the same. Sadly thus ending contact with Bear. Forever.

‘I Love You’.

If you feel it, I beg of you, say it.

 I Love You.

Written by Keye Tortice-Lunn