I Can’t Love You, But Dammit, I Do

I love you, really. But I can’t.

I’ve been in love before you, you see. You know, the kind of love that you once thought would last a lifetime. The kind of love where you thought you found forever, the kind of love that you only ever heard Taylor Swift crooning about.

The kind of love that only really exists in movies and fairy tales.

You know what I’m talking about. It’s the kind of love that can save the world or destroy it. Nobody in the world knows you like he does and he loves you in spite of all your imperfections. You spend hours together, every waking moment if you can. You hang out with his friends and he’s met your entire family and their families. You’ve seen countless movies together, sang together to every song that ever came out on the radio, gone on one road trip after another, overcame painful moments and built endless memories together, with numerous evidences in the selfies saved on your phone and uploaded on Facebook. You’re on top of the goddamned world.

And one day you wake up and it’s all gone. The memories are still there but it seems like it doesn’t really matter anymore, like they’re just ghosts of an insanely good dream that can’t seem to stop haunting you. You try to remember and you try to forget, and you drive yourself crazy going back and forth between the two. You sleep it off, you cry it off, you drink it off, you dance it off, you try every fucking thing in the world to keep yourself sane, and you actually partially lose your sanity because of it all.

Nothing in the world will ever feel like a broken heart. You laugh at seemingly overly emotional posts on your social networking sites from people who’ve gone through breakups, and it seems like the silliest thing. But nothing — NOTHING — will ever feel pathetic as a broken heart when it happens to you. Days go by, then weeks, then months, and every time you start to think you’re okay, something reminds you of what you had and you lose yourself all over again.

The thing is, this isn’t the first time you’ve had your heart broken. You were in love before this guy, and with another guy before him, and now that you’re on your nth heartbreak, you finally get that it’s nothing but an annoyingly long, enjoyable but heart-stopping roller coaster ride that you keep getting free tickets to even though you never really asked to get on it again.

And now? You’re finally, finally okay. You got over him without some other hero swooping in to tape your broken heart back together. You’re on top of the world again because you now get what the Pussycat Dolls have been saying all along about not needing a man. You’re free and you’re happy now, and there is no way in hell that you will give any of this up: the person you are now, only to fall in love all over again and lose whatever you gained of yourself in your freedom.

Because how can you still believe in love in spite of it all? How can you still believe that it’s worth it to fall after all the pain that you know is on the horizon with that kind of love? How can you be sure that the next time you give your heart away, it will be to the leading man that you’ve been dreaming about? How do you know anything for certain, except that you never want to have your heart broken ever again?

And so you go about your business, going out with friends and throwing yourself in your work and revamping your thoughts to learn to love yourself, and someone comes along and unexpectedly crawls his way under your skin and into your heart. You started out as friends and somewhere along the way, the lines between friendship and love got blurred and you don’t know if you can draw them back on.

You find yourself maybe, just maybe, falling in love with this man who has no plans of falling in love with you, because he’s in that painful place that you were stuck on once upon a time. And you joke about falling for each other or not, but you know that deep down, something has changed in you and him and whatever undefinable relationship you now find yourself in. You can’t stand the thought of losing him just as you can’t stand the thought of falling in love, and you find yourself in another dilemma.

So what are you supposed to do now?

Nothing. Nothing but to whisper into the winds and pray that he can’t ever hear it.

“I love you. But I can’t.”

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