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Wednesday 12 March 2014

EDITORIAL: Letting Go: 3 Scenarios Where Love Just Ain’t Enough

by Bo Sellers

Sometimes I meet people who instantly speak to my soul.  It’s this exact scenario that led me to discover I actually prefer women. I love being in love and I love loving. Everyone you meet has a unique purpose for coming in to your life, but on your quest for true love, how do you recognize what it is? What kind of love are you genuinely feeling towards this person? Lover? Friend? Soulmate?  

My passion for loving is so intense I develop a bit of a word vomit when it comes to disclosing the “L” word. When I dated men, this was a quick way to weed out the ones incapable of handling my white girl crazy, but with women, my own comfort level has allowed others to break down their walls and go on adventures of the heart with me.

When I’m in love with someone, they’re the first person I think of in the morning, and the last one I think of before I fall asleep, and even in my dreams, they still never leave me. The excitement of such happenstance introductions sets off my over-analytical mind and I begin to rifle through every possible scenario of their impending significance.  

Once the initial intensity winds down, my mind becomes less-clouded and I'm able to better assess someone’s purpose in my life. But sometimes my emotions have landed me into situations where it wasn't until much later than I should have realized it takes more than love to sustain a relationship, or as Patti Smith once sang so honestly, “sometimes love just ain't enough.”  I've experienced three very different, and very real scenarios, where no matter how strongly I found myself loving someone, it could never be.

3.  You have nothing in common, except that you love each other You've met someone. You shared an instant connection and decided to explore your infatuation further. It isn't until you've invested months, or even years in each other you've awoken to the fact, every time you say black, they say white. They’re not TRYING to be difficult. It’s not because they don’t love you. It’s just because, it’s who they are. From religion, to choice in music, to career aspirations, if your major deal-breakers aren't aligning, it’s best to appreciate the time you've shared and move on. While some differences should be celebrated, sacrificing your own passions to support your partners' is not necessary. You deserve to be with someone who encourages you to be the best YOU can be, not the you they’d like you to be.

2.  Mental or Physical Abuse - Love is amazing, but it should never come at the expense of your own well-being. Before dating women, I could more easily recognize abuse from a man, but for some reason I'm having a harder time with women. While I'm learning to draw the line between playful rough-housing and actual harm, I've decided to adapt a new rule of thumb. If something makes me uncomfortable, and I clearly communicate it to my partner, and they continue to engage in the aforementioned behavior, I'm done. No matter HOW much I think I love them. I've also noticed I'm more tolerant of such behaviors when I'm not loving myself as much as I should be. To quote The Perks of Being a Wallflower: “We accept the love we think we deserve.” Remember you deserve the best, simply because you are the best. The best you.

1.  She’s married - This one may seem like a no-brainer, but sometimes things happen and before you know it, you’re caught up in a whirlwind romance that feels more perfect than anything you've experienced before. None of the perfect moments or feelings take away her prior commitment to her family, and your own commitment to yourself and your individual happiness. You told yourself you would never date a married person, but now you’re in deeper than a diver searching for remains of the Titanic, and your love story is even more beautifully tragic than Rose and Jack’s. Yet, you must walk away. For her benefit, for her family’s benefit, and most importantly for your own. Perhaps you’ll meet again, in a different lifetime, but this one is obviously not your shared happily ever after.

Loving someone is a splendid journey, and I would much rather fall in love a 1,000 times than spend my life being afraid of it. Don’t ignore all self-preservation. You control your own happiness, so work on finding a balance between giving love away equal to that which you receive. Lesbian love is the greatest love I've ever experienced, but I'm still learning and discovering new boundaries along the way. I have to remember to keep my intuition clear to the signs that may show I need to let go of the less than perfect idea of love I'm holding on to, to find the love truly meant for me.

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