Memoir of a Heartbreaker
Love is everywhere. It flows eternally through all the little ripples of fate that bonds people together. However, in relationships, when one loves and the other couldn’t give back, it’s an obvious sign that the relationship is on the verge of breaking apart. It’s inevitable. All the time lost unsalvageable. And it happens quite often.
Nevertheless, it’s still a good story to tell. Here’s mine.
Throughout my teenage years, I’ve always dreamed of being in a relationship. I always envied Disney princesses and real people who tell of great love stories. I wanted my own. I yearned to have someone I can call mine–to laugh with, to comfort, to kiss and make love to, to share the rest of my life with. Well here’s something to tell my old self, that little hopeless romantic who believed in forever: “Wake up. It’s not real. Falling in love is easy. Staying in love is a hell of a struggle. Some are just lucky.”
He always loved me more. Unfortunately for me, I had to give more of myself to keep the relationship, and I fear I reached the point where I had nothing to give anymore.
If they say that love makes you feel alive, why do I feel tired, exhausted and nearing empty? I may no longer be in love. I believe I felt like I simply couldn’t stand to see myself alone out of fear of loneliness. Yeah I was at the height of being pathetic with this confusion. The confusion where you know intellectually that you’re no longer in love but your heart struggles with the fear of starting all over again, and it desperately tries to mask your apathy towards your relationship. It was just me trying to convince myself with a lie. The more I try to make myself believe I am still in love, the more I become aware that I was lying to myself. I struggled to cling onto something I knew wasn’t going to last for very long.
It’s true. I used to be in love. However, getting married is a totally different world I don’t think I’m ready for. I fear I said “Yes” too soon.
I couldn’t commit to a life of servitude. (And hell yes, I used that word. Servitude. Of course, being a wife and a mother might be a dream for some, and despite being a modern feminist, I’m not saying that anything is wrong with that. It’s just that I consider it a holy grail of death sentences at least at this time and age where I haven’t even accomplished anything yet. Plus, I don’t want my future children to suffer from me idly blaming them for my missed opportunities, the way I’ve seen some people do.) Okay that was a lot of thought train. Anyway. The point being here is, after meditating on how I really felt, I believe I was having a crisis between killing my version of my future and killing the relationship I had. That was the real dilemma.
What happened to me? All my hopes and dreams, gone with all the time I sacrificed waiting for him, supporting him in his own hopes and dreams, seeing his future unfold before my very eyes, merely hoping I would somehow benefit from it.
Yes, I loved him, but where was I in that picture?
It was always me looking after what he wanted, and just settling and pretending to be grateful for what he thought I wanted. I got too comfortable. I gave too much that I lost myself, not that I had a clear cut identity to start with.
I remember he used to ask me time and again if I can imagine my future with him. I’d always reply with a “Yes” (of course, when you’re in front of your guy with his puppy dog eyes, the least you could do is say Yes. This is essentially the same when we girls ask our guys if we gained weight and they say No. It’s an automatic white lie out of fear of confrontation) but the truth is, in my head lies a resounding “Yeah, sure” which is miles away from a heartfelt Yes. It implies that I didn’t give as much of a shit whether I see him in my future or not. I just wanted the conversation to move on and avoid confrontation. What’s worse was that, the last time he asked me, I was aware that I flat out lied.
I couldn’t see him in my future–my own version of the life I wanted to live, versus our shared version of our future, which was mostly his idea that I simply agreed to. I couldn’t reconcile with the fact that marrying him and chasing after my dreams were two different distant non-convergent paths.
What about me? What happened to me?
I may have been heartless. I couldn’t feel anything for weeks. Nothing. Not even a slideshow of restoring faith in humanity evoked any response from me. I felt no remorse or guilt over throwing away a six-year long relationship, the way a coldblooded killer could look his dead victim in the eye, and just move on. I spoke with my brother about it and he could see it in my eyes that it was indeed true: I fell out of love like it was just the right time and I’ve accepted it as a matter of fact but I’m frozen because I didn’t want to act on it.
I never really imagined myself to be in this position. People really do fall out and it’s scary. The people who wrote off “It’s not you, it’s me” as a cliche for douchebags weren’t aware that every cupid’s arrow has its expiration date. Sometimes your time is up and it’s not their fault. And it sucks that I had this dilemma a few months before our wedding.
I knew being selfish was not the reason. I may be partially delusional but I believe that breaking up with him was the most selfless thing I had to subject myself to. It was hard but I managed to do it anyway. I left him hanging. I partied, drank myself to sleep and fucked around. I was jobless and barely living off on the remainder of my savings.
But I felt free.
I learned to love myself again. I learned to dream my own dream, and chase after my inconsistent whims. I learned to break through the limits I set for myself out of fear of being alone and lonely. I learned to allow shit to happen and wait for karma to eventually make sense of things. I stopped giving a fuck.
And I never felt more alive.
That’s what I wanted for him too–this same succulent taste of freedom of being your own person without the pretense of being controlled by the confines of an exclusive relationship, of being in love without losing yourself, of believing that your partner loves the whole you and does not make it his personal mission to change you.
I wanted him to realize what he really wanted from life because throughout our journey of trying to make a living here in Manila, we were both nonchalant about our goals and aspirations. I mean, we were once young and just dreamed of graduating. After that it was just ‘Get a job, get married, have kids’–the boring stuff. He wanted to settle down. He felt it was time to settle down. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the same case for me. I was still in the pursuit of figuring myself out and I don’t think I’d find anything by being a wife and a mother. We merely swam the tides of fate not really giving two shits where we’re heading. Somehow the tides of fate has brought us down two different streams.
This time I decided to break away. I made the decision to break his heart to save myself from drowning with him. Letting him go saved me from sinking any further, and in a way I believe it freed him too. I chose to be the heartless bitch who ran away from a wedding and threw away a six year old relationship than be the unfortunate bitch who couldn’t decide for herself and live her own damn life.
It was a bad breakup. I mean, no matter which way you try to break up, it’s still gonna be nasty as hell. I couldn’t even tell you how it happened. I’d hate myself as well. But you know what? The moment I let go, I didn’t feel alone. I have the support of my family and friends, and the random people that God chose to cross my path. The world became my oyster. And I couldn’t be any more grateful.
I admit I had a Maggie moment from Runaway Bride. It’s true I didn’t know what I wanted from a relationship until I realized what I didn’t. To quote Katy Perry, “I change my mind like a girl changes clothes”. This goes to a point where I lose my identity over associating myself with whatever my guy wants a little too much and I mentally panic when confronted with the pressure of making up my mind. I saw myself mentally yelling at myself over how pathetic I am for breaking a heart just because I didn’t know myself.
While I was trying my hardest to suppress my insatiable thirst to crawl into a hole and die because of what I did, I was also battling with quarter life crisis. You know, that feeling of being a loser not able to maximize my potentials, too bold to waste time with moping and feeling bad for myself yet too much of a pussy to end it all, spiraling into a vicious cycle of questioning all my past decisions and yet making the same mistakes over and over again. Like, what lesson from life am I too stupid to not understand? Worse of all, I started doubting whether anything I think, say or do has hardly any bearing on anything else in this world. I know. I have problems.