- Gender and Relationships
But I Love Him!
I have a friend. She's dating a horrible guy. He's pretty emotionally and mentally abusive, even around her friends. I would tell her, "Dump him! He's horrible for you!" while she mutters "I know, I know", making sure she looks really sad and pathetic to garner sympathy. I feel for her, but sympathy I have little of--especially after telling her this for the tenth time. Eventually, she broke up with him again.
With that all settled, now the eleventh time, I would whisk off to do something else for a few days like a magical little elf. I mean, I love my friend but I have stuff to do. I will think that she will finally break it off for good, but honestly not believe it. And my gut would be right. For some reason she couldn't get away from the jerk who tells her how ugly she is--as a joke. Or how she needs to lose some weight--because he's concerned about her "health". Or how he tells everyone her cup size--because he's so proud of his hott girlfriend.
She'll start to complain to me again about the same things, throwing in some remark about how she thought he was going to be so different from the last one, which wasn't any better. It's a vicious little cycle that tortures me in the same way the a certain glimmering vampire story tortures me. In the middle of her complaining, I would finally ask the most simple question: "Why can't you just stay away from him!?"
"Because I love him and you can't choose who you love."
What is Love?
Okay, okay. I agree with the statement that you can't help who you love. You are attracted to whoever you are attracted to, almost like how I'm so attracted extra gooey brownies. Well, what is "love" then? "Love" is a chemical and bodily reaction to several different types of hormones that are produced naturally. Some of these are highly addictive and those appear mostly at the beginning stages of romance. Three of the major hormones are Oxytocin, Epinephrine, and Dopamine.
So, love is pretty much an addiction that you get from hormones. If it is an addiction, it is pretty understandable how people can break up, make up, break up, and make up with the same person over and over again. You want to keep feeling those wonderful hormones, which can affect the brain the same way that illegal drugs do. Nothing says "I love you" better than a hormone that you body could mistake for speed.
However, those hormones can influence a person to be monogamous and all that. If you are in a good relationship, then I congratulate you. But, the bottom line is, love can be fought against. Just get angry with yourself, turn green, put on a pair of purple pants, and beat the smug out of your hormones.
"So, everything about my love with my jerk boyfriend is my mind's fault?"
No. There are other reasons, for sure. What about the boy you dated just for the sake of dating? You didn't love him. You were dependent on him. You needed to be in a relationship. You were lonely. That's not really a problem, per se. But it is a problem when you get with a guy who can't care two sticks about you. To be fair, though, do you really care for him all that much?
You Can Choose To Fall Out of Love
What can you do? You tried breaking up before, and it didn't work. You're sick of how dysfunctional your relationship is. You may love your partner the way you love getting spiked in the face with a volleyball, but you still can't get away. Well, I have three tips and a thought.
YOU CAN'T CHOOSE WHO YOU LOVE, BUT YOU CAN CHOOSE TO FALL OUT OF LOVE
- Empower Yourself--You need to know that you are worth it. You are worthy of a really good partner, not just whoever comes along. If the person does not value you, then you should wait for someone who does. You need to feel great. You need to know your own worth. You need to know yourself. Who are you? What do you want? Don't settle for the first person that comes by. You are a great person who doesn't need to be with someone who complains when you have to work or go to class. This also means that you need to recognize why you need to be in a relationship. Is it just for a companion? To have fun? To love and be loves? Or are you just really lonely.
- Break Up, Break Off--When you break up, stay broken up. The person may call or text you, asking to come back, making promises, and saying how much they love you. Just ignore it. Don't even bother to talk. You'll just get pulled back in. Just break off all contact for a while. Wait until you both grow older (and not just a few days, weeks, or months). Maybe something will happen then. But before then, remember that it is easy to fall back into a bad relationship. Case in point, every Springer episode.
- Don't Look For A Relationship--When you go out, just go out to have some fun. Don't be on the hunt for the next serious relationship. You'll just be rebounding or setting yourself up to be with someone you are not compatible with, or worse that the relationship you just got out of. When you find a person you are attracted to, and they are attracted to you, and you enjoy each others company, then you can think of moving back into a relationship.
There is one thing to say about love. When you love someone, you love them enough to forgive or overlook their flaws. You recognize their flaws and are willing to accept them. But flaws are harmless--horrible at housework, having a really obnoxious laugh, grumpy three days out of the week (but not angry), likes the wrong football team. Things that are harmful to you emotionally, physically, and mentally are a huge no.
You are worth a loving relationship. But you can be your biggest obstacle to that. If you are in a bad relationship, get out of it for good, find value in yourself, and stop looking for the next one. Things will get better.
Remember: Saying, "I love him and you can't choose you who love" is an excuse. You may not be able to choose who you love, but you can choose who not to love.