- Gender and Relationships
Love Lessons Learned the Hard Way
“I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.”-Laura Ingalls Wilder
Sometimes I swear that there aren’t enough hours in the day. From the moment my alarm clock goes off at 5:47 a.m. it’s go, go, go, go, go. There are days when I don’t even have time to grab lunch let alone call to say that I’m thinking about you and hoping you’re having a great day. I mean come on, I’m SO busy. Right?
WRONG! Wrong, wrong, wrong. This was something I had to learn the hard way. Look, you’re busy, I know. I work 60-70 hours a week, typically 7 days a week and sleep 2-4 hours a night. I’ve struggled to maintain a steady, long-term relationship because I’m always ‘too busy’ to put the time and effort into a relationship. Too busy to step away from my desk and call to say “I miss you.” Too busy to send an e-mail to ask how their day is going. Too busy to commit to 6:00 p.m. dinner reservations on a Tuesday evening. Too busy to realize that I actually was not too busy, I was too selfish.
Unfortunately for me, I didn’t realize this until the man I was in love with broke-up with me. He had expressed to me time after time that he needed me to be more involved in our relationship. He was tired of going to extremes to try and accommodate my busy schedule only to have me come up with a new excuse as to why I had to cancel our plans or why I didn’t call when I said I would. Instead of realizing that I needed to change or I was going to lose him, I just fired back at him about how demanding my career was and told him that he needed to be more understanding. He finally got tired of it and, looking back at it now, I don’t blame him. It was a huge wake-up call for me. I realized that it was not time I lacked, it was heart.
Like I said, I know what being busy is. My career requires me to work 60 hours a week. I can’t change that. What I CAN do is take 5 minutes during the day to call and say “I love you.” I can commit to being out of the office to make 6:00 p.m. dinner reservations on a Tuesday evening. I made a promise to myself that going forward I can and WILL take the time to make sure the people I love know how much I care about them. If I can’t find the time in my busy schedule, I will make the time. It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality. At the end of the day it really is the little things that matter the most.
After my boyfriend broke-up with me I sat down and wrote “I Love You From ‘A’ to ‘Z” along with an e-mail begging him to come back and promising him that things would be different. He told me that although it wasn’t any huge, over-the-top gesture, “I Love You From ‘A’ to ‘Z” meant more to him than any gift I’d given him during our relationship because it came from the heart. It was the ‘little things’ that he wished I had done more of to show him how much I really did care.
My story didn’t have a happy, fairytale ending. I ended up with a broken heart but learned a lesson that changed the way I live my life. I believe that everything happens for a reason. There is always a lesson to be learned and, usually, we have to learn it the hard way.