Does true love even exist?

6 Jul


I watched a particularly intense episode of 90210 this morning. Spoiler alert – it was episode 23 from back in season four. If you don’t watch the show, don’t worry. I can explain what was going down fairly succinctly: Naomi fell head-over-Louboutin-heels for a rich dude going by the name of PJ. In the space of three or four days, they got engaged. Then she discovered he was only in a rush to get married because otherwise he would lose his trust fund (that bastard). Props to Naomi, she walked away. But it hit her hard. At one point she throws her perfectly manicured hands up in the air and declares that love doesn’t exist. It isn’t real. It’s all fake.

I know how she felt in that moment. The same thought has dominated my head and my heart for most of the past year.

Yet, though I felt blindsided and Catfished and a number of other horrible things by my ex, I could see what looked like love all around me. In my friends’ relationships. In my parents’ relationship. In my sister’s. In the guys I work with shopping painstakingly for the perfect birthday gifts for their wives and girlfriends. Not to mention all those little gems of love that we all witness every day – couples holding each other close as they walk home, or kissing each other goodbye at the bus stop in the morning.

For a long time I believed that all those relationships were fake too.

I felt quite smug about it. I knew better than these stupid, happy morons. Love is, after all, just a big fat pack of lies fed to us by that damn double H of manipulation (Hollywood and Hallmark).

Now that the mist of sadness is finally clearing, and my hope for the future is starting to kick in, I can see things differently.

Yes, what I had was fake. That’s a tough pill to swallow, but I have accepted it even if it still feels like it’s stuck in my throat and possibly going to choke me to death. If what he told me in the end is true, then everything that my ex told me up to that point was bullsh**. Like lines he had memorised. The things you are supposed to say when you’re in love. It boils down to this: every time that he told me he loved me, he didn’t. Thump. That’s a punch to the stomach of disappointment wrapped in humiliation.

But, yes, I’m no longer ashamed to say it. What I had was fake.

That doesn’t, however, mean that all relationships are.

In fact, I’m starting to think it’s much like shopping for a designer handbag. If you know what you’re looking for, you can spot the difference between a Mulberry and a fake. Sometimes it might be glaringly obvious. But sometimes it might look, feel and even smell like a Mulberry. However, the trained eye will know to look for that particular stitch on the lining, or the letter that can be found under the ‘Made in’ label on the inside. The trained eye knows a fake, and knows when it has found the real thing. Because the trained eye has seen the good, the bad, and the heinously ugly before. It’s a question of experience.

Experience is something I now have.

I’ve learned from the pizza of doom. I’ve learned to recognise the warning signs. I’ve learned that if something feels too good to be true, then it probably is. And while it had the potential to turn me into a cynical old hag who shies away from others and festers away eating meals for one and bitching about the price of them, it didn’t. Because I’m using what I’ve learned to train my heart. Which means it was a worthwhile experience, if only because it was an education.

I’m not looking for something that doesn’t exist. In fact, I’ve developed the skills to find it.

3 Responses to “Does true love even exist?”

  1. luciddream85 July 6, 2014 at 9:18 pm #

    What you had was not fake. What you had was very real. What you had was one-sided. It was a one way road that you were walking down. I have a hard time thinking that people can pretend so easily. I think that it only became fake when he realized that he didn’t want the relationship anymore, and even then, it was fake one-sided – on his part. Don’t short-change what you felt and what you had. You loved that man with every inch of your being. Just because he became a douhebag and ended things in a terrible way doesn’t make what you had fake. It just makes it painful …. because it was so real … if not for him, then definitely for you.

    • aprileb July 7, 2014 at 6:26 am #

      Very true. You are so wise, as always. I guess the thing is that if he hadn’t always been the one pushing things forward and going on about marriage and babies and how much he loved me, maybe I wouldn’t have been so into it all. It just never crossed my mind that we weren’t going to have that future because he was the one always talking about it. Until he was guzzling half a pizza and breaking my heart. Who knows? It goes to show you never know what’s coming. Hope you’re doing well x

  2. openyoureyes145 July 7, 2014 at 4:46 pm #

    I completely agree with you. I totally hate that during my 3 year relationship, at least 6 to 10 months at the end of it were completely fake…. I don’t know how to relate romantically to anybody anymore. My ex would still say “I love you” when in reality he was doing god knows what with god knows who. It’s frustrating and coming to terms with it is tedious. I will never have the closure that I deserve because of how it ended. There will never be an explanation as to why. I guess the only way I can fix what I feel is to plunge out into the world head first, and try to look back as little as possible.

    But it still infuriates me when I remember how fake those last months were.

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