“Our love is gone”

I had lunch with my first real boss this afternoon. I worked for him right after graduation. I was goofy (still am) and  didn’t know anything. I was terrified of him because he was this old dude who was always chain smoking and screaming at people. I heard so many F words flying around every day. His dark skin and stone cold face didn’t help either. At the beginning, I was really worried I’d soon to be the one on the receiving end of his “Do you fucking know how to write? You just wrote me a piece of shit!”

I must have been a really good writer in the making, or that our personality must have just clicked. He has taken a liking of me very soon. He was like a father to me. He was very protective and has subsequently started calling me “Girl” like a daughter instead of my first name. Till the end of my 2.5 tenure, I had never once been yelled at by him.

Today we were talking about his children when I asked if he remembered I had attended his son’s wedding in 2008. He said he did, but he also embarrassedly told me his son had just got remarried a while ago and he hadn’t even gone because he was too pissed off.

They were only married for 3 years.

“You won’t believe it what he said when he told me on the phone he was getting a divorce,” my former boss said. “Perhaps only young people like you can understand.”

“Did he say they just weren’t compatible anymore?” I said.

“That would have been better than what he’d said!”

“They argued too much?”

“No”

“They didn’t have the spark anymore?”

“He said, ‘Our love is gone,'” my boss said. “What does that even mean? If you didn’t love her why you married her in the first place? Did you expect the love to last forever?”

I don’t know his son and know nothing about his love life, so I can’t comment on his action. What I do ponder about is, “Can love really be gone?”

As much as I wish the otherwise, I know it is impossible to expect the all consuming lovey dovey feeling to last forever. Even if I were to marry the cutest member of Union J, I couldn’t expect to have the butterflies in the stomach feeling every time  I see him. What I do think can last is love, not the “in-love” feeling.

There is a difference between love and in-love. In love is basically an enhanced version of lust. When you are in-love, you act like a drug addict waiting to get his fix. You can think of nothing but the person you’re in love with. The person is the first one you think of in the morning, and the last you think of at night. You spend every waking hour revisiting the happy moments you share. You go through you chat history over and over again and smile at the sweet things he said to you like a freaking idiot. You Google things like “How much does he love me” and is unconvinced if the answer doesn’t satisfy you. You just keep Googling until you found something that indicates he is soooo totally in love with you too. When you are in-love, you just want to have him, right at that moment, right there. (no pun intended).

I guess the biggest difference between love and in love is the desire for possession. The love stage can either be at the later stage of a relationship, or that it is a more reserved type of affection. I once heard you can only tell if you truly love something until all the initial excitement and freshness are gone. You can’t tell unless you’ve seen the person at his most unflattering moments. Therefore, when sparks are flying across the room and your passion intense enough to set the room on fire, you really can’t tell if you truly love someone.

I don’t know if it applies to everyone, but this is what I think. People who are in love can fall out of love with each other. When the lust is gone, they are no longer in love. They are merely connected by memories of being in love, and they just wait for it to come back and drift apart if it doesn’t.

However, genuine love will never be gone. Once you love someone, you will always love him. The intensity will, of course, be different after a long period of time has passed, but you will learn to love the person in a different way. The thought of not being with your object of affection can kill a person-in-love, but you can love someone without the need of possessing him.

This reminds me of one of the greatest quotes on love by Richard Bach,

If you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you, it’s yours forever. It it doesn’t, it never was.

If you truly love someone, you want the best for him. Even if the best for him doesn’t involve you being in the picture. Of course it’s best when you could love him and made it known, but if you cant, you’ll learn to love from afar.

This is what I think: If you no longer have any loving feelings for a person, if you can just un-love the person, you’ve never loved that person to begin with.

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About Nicky

Nicky English is a journalist, an educator, a podcaster, a couch potato, a dreamer, and a child at heart. Learning is her passion, so is the English language, which she believes is the tool to unlock the door of knowledge. Born in Hong Kong, she received intensive writing training at The University of Iowa, where she double-majored in journalism and political science. Apart from the Hawkeye State, she’s lived in Chicago and Philadelphia. When she was a guest student at Georgetown University, she fell in love with Washington, D.C. She also has a Master of Arts in Communication. A little side note—she cannot imagine a world without her Mac and iDevices. Like many crazy ones, she hopes to change the world one day at a time.
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