I remember a time when I only had to feel. I am in love with him. That was all it took. Nothing else mattered. Not his faith. Not his finances. Not his future.
It was always about that moment. Are we happy? Are we together? Everything else will find its way of falling into place.
That ease feels like eons ago. “I love you” isn’t enough anymore.
I sat across the man I love today, with two choices – What I want and What’s right for me.
How do you choose?
Remember when we didn’t agree on movies or music and that was okay? When it was socially acceptable to like different things and still be together? What happens to that when we grow up? Why do we, as adults, become so entitled to our likes and dislikes that anyone who might think or feel differently is no longer a potential choice because “What music do we play on a car journey?”
They taught me in school – Opposites attract. Tell me, do they work? Do they stick together forever? Has anyone tried?
Because the smallest of differences can destroy a relationship.
You like seafood. I’m a vegetarian. We have a problem.
You’re here. I’m there. This will never work.
You’re an atheist. I’m religious. What will we do on festive days?
I’m old enough to find my one. You’re not ready. Should I find someone who is?
Where is my life headed? What do I eat in a day? Will our paths meet if we compromise? But how much do we each readjust before one of us is giving up our dreams to keep this relationship alive? Is it worth it?
So we sit together. We talk for hours. We spend sleepless nights that affect work next day to identify solutions to problems that shouldn’t matter when you love each other. Only to end up with the biggest problem of it all.
What if it ends?
Because, what if we’ve each given up so much to keep alive a relationship that eventually dies? Will you still feel like it was all worth it? Or will you regret it? Will I?
So we tell ourselves this isn’t the time for us. We should wait till we’re ready. But how do you know when you’re ready?
I remember being a teenager, waiting to be an adult. Waiting to be old enough to be in love without complications. When I can love freely. When I can choose the one I want and nothing else will matter.
I’m 24 now. He asked me to choose between what I want and what is right for my life. And all I wanted to say in that moment was, “I want you. We’ll live apart. We’ll travel back and forth. I’ll move here for you. We’ll make this work. I will find a way for us to make this work. I want you in my life.”
But instead I swallowed hard. I tried to find my voice as I struggled to keep my emotions together and said,”I can’t do this. This doesn’t make sense. I have to go.”
Because I’m not a teenager. He’s not my knight in shining armour. We’re adults. Our decisions can’t be based on whim. It has to be carefully calculated. What will we cook? Where will we live? What kind of life will we live? What kind of parents will we be? Will we save enough to support their dreams? Will it mean giving up ours?
When did all this get so complicated?
When did we go from “This makes sense because I love you” to “I love you but this doesn’t make sense”? How do you make the decision to not give the relationship a chance because the consequences are too risky?
How do you guarantee to not change your mind?
Adults were supposed to know their shit. They were supposed to know how to handle their emotions. And I couldn’t. I did what was right for me and I couldn’t live with that decision for half an hour.
Because here’s what we forget as we grow up. It’s okay to not live like everyone else does. It’s okay to not be married at 25. It’s okay for something to not make sense. It’s okay to be excited about something simple. Sometimes, it’s about the person you spend your day with. Not where.
So, half hour after I broke both our hearts, I made a decision. I’m an adult. And I will go after the relationship that doesn’t make sense. And I will find a way to make it work.
Because, irrelevant of how old you are or how many external factors you have to modify, sometimes, you just have to choose love.
The non-adult way.