He said that he would love me forever, but he never said that it would be hard.    When a guy says something like that, you assume that it’s effortless and easy and free and that love means never having to try.  Some of the romance eroded away every time he said “I love you” when I knew he was angry, or sad, or indifferent.

And I… resented it.  It wasn’t love.  It was a forced expression of something that he didn’t feel.  He was duped.  Isn’t love meant to be a feeling?  A driving force that carries you along – not something that you must carry?

That’s what I wanted to believe love was.  I wanted his whole heart and devotion without him having to try.  I wanted him to feel an ocean of emotion every time he saw my face.  And so I said goodbye.  I said it wasn’t working.  I said all of those forced things that you express when it isn’t what you really feel.

Later I knew that it was I who was hollow.  I believed in something that didn’t belong to me.  What I had made love out to be – what I thought I wanted to believe in – was something I was subjected to, that I could not control.  It made me vulnerable, and lonely, and uncertain.  It became my slavedriver and it ruled my life.  I wasn’t free to make decisions about relationships or about feelings.  The duped one was me.

And I was alone.

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