“the saddest thing is to be
a minute to someone,
When you’ve made them your eternity.”
“Unrequited love is so boring. Weeping under a blue-black sky is for suckers or maniacs.”
-Alice Hoffman, Practical Magic
It is so hard for me to understand unrequited love from the “beloved’s” point-of-view. I am absolutely a sucker and a maniac but I wouldn’t say it’s boring. It’s anything but. I’d love to have a moment of boredom. For so many, love is disposable. I don’t think the truth of love is revealed to very many people. Most of the world is fine with one night stands, and the experience of multiple partners throughout life. Monogamy is frowned on and considered abnormal by many. I was always confused and uninterested as a youth in the rampant conquest for sexual trophies. Maybe I’m the oddball, but I’m glad I was. I had a couple of months of “holding hands” with a couple of girls but there was never anything at all serious and during those spells I thought, “what’s the point” focusing my interest on other endeavors.
When I saw the girl who would become my wife though…I was captivated. I was under her spell immediately. There was no other for me. It was expressed by her (at the time) that she felt the same. She also came from a past that was sexless. We went into a relationship as virgins. I thought this was wonderful. If we were together today, I’d still think it was wonderful. 10 years in, I guess she thought otherwise. Being a mother and a spouse was no longer appealing. There were more glamorous things in the world worth exploring.
For two years I tried to change her mind and for two years I was shot down over and over again. At this point, there was absolutely no convincing her that, whatever had happened to screw up our marriage, there was hope to restore what we had and to turn it into a beautiful situation. She recognized my willingness to change, my devotion and care for her, my pain…but she admitted that it was too late for her. She felt nothing for me. That is something I’ll never understand. Why was it too late? Especially when two people have become one and created two beautiful and talented children together. At the risk of sounding arrogant, we were a creative powerhouse of a family. In the end, none of that mattered.
It sucks to live with unanswered questions. It sucks to love someone so much and see the emptiness in their eyes as they observe your anguish.
Bonnie Raitt wrote “I Can’t Make You Love Me” in 1991. I’m sure I heard the song then and probably hated it. I recently revisited her recording of it and still did not like it. It didn’t move me at all. But, I stumbled across this cover from Bon Iver last year and it destroyed me. If you are loving someone right now and they won’t love you back, maybe you should skip this song.