The Complexity of Love


Friends, family, lovers, strangers, acquaintances, co-worker etc… we all have a variety of human relationships that occupy our lives.  Recently, I have been overly observant of the connection between lovers.  Not my own connections, although I have definitely taken time to reflected on my own previous lost loves.  My observations are of the powerful affect that love has had on four people in my life.


My best friend of over 12 years is going through the break up of her marraige.  We run together every morning, so for the past 10 months, I have been her sounding board and support as she worked through her emotions.  Having experienced divorce myself ten years ago, I could relate to much of what she was going through.  At first, she was confused about her feelings.  Unsure if she was just going through a faze, or if she truely was unhappy in her marraige.  She felt unappreciated, and in her eyes nothing she did was good enough for her husband.  As time past, she became more and more sure she wanted to leave him.  When the time came for her to tell him she wanted a divorce, all hell broke loose.

From my viewpoint, he became very manipulative and emotionally abusive.  At first, I somewhat understood, as it makes sense that people act irrationally when they are hurting.  However, the abuse became more and more severe as he started to realize the “realness” of it all.  Currently, they are in the really messy part of the separation.  They are still in the same house, they own a business together, and they have three children still at home.  It’s only a matter of probably weeks before they can figure out a better living situation.  My friend has lost so much weight, she always anxious, and she feels helpless.

Because I am so close to this person, I can’t help but feel her pain.  I find myself more anxious lately, and I often have troubles sleeping due to my worry for her.  I’ve been where she is, and I know exactly what she is feeling.  Pain.


In contrast, another of my friends has just begun a new relationship.  I have a somewhat close friendship with one of my younger male coworkers.  He is about eight years younger than I and extremely handsome.  He met someone right around Christmas time on Tinder.  In the first few dates, he couldn’t decide if she was the one for him.  These two people are complete opposites.  He is conservative and quiet, while she is eccentric, tattoo’d, pieced, and vibrant.  They both teetered back and forth, and about a month in decided they were too different, but they wanted to remain friends.  That is, until my coworker started to pay attention to another young lady.  Funny how people suddenly realize they want something just when it’s about to become unavailable to us.  Regardless, the two have now been seeing eachother daily/nightly, and they have become “a couple”.   They are currently learning eachothers motivations and needs, which brings with it compromise.  This is the bumpy beginning stage.  A flurry of emotional ups and downs — excitement, resentiment, thrill, anger, jeolousy, trust, doubt, optimism.


My third story is that of a married woman.  A pregnant married coworker of mine, who I am not particularily close to, often shares the chaos of her life with me.   My coworker is around thirty years of age and is expecting her second child with her husband.  This is the second marraige for both herself and her husband, and her husband has three other children from his first marraige.  Daily, my coworker expresses her complete exhaustion with life, and she tells me she wishes her life were different.  Mix-families can have very stressful dynamics.  This is the unfortunately side-effect of bringing baggage to a relationship.  While she loves her husband and is excited to be having a family with him.  She doesn’t love dealing with his other children and the “ex”.  Honestly, I don’t blame her, which is why I don’t date men with children.  She seems miserable all the time, yet she has a great job, she’s smart, she’s in love — she appears to have it all.  With all the worries of life, one would hope that home would be the place to let them rest.


The final relationship I have taken interest in belongs to another coworker.  This coworker and I are in a similar stage of live.  We are both career women, around the same age, and single.  Well she’s sort of single.  There is one main difference between her and I; she has a small child.  Like me, she has gone through lost love and is currently back in the dating world.   A few months back she met a man, well boy actually.  She made a connection with a 24 year old, and she has no idea how to handle it.  On one side, she really enjoys his company.  On the other, she can’t see a real future with him.  He is needy for attention and his world is that of a 20 something boy.  Personally this would not be a relationship I could entertain, as I would not be able to get past the part of “where can this go”.  She enjoys him, but she wants more.  She wants to meet someone to grow old with.  He tells her this is what he wants, but as an older woman, she understand how much personal growth happens between the ages of 20 to 40.

I understand why she is holding on to this relationship; it feels good.  This relationship in all probability has a shelf-life, but should that matter?  A lot of relationships end, so if this is making her happy for now, should she end it because she knows it will end eventually later down the road?  I cannot answer this question for her, as I haven’t been able to allow myself to be careless enough with my feelings.  I am unwilling to bring complications into my life.  Right or wrong that’s just where I’m at.

My Final Thoughts

I am witnessing the beginning, middle, and ending of  relationships between lovers.  Looking back over my lifetime of love, I realize just how complex my relationships were.  I can see where I could have done things differently, or where I wouldn’t have begun them at all.   I experienced joy, but I also experienced a lot of pain.  It occurs to me this is the reason I have been single for three years.  I have become the definition of “Picky”.  With every possibility I can’t help but ask myself, “would he be worth it?”  The answer so far has been “No.”  I spent the first part of my adult life tangled up in the emotions of love.  The highs and the lows — too many lows. It is no longer possible for me to ignore the potential dangers that love brings, but yet I still cling to hope that someday I will find it again. At times my loneliness brings feelings of yearning, but my memory brings feelings of fear.  Love is delicate, beautiful, ugly, and mean.   Love is complicated, and for me I’m not sure if it is worth it.



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