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Happy Valentine’s Day, Pals!

Ah, amore!

Love. Did you know that there are 8 (!) types of love??

According to Dr. Carol Morgan, in an article she wrote for lifehack.org, the Ancient Greeks, a folk fascinated with the universe and all its mysteries, studied one of the greatest mysteries of all – Love.

These are the types they came up with…

  1. Agape- Unconditional Love
  2. Eros- Romantic Love
  3. Philia-  Affectionate Love 
  4. Philautia- Self Love
  5. Storge- Familiar Love
  6. Pragma- Enduring Love
  7. Ludus- Playful Love
  8. Mania- Obsessive Love

And still, with this impressive list, she forgot to mention the one kind of love I want to write about. The one I was reminded of during my recent high school reunion. This love followed me through the haunted halls of slamming lockers and broken hearts. When my whole world was in the lyrics of a song…

I want somebody to share, share the rest of my life. Share my innermost thoughts, know my intimate details.

But my silent fears have gripped me Long before I reach the phone. Long before my tongue has tripped me Must I always be alone.

I feel so helpless, like a boat against the tide. I wish this summer wind could bring back paradise.

(This next one came just a bit later, but it wrecked me all the same.)

I know someday you’ll have a beautiful life. I know you’ll be a star In somebody else’s sky

But why Why Why can’t it be Oh can’t it be mine

Yes, good ole UNREQUITED LOVE.

The only thing unrequited love is good for is song lyrics. I wrote a share of my own, but mine were more like really bad poetry. Look, crushes are a part of growing up. They’re called “crushes” for a reason. They hurt! They suck! But sometimes, they give us a reason to brush our hair, show up for school, or try something new. The butterflies in the belly, the sweaty palms, the tongue tie. It’s all a part of experiencing adolescence. When in gets in the way of life, that’s when we have to change course. 

Let me explain.

A good friend from my high school days and I were talking recently. I wanted to make sure I was a decent human during those times so I asked her, “how was I back then?” (Enough time had passed that I could take her answer in whatever form she wanted to give it.) She said, “You were…distracted.”

Holy shit!

That’s exactly right.

I was distracted. Because I was thinking about people who weren’t thinking about me.

I was holding out for an acknowledgement from those that didn’t want to give it.

I missed so many beautiful moments and PEOPLE who were right in front of me.

I couldn’t be in the moment because I was in my head.

I was wanting what wasn’t there.

To move forward, let’s define UNREQUITED LOVE.

Taken from an article written by Jodi Clarke, MA LPC/MHSP for verywellmind.com, Unrequited love is “love that is not returned or rewarded. It is a one-sided experience that can leave us feeling pain, grief, and shame.”

Like love, UNREQUITED has many forms.

  1. Loving someone who does not return those feelings.
  2. Pining for someone who is not available.
  3. Mutual attraction between people who are both in other relationships
  4. Desire for an ex after a relationship has ended.

My entire high school experience was weaving in and out of these forms. And now that I am old and just OH so wise (please..) I know why:

Loving what wasn’t or who couldn’t, KEPT ME SAFE.

Hear this. Loving someone that doesn’t love you back, keeps you from the giving and taking in relationships. It keeps you protected and guarded. You can have your secret crush and it can feel devastating. But it only hurts in your mind, it doesn’t put you in the arena to get your ass kicked by love.

Yes, you are safe from being hurt but you simultaneously block yourself from feeling the exhilaration and joy of being loved. Of what can happen when you are brave enough to open yourself to receive affection from someone who is emotionally and physically available.

I was scared. Vulnerability and me, we didn’t get along. But if you had a girlfriend, I could crush on you knowing that we weren’t going to happen. If you didn’t like me, it gave me a reason to cry in my car, singing 80’s love songs. I didn’t have a boyfriend in high school, so the pining after a breakup thing didn’t happen until college. 

All reasons that I allowed energy to only flow one direction…from me to him. 

From me to something in my mind and not in the now. Not loving what IS but what I hoped it could be. My love for my kids is sometimes deeper when they are away from me than when I am in the same room with them.

This cannot be!!!

Being guarded and safe from a broken heart by loving something that doesn’t love me back, that ship has sailed! I am too old to keep doing that shit. I want to feel the flow of giving AND receiving both from humans and the universe. 

So how do I do this??

The first thing I do is look at the relationships (not just romantic love….ALL relationships. This may include friends, family, or co-workers) in my life and see where the scales tip too much on my side. Where do I give too much and receive very little? Then  I back off. I channel that love somewhere else:

To myself –

Turn the energy towards me. Go for a walk. Mediate. Paint my nails. Cook something healthy and delicious. Point that energy within and do something loving and kind for myself.

To someone/something that really needs it-

A charity. Grandma. A foster child. A sick friend. Take that extra energy that you have from no longer loving things that don’t love you back and give it to someone who could really use it. Who would be so grateful for it. And who wouldn’t take you for granted, but would appreciate your energy towards their betterment. Furry friends are also a brilliant way to channel your love. And boy, will they ever love you back!!!

To the moment-

Take a look around you. How can you love the moment you are in? How can you connect to what is happening right now? If you’re alone, how can you enjoy that solitude more? How can you become more present? Take a deep breath, count to 3 and take a look around you. Are you with others? Connect with a person. Do not forbid the joy of the moment for fear of the intimacy of it or the fear that it will disappear. Sink into the love. Don’t be afraid to connect and receive all of the love around you. RIGHT NOW.

THE THING IS…

You deserve to love and be loved in return.

WHO and WHAT ARE YOU LOVING THAT ISN’T LOVING YOU BACK?

Let UNREQUITED LOVE be for the songwriters, not your life.

Happy Heart Day and if this is a hard day, I am sending  you a big, virtual hug.

Stay Cozy. Be Warm.

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