… How do you deal with the question: Do I still love him? Am I still in love with him? I guess doubts are normal, but it is still hard to deal with those feelings, especially if you don’t want to hurt your other half. – Anonymous
…How do we know when we must go, leave, and end a relationship? – Camille
… Have you ever left the nice guy for a tougher time out on your own? – Pearl
Dear Abby, dear Anonymous, dear Camille, dear Pearl…
So many questions about love. Always. Love is so tricky. It’s so on and off. It’s so the contrary of a fairytale. Love is everywhere yet love is rare. So how do we know when to hold on to it, when to let it go? Here are a few things I know – and I hope that through this letter, a few of your questions about love will be answered.
Well, these answers are according to my vision of love.
So just so we’re clear…
Some women need to be adored: I love to be adored but mostly need to adore. When I am too adored, I am bored. Some women are looking to be saved, some women are looking to save, some are looking for safety, others are looking for adventure… It depends on where we are in our souls and in our minds.
But how do you know what you want?
Me, I’ve always followed my gut. Or like, my heart. To be very simple, who makes my heart beat? If I really listen, I am attracted to very few people – makes my life easy: I want what I am attracted to.
Signs that my heart is beating?
Well, my heart rate comes up. Conversations can last for hours. I lose a lot of weight and I have no idea why. I feel invisible. I feel super fragile. I become extremely beautiful. I want to buy new shoes. Ok but that’s easy, it’s the first months’ butterflies thing, all right.
So, how do I know if my heart is still beating, say, after a few years?
Totally different. Things like: I care. Things like: I still want to have sex. Even if we don’t do right now, right here like we did in the beginning, I still totally want to. Things like: I am ready for a fight. Things like tenderness, acceptance, comfort, things like ease, joy, simplicity, admiration (yeah you gotta be proud of your partner, it’s important!) and still liking to do things together.
So when do you know it’s time to leave?
I’ve always found that it’s time to leave when I don’t care.
I left a man that would spend hours talking about our relationship to try to make it better, except the only emotion it raised in me was a giant yawn. Or he would come back from a trip and I would wonder who was that stranger in my house.
I know it’s time to leave when I don’t have the fight in me anymore.
But don’t you feel guilty, say, if the person absolutely adores you?
Well of course I do, but guilt is the worst feeling to hold onto in a relationship. You can guilt yourself to the gym but you can’t guilt yourself into love.
Also, in any relationship, we’re responsible for our feelings, not the other’s. And when you don’t love someone enough, out of respect, chic, and elegance, you don’t stay.
But what if you are leaving a guy who’s actually The One ?
Well, first, I don’t believe in The One. I believe we choose One, and then we project a ton of stuff on him and we make him The One. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Most times when it works it’s a lot lot lot of hard work. So much hard work that some people might wonder if it all was worth it in the end, but that’s the way they are and I respect that.
I am not a “till death tears us apart” person. I am a “as long as we’re two humans very happy together and can make it through high and lows without too much emotional damage” type of person.
All right but you didn’t answer the question. At all.
Okay, let’s say you’re about to leave what you believe to be The One but you’re afraid it might be the Biggest Mistake In Your Life.
Don’t freak out.
1/ There are actually a great number of great people on earth. Seriously. Don’t hold onto love, it makes it run away. Plus now, there are apps.
2/ If there is such thing as The One, then it means that you’ll find each other again when the time is right.
3/ Nothing worse than staying in a relationship because we’re afraid of the unknown. Nothing.
I am very very very angry at him. Should I leave him?
Because remember, love is not about perfect moments and endless peacefulness.
Love is real and it’s raw and people you love make you angry.
You don’t leave when you’re angry, you leave when he doesn’t even make you angry anymore.
But he cheated on me!!!
Well, you guys should talk first. I’ve been cheated on before (not in the relationship I am in currently, don’t you start looking at him weird!) and I stayed. It was hard, like, HARD!!! But I trusted we had talked it out, I trusted his remorse, I trusted he wouldn’t do it again. And I was right. We set the relationship straight and it worked out and it never happened again. Till I left him for totally other reasons (boredom, lol).
Oh and by the way, don’t listen to the Kardashians: men are not “programmed to cheat.” Some do. But it’s not in their DNA. Not more that some women. Most men I have met are loyal, honest, love a lot of other things outside of cheating (like surfing, fishing, training dogs, whatever rocks their boat) and would rather go take a nap than get into the complicated BS of having affairs.
So, one of you cheated but you both want to stay together?
Sit down and talk. Talk for as long as you want.
Except if, of course, you’re in a toxic relationship and you feel like this person is turning you coucou.
If the person hurts you (“Nah, it didn’t hurt”), diminishes you (“You’re not that pretty”), pressures you (“You know you want to have sex / drugs / whatever weird stuff he/she is into that you’re not into”), isolates you (“Your friends are dumb!”), sucks the life out of you (“You work, and I go play, okay? Also you’re not that pretty”), then you leave right away and never, ever, ever look back.
Okay but what about passion, you’re French, you would know!!?
Passion is great but passion should last only a few months. After that, if it doesn’t settle, if you can’t go back to work, if you feel depressed, if you want to drop out of school, if you feel on edge all the time, it’s not passion, it’s toxicity, co-dependance and you should leave, get back to your life, your awesome friends are waiting.
But Garance, I swear: in my case, it’s special…
And it absolutely is. This is why, take my advice and then apply it to your life and to your personality and to your story. Every story is different and most of them are worth living – the good and the bad, because at the end what’s important is what we learn about ourselves.
We can’t live life through the advice of others, but they sure can help lighten the way.
I hope I lightened yours a little. Come back here and ask anything, whenever you need. <3