First Love, or the Slow Toxin of an Arrogant Mind and Medieval Restrictions
Love. Complicated. Confusing. Hurtful. Awful. Eye-opening. Love is powerful in positive and negative ways. It can, and often does, have lifelong effects. Being in love can be the best feeling or the worst. One decision can mess up love forever and that love will never be the same no matter how hard you try to change it back. There is no changing the past and there is no predicting the future; the only thing you can do is live in the present, taking one day at a time and hoping your decisions now will still make you happy in the future.
All clichés. All too true. It’s awful when the clichés you hear over and over again, and think you can avoid, echo in your life and turn it into a slow-mo blazing horrid car crash. It’s impossible to even write about this topic without stepping into a large, steaming pile of cliché. And I won’t even try to avoid it.
Love - romantic love - is the most intense emotional connection. You pour everything into that one person because you think you finally found someone who understands and connects with you. You tell them everything about your past relationships, your family struggles, what you want when you’re older, and they do the same. You’re sad when they aren’t around and they are the only thing you think about, even when you’re with them. In the beginning, it’s a fantastic feeling - knowing that you found the person who seems to bring out the happiest version of you.
It is true (and annoying) when people say that love is blinding. It’s so bright and overpowering that at times that your natural instincts cower, and you forget that they are there at all. You’re in a ridiculously saccharine love bubble - thinking it will last forever. But what happens when the love-haze partially fades, and you begin to see things that you thought weren’t there before?
In the beginning, I thought all of the restrictions on me were “normal”. I wasn’t allowed to talk to certain people because he was afraid I would cheat on him. He would ban me from hanging out with guy friends I have had since I was a child. But the worst of the worst, and something that I just ignored for a long time is that he is a Trump supporter and everyone who wasn’t was a “snowflake”. I almost slapped him across the face when he called The Opal Club “some snowflake bullshit”. Everything I did, I had to check with him first otherwise he would get mad. Every opinion I had was wrong and he would tell me that I was ignorant, even though he was the ignorant one. Everything was always my fault and I just let it all happen because I was blinded by love.
I was lost. After a while, I didn’t know if I was still in love with him or just in love with the idea of him and being together. There came a point in our relationship where everything had changed. I moved into his house during the summer and all the sudden he wouldn’t talk to me as much. I would sleep in the guest bed most nights because he “needed a good night’s sleep without me kicking him”. He changed, or I just finally saw the side of him that I was blind to before. He wasn’t the same person that I fell in love with. Yes, he was still amazing to me but that connection we once had was gone. He was always the first person I wanted to tell something too, he would always make me laugh when I was sad, cook me dinner, and just FaceTime me because he missed my face. And honestly, I couldn’t tell you what triggered all this change, maybe it was there the entire time but in the last few months of our relationship, talking to him was like talking to a brick wall. All the problems my friends saw in him were finally becoming more visible to me. I didn’t listen to them for the longest time because I was blinded by love, but as soon as our love connection began to crumble, I saw all the problems my friends and family had seen for years.
I still love him and I always will but the love has changed. I am no longer being held back by him and his “rules”. Love had blinded me and at the time I didn’t think anything of it. As the love bubble began to fade I thought about how this wasn’t a healthy relationship and I was holding myself back from being the person I really was because of him.
No man should ever control you. You should always have the right to do and say what you want. And if there is a man in your life that puts these restrictions on your actions, really think about it: is this true love or are you just afraid of being alone? I was afraid of being alone. I was hurt so much in the past so when I found “love” I was willing to sacrifice my happiness because I thought I was happy with him, but it was all just an illusion. I was blinded by love but now I feel free.
by: Erin Lichter