"At times I think my coffee and tea addictions truly drive my artistic energy. It’s a small sacrifice for the greater good."

Essay: Falling out of like

Posted: 1/26/10 | Written by Jeannie | Labels:

There are times in everyone’s life when they have to face the hard fast truth; they are no longer in love with someone. However, before we -- as humans -- hit that wall. Before we realize all the pain we’ve gone through outweighs the bond that ties us. We fall out of like.

It’s not something as simple as you wake up and realize the person sitting next to you is a moron. Their mannerisms irk you beyond belief and there is no way you could love this person. No; if only we could spare our hearts with something as simple as that. Instead we fight; we fight for days on end. Sometimes a month will go by and you won’t acknowledge the person that shares the most intimate spaces with you. It’s not a physical space, as most might think – it’s a space that is only reached through talking. And this-–well--this is where we start to fall out of like with someone.

It’s a slow becoming. Different from when we fall in like with someone. When we fall in like: it’s as if all our cares fade into a seemingly bottomless void of hope. While that may sound ineffective this is what happens. That hole inside our soul begins to fill with all our worries, coated nicely with thin layer of trust. Eventually that hole fills. Trust established. Hope confirmed. Intentions sealed. We are no longer in like. We are in love.

However when reversing that process, we constantly fight with ourselves. Our inner demons take perch just out of sight. They stay far enough to be out of mind, but ready to swoop in for the kill. Ready at any moment to land on that nicely, tucked away heart, and peck through all the armor we try to coat it with. We start thinking about how he or she never talks to me about --- fill in the blank. Everyone’s different; everyone has their own something that they wish they could speak more freely about. For me, it was that he never spoke to me as a person. It was always about my accomplishments, the talent that he saw never who I am -- outside of those specific lists. Our conversation filled with, what are you going to do next? Have you called that artist you met last week? When do you expect projects X, Y, & Z to be done? In these moments all I wanted; all that I needed in order to keep those demons at bay was a simple question. How are you doing?

Yes, I know every man reading this just rolled their eyes shook their head and uttered, ‘feelings.’ However, looking through your eyes I’m sure there are times when all you wished your partner would do: is summed up by this question. Will you rub my feet? While men and women are wired differently, the road leading to the fall of like is the same. Questions we can’t ask. Communication we can’t follow.

In my case it was that I couldn’t express what I needed and he couldn’t see I was drowning. My demons kept me from explaining that it was too much. Everything was too much. However, I didn’t want him to see me as weak. I didn’t want him to think I was a lesser woman because his mind made me out to be larger than life so I worked harder becoming more exhausted with the situation. I watch as those figurative demons circle. I submit more to him thinking he will see this as a call for help and yet – nothing. A heart: fully exposed, open and waiting for justification to stay in the relationship. Sadly -- we as humans – are the most open before the end.

This falling out of like, can take months. For some it may take years and you know it is happening as it continues. More and more things start to build up because of it. Communication breaks down further as those demons chew on the fleshy bits of your heart. The things that made you fall in love with them in the first place. The idiosyncrasies which drew you in – a snort perhaps when they laugh – eaten from your heart, now it’s just a flaw you cannot look past. Until finally one day you wake up and realize the person sleeping in the bed next you is a stranger. The void’s trust broken and spilling forth all those worries you thought so nicely bound. You are no longer in like with them. You are no longer in love with them. You are no longer in a relationship with them.

© 2010 Jeannie Hart

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