There is a song — I forget now who it’s by — with a lyric: “Too many lovers in one lifetime ain’t good for you.” I sometimes wonder if that’s true, and what that means for me.
I realize the number of lovers I’ve had isn’t necessarily extensive, nor intimidating, nor even that impressive.
But I do worry that it’s far too many for me, for someone my age.
Because they weren’t just sex. It wasn’t ever just sex. They were all lovers in some sense of the word. The first was, of course, the first one that challenged all schoolgirl ideals, that broke all the conventional romantic projections brainwashed by the nuns in school, my friends, or my mother. It was the first time I gave my heart fully, freely, and completely. But then after the first one, you lose something, something integral, something innocent and beautiful.
Afterwards, there is always that hesitation, that fear of losing a piece of yourself in someone, to someone. Because you do. Lose a piece of yourself, that is. Or at least, if it’s not lost, it’s changed. And some people will claim, “No, no. I got over that person a long time ago. They mean nothing to me now.” And sure, maybe you did get over them, and moved on, but they’re still there. In your head, and in your heart. And when you think of them, or remember them, there will always be that slight twinge or, if you’re lucky, a feeling of exhilaration, of bittersweet remembrance and acceptance.
But each and every one of them will take a small part of your heart. Or even if they leave a piece, they make a mark, a tiny nick in the fabric of your most fragile organ. Over time, those nicks collect into gaps, into missing pieces.
And if you’ve had so many lovers at so young an age, will there be anything left to your heart by the time you find that love, the lasting, the final, the undying love?
I worry sometimes about not finding that love. I think everyone does. But more troublesome than that thought even, is the thought of having nothing to offer. The worry that you will somehow, in this dense and overwhelming crush of people, find the one soul you were meant to be with, the soul that recognizes without a doubt or hesitation that you are — it.
That this, this love, this all-encompassing madness you two feel upon your first glance, your first words to each other, that first trembling and awe-inspiring touch…is it.
And, upon finding them, feeling the crushing realization that you have become too tired, too bitter, too cynical and jaded to trust in true love. To expose what little is left of your heart, for fear that they will take it all…and leave you.
True love has become a myth to mankind. We spend time and money and frustration and tears and our health and our sanity on the pursuit of it, yet few actually believe they’ll ever find it. The level of cynicism amongst us is startling, but understandable. With the population expanding every second and actual communication and interaction being replaced by Internet profiles and instant messaging, what hope is there of finding the other half of your soul?
But does this mean I should give up hope completely? That I should retire to my couch on Friday nights, throw away all my lingerie, invest in a boyfriend pillow and decent vibrators, and an animal that will love me unconditionally and forever and always? Or should I begin looking at love in a different light?
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