When the Word “Different” Became Scary

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I comforted myself with the idea that loads of people fall in and out of love all the time. Because of that, I assumed that love we had, the love I felt for him, would surely happen again. However, as I start to delve deeper into social psychology, and the minds of more mature, post-first-love adults, I realize something that has scared the crap out of me.

A lot of these “happy” couples are just people who settled much more than the hopeless romantic in me would like to acknowledge. I’ve talked to countless people, single, married, somewhere in between, and if they’re not with the one person that left a mark on their life, they can always name the one that did. Regardless of whether they split a week ago or twenty years ago, they were memorable to them, and never far from their mind. Even though these women used a million different words to describe that one person, it usually boiled down to that super cliché word that makes me cringe a little, soul-mate* (PLEASE refer to disclaimer).

A woman knows the face of the man she loves as a sailor knows the open sea. – Honore de Balzac

People and research say that it is possible to fall in love many times, but also that each time is quite different (even on a neurological level). It was this realization that shifted my fear… I am no longer afraid of never falling in love, I am no longer afraid of being alone; I am now terrified of being with someone, being in love, and still missing the one whose “different” I loved the most. I am scared of being that woman who remembers that one boy she would’ve given the world to, that she’ll never tell her husband about (I was depressed all day after that one).

Don’t get me wrong, in the many people I have talked to during my year-long search for post-breakup success stories, there were many who married or were currently with that one person… but for those that weren’t, the bittersweet stories of “what if” and “this one time” just seemed to be endless. The idea that it could be me some day is now all I can think about.

The very essence of romance is uncertainty ― Oscar Wilde

Luckily, I am young and the chance that he wasn’t that “one” is pretty high. It’s very possible that I end up one of those lucky women who will never have to deal with the decades of missing him. Yet, in the illogical, hopeless romantic part of my brain, I also know how possible it is for me to be the woman I met with a husband of twenty years, three children, and a photo of her high school sweet heart still tucked away in her wallet (annnd now I’m crying). My deepest fear is that those BS stories of true love, soul mates, and happily-ever-afters, are indeed real and I may have lost mine.

My soul can reach   ― Elizabeth Barrett Browning

What do you guys think? Do you have that one person? Are you one of the lucky ones? Do you believe in that one person? Do you have an pearls of wisdom for me? Let me know!

Much love, 

Lucy Loves Life… and “different” xx

P.S If you had any type of mushy emotion towards The Notebook, Titanic, or even Twilight …do not become a psych major… you will need counseling and gallons of ice cream. You have been warned.

*Disclaimer: I do not use the word soul mates in the sense that most would consider it. Believing that you can’t be happy with anyone but “the one” and that fairies and pixie dust will keep you together forever, that’s insane. When I use the word soul mate here, I am speaking in the context in which the people I spoke to used it, which is that one person they always remember. They were speaking of a person they worked through a relationship with that left a long-term love in their mind, they referred to the love “they loved the most,” or their biggest “what if.”

 

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