Proven: Hurt People Hurt People

Once upon a time, an ex-boyfriend of mine told me that he loved me with all of his heart. Then he told me that no matter how much I loved him back, it would never be enough to constitute a truly healthy relationship. Because I’m just not me without my chronic discontent towards love – whether in or out of it.

I know, right?

To be fair, this happened during a fight. And I believe his actual words were, “Love is wasted on you because you’ll never let yourself be happy,” but I like mine more.

I had all but forgotten about this statement since we broke up almost three years ago – but over the past few weeks it has returned to the surface of my consciousness. And my actions keep giving it credence. And it’s pissing me off because it took me this long to realize that maybe he was right.

It would explain:

  1. why Keychanges is at its best when I’m complaining about how much it sucks being a single gay man searching for true love, but only encountering noncommittal jerks who’d prefer our relationship exist only in the bedroom; and
  2. why I broke up with a near-perfect guy last week after three months of him being the single gay man searching for true love, and me being the noncommittal jerk who’d prefer our relationship exist only in the bedroom.

I can already hear my best friends saying, “You just always want what you can’t have,” and I can already hear a therapist saying, “You have to love yourself first before you can truly love someone else,” – but dammit, it is so frustrating to know that all of my complex emotional issues can be boiled down into cliché phrases directed at issues that millions of people have already struggled with.

Why do I have to consciously love myself? Can’t I just take an alternate route to happiness? Such as finding that one man that’s going to make all of my problems go away?

That would be ideal.

But no, I have to be one of those people that can’t just let life happen without overanalyzing every errant thought and emotion of mine until I’ve effectively killed whatever magic had once existed between myself and any man I’ve ever been with. Or until they end up thinking I’m crazy and/or a waste of love.

Or, as with Awesome Guy, until I end up hurting them.

It’s never a winning scenario.

Prior to breaking up with Awesome Guy, I spent a Saturday with the above-referenced ex-boyfriend of mine – purely because I couldn’t get his three-year-old words out of my head and I wanted to confront them head on.

Sadly though, I couldn’t find the right time to bring it up. Because really, when you’re catching up with an ex, there is no right time to casually interject with, “So, remember that night back in January of 2010 when we were fighting in your Ford Explorer and you said that love is wasted on me because I’ll never let myself be happy?”

I’m sure he doesn’t remember anyways – those words were just casually flung my way in the midst of a single fight in the vast array of epic battles that defined our yearlong relationship.

Although we didn’t address the statement in question, seeing my ex again did make me remember all kinds of details from our time together that I had mostly forgotten about — such as how I picked fights all the time, made the entire relationship revolve around me rather than us, and overall, just didn’t know how to be a truly great boyfriend.

As I was leaving his house, he told me, “I want you to know that no matter what’s happened between us, a part of me will still always love you.”

And all I could think to myself was: What a waste.

And that’s when I knew I had to break things off with Mr. Awesome.

P.S. This post was a little too heavy and lugubrious (and/or I-will-probably-think-it-was-insanely-melodramatic-and-unnecessary-in-about-twelve-hours) for my liking. I apologize. But I feel like I really hurt an awesome guy’s feelings last week, and I wanted to explain myself (to the world, apparently). Because I really cared about him and I still feel bad.

P.P.S. I am slowly working on my issues. And it’s going pretty well. Except for those times when I want to jump in the faces of happily married couples and scream, “Did you both examine all of your emotional baggage and deep-rooted insecurities before getting married? NO? Then why the hell do I have to?! IT’S NOT FAIR AND PLEASE LET ME TRADE LIVES WITH YOU!”

I’m hoping those occasions become rarer with time. And therapy.


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