Advice For Those Who Love People They Shouldn’t

“Smooth out your skirt and do not look at him.”
Advice for those who love people they shouldn’t

 I don't know what to tell you honey. So you like a man you shouldn't like. Tough luck, because the heart wants what the heart wants. "Look what- even Selena Gomez wrote a song about it, the heart wants what it wants." -My mother when I cried over liking a man I shouldn't.
 I don't know what to tell you about liking this person you shouldn't- about loving him even. Because I know exactly how you feel. A year later and I'm still liking parts of someone I shouldn't. I'm upset with myself for not being 100% over him.
 Though I know we will never be together again, and I don't know if I'd even want to- I'm still crushing on him. I compare others to him, I still think about him and smile, I still wonder if logistically it could work. I still fawn over him, think of him when I listen to songs, and get his image back in my mind. I still say "I lucked out with the first one" because he was the perfect first boyfriend to have all those first with. I still think about him on rainy days when my record plays a certain song, or when La La Land is on and I have to leave the house to take a drive just to calm down.
 But I also don't trust him, I also know he ruined special days for me, I know he wasn't picture perfect  and yes he did some things that annoyed me. I know what he did in the end was horrible, I know things he did that night were twisted, and I know I shouldn't be with him. My friends remind me of why I'm not with him any longer, how I deserve better. I've even written a note in my phone to go over and reread a hundred times on why he's not the one for me. I know it's bad, I keep making excuses for him, and he probably got over me a week after things ended. And we know that we're headstrong, and our heart's gone, and the timing's never right.
 Maybe it's Selena Gomez getting back with her ex that makes me think of this- or maybe it's the little mind altering substance I used before bed today that's making me think this is a good idea. Like I should say "hey let's get coffee over the holidays" and truly to me it sounds like a good idea...
 I cried to my mother over dinner one night when we were talking about how I'm dating these different guys and I feel nothing for them. How I'm not sure if I ever really felt anything for Karev but when given the all or nothing ultimatum I felt bad for thinking of saying no when I really was interested in him, just not as much as he supposedly was about me. Or perhaps that's a lie I tell myself because he hurt me, and maybe I did feel for him but am ashamed I could like a brutally mean man. So I said yes, and now when dating these guys- one I met at a book store, one I met at a coffee shop, one I met in my parking lot, two I met next door, one I met in Cleveland and again here in Cincinnati- I'm afraid of history repeating itself. They'll ask me to start a relationship with them and I'll feel nothing for them, but my interest will be peaked just enough to say yes because selfishly I want to see where this really goes. But I'm numb to my feelings towards them, I can kiss them goodnight and as I walk to my front door I don't have butterflies or a giddy grin or wished I had stayed with them longer. And so when I brought this up to my mother she said I was in love with Dean, maybe not still- but I was. And I started sobbing into my hands because fuck, she was right. Instantly I got defensive and said no I wasn't, and it makes me so extremely and wildly mad when someone says that to me because no- I couldn't possibly love Dean. He lied to me, I didn't even know him that well, and you can't love someone in three months. We spoke as two people getting to know each other for months, from early Spring to November before dating but even then I still didn't know him that well. But as I'm crying into my hands my mother calms me down, she says there are different kinds and levels of love. The man I'll love when I'm thirty will have a different kind of love than the person I loved at nineteen. She said it wasn't lasting, it wasn't this giant significant kind- but perhaps, I was in love with him, and that's why I still haven't gotten over him. And yes he did some fucked up things in the end of it all, but I loved the good parts of him, the good things we shared.
 I denied it though and went home.
 But now I'm here, thinking she was right and mad at myself that she is. I think maybe I did love him, sadly. I loved the good things- she was probably right about that. I never had this significant feelings of 'yes, this is love' but I think when I told Dean "I'm falling in love with you" I wasn't lying. I think maybe that's what it was- I was falling, and mid fall I just stopped somewhere when he left and then I got stuck. And now I'm here.
 So I'm sorry darling, I don't know what to tell you about loving a man you shouldn't. Because here I am maybe still loving one. And I think sadly a part of me always will be in this middle ground of falling in love with him and being in love with him. And it hurts, and it sucks, and it's so annoying. I don't know how to get this sinking feeling out of my heart and my head- so I don't really have much advice for you on this. But I can tell you what I've done and what I'm doing to push away this middle feeling.
 I took a trip to Cleveland- it was the last place I was so genuinely happy that I cried. I drank coffee, lot's of it- I went to coffee shops alone with a book or my laptop and ordered cup after cup of coffee. I bought books- I worked longer hours at my job to distract me and bought books with the 4 extra hour pay I got. I bought house plants- I filled my apartment with green plants and pretty ceramic planters. I used some mind altering substances- I stood on my friend's downtown patio and breathed in the night air while talking about relationships, mental health, and dating. I cried- I cried a lot and didn't harp on myself for it. I got into a new religion- I've always been spiritual and never religious, but I found myself looking at the life of a Wiccan and adored the happy things that it brings. I tried running- literally and figuratively from my problems, I bought a windbreaker and thermal leggings then started running outside and at the gym. I drove more- I blasted the music and will go until my gas tank hits the next line just looking at the city, the yellow leaves, and singing along to Denim Jacket by Maroon 5.
 There you go love, the things I did to get try to stop myself from loving a man I shouldn't. They won't work though, they never will- because even my mother still has a pang in her heart for her first boyfriend, a boy that she loved. But they are things you can do to subside the pang- until you find the next person who leaves you leaning up against your front door with a giddy smile on your face after they kissed you goodnight at the end of walking you home. You'll find him, and he'll be better, and maybe you'll love him. You'll love him more than the one before and it'll be that different kind of love- perhaps stronger and better. I do have this one man who makes me giddy when I hear his name come up in conversation, or when he smiles and I can't help but smile my silly dimpled smile. And I think of him on nights where I'm driving down the highway and looking at the lights. But even if I ever do love him, in a stronger kind of way, I'll still always have a little part of me who will be stuck in that middle ground of falling and being there when it comes to love for Dean. I will be 42 one day and my own daughter will come crying to me about how she hates herself for loving a man she shouldn't- and I will tell her it's okay, because though I know I will be absolutely crazy mad about her father, there is this small little twinge in my heart for a man named 'Dean' who I was somewhere in the middle of falling and in love with at the age of nineteen. And it doesn't mean she'll never move on, I've moved on and I have been moved on from him but my heart still holds a spot for him. My mom still holds a spot in her heart for her first boyfriend as well. I've talked recently to a man who still holds a spot in his heart for his first love but he moved on years ago...  I will reminisce for a second, and she will cry, and I will hug her and tell her it's okay. It sucks, it hurts, but it's okay. Because even though she may still love that man, it doesn't mean she can't move on and find someone else who she will love with all her heart- not just a corner of it.
 And I think admitting all of this just helped me finally move on, for real and for sure this time.

Now I'm constantly reminded of the time I was 19

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