Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

Some Things Are Beyond Our Control

Some Things Are Beyond Our Control just a story  AstorPlace NYC June2000 300x205Perhaps I should have called today’s post, “Incoherent Ramblings on a Rainy Saturday Afternoon”.  My apologies.

I was talking with a friend last night about . We didn’t label it heartache, but that’s what we were talking about. That horrible feeling you get when your heart feels so full of and hurt and leftover that it makes you want to cry. Or maybe it makes you actually cry. That’s OK, too.

One of the more complicated elements of heartache is the leftover love. Just because a relationship is over, it doesn’t mean you stop loving that other person. Or maybe YOU do. I don’t. And neither does my friend. We talked about how hard it is when you love someone, still, even though you know you shouldn’t. So mixed in with all of the sadness and anger, there’s this leftover love that makes heartache feel worse than any physical pain I’ve ever had to endure.

Anyway, my point today wasn’t to sit down and write about heartache and how much it sucks.  Nope. Here’s my point: heartache happens because love is beyond our control.  We can’t will (well, I can’t) ourselves to stop loving someone.  We can stop seeing a person, cut them out of our lives, move on… But there’s no way to actually make ourselves stop loving a person.

Luckily, heartache eventually fades. We start to feel better, eventually.  And if we’re lucky, we might even fall in love again, one day.

But we can’t control that, either.  The falling in love again.  We can make ourselves “open” to it.  We can be flexible in our dating standards.  Whatever.  But we can’t make our hearts sing out for another person.  We can’t make ourselves feel giddy at the thought of seeing a person.  We can’t control love.

I’ve been really lucky, in some ways. I’ve been in love a couple of times. Maybe I’ll get to fall in love again, one day. Or not. Either way, I know there’s nothing I can do to force it, or control it.


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11 to “Some Things Are Beyond Our Control”


  1. Hmm. The only time I can say that I ever ‘stopped’ loving someone was my ex-husband. I just felt like he disappointed me so many time (in a big way) that whatever love I had was pushed out. So yeah, I’d say you’re lucky enough to have love left! Or maybe not, because it was easier to move on. It took me a long time to feel at all again though.

    But you’re right, we can’t control it. Where would the fun in that be?! lol ;)

  2. jackie says:

    in the works of ekykah badu: my mind says move on; my heart lags behind.

    beautiful post hon. adore you
    jackie

  3. michele says:

    I really love that post. You’re definitely not alone in feeling that way. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t had some left over love. Maybe if they are not in touch with their feelings, but this is what makes us human.

    michele

  4. I think the age old adage of “Time Heals All Wounds” really is true…okay well…I mean…time won’t cure that bullet wound…but emotionally speaking…the key is…you have to give time…time…to do its job. Heartache is a bit of a beast in the wild…but that doesn’t mean you can’t lure it away with some cookies…chain it to a tree…makes it run laps on a hamsterball…distract it with another beast just like it…or hit it with a tranquilizer dart or two lol

  5. Lexi says:

    This is a really great post. Just because people leave us, or they move far away, doesn’t mean we suddenly have no feelings for them at all. I actually have love for a few people that I knew in the past, and have some heart ache. But the secret is time, time heals all wounds, and helps us move forward to meet new people. Time also makes us feel more comfortable and appreciate what we have now. That’s just how I feel:)

  6. Patricia R. says:

    I know this feeling quite well…I find more often than not that it happens when the people we love disappoint us. We have standards (which we may or may not share with our significant other) and then when those standards are violated, we feel betrayed. An English professor I had ages ago told the class her lessons on life on the last of of class. She said “don’t ever play games with love, and not tell your partner the rules.” I think that has been some of the most helpful advice on love (and how to avoid heartache) that I have ever gotten. Great post!

  7. pups4me says:

    This post reminds me a quote from Carrie Bradshaw…when a relationship ends, where does the love go? I think about this a lot because I think it’s a great question and like most other readers I agree, it takes time to get over heartache. And sometimes you think enough time has passed and you’re doing really well but then something will happen that brings back all the feelings and makes you remember the heartache. But if you’re lucky, the heartache is only a fraction of what it once was.

  8. Tiff says:

    Just found your blog a couple of weeks ago and really enjoy it. This post is wonderful. I have never been able to put into words now I feel about my ex, and you nailed it. Left over love. Damn that junk. I am now married and have two wonderful kids and wouldn’t change my life for anything, but somedays those leftovers leave me sad. Ugh. Hate those days.

    Keep up the wonderful job.

  9. Tina T says:

    You expressed this beautifully, and it’s true that we can’t help who we love. Sometimes though we need to remember that love is a verb as well as an emotion. Lasting love has both partners continually showing love to each other as well as feeling the emotion, while the kind of love that leaves us heartbroken is often filled with the emotion but is short on actions.

  10. Izzy says:

    Lovely post. Something I too am dealing with.

    Here’s my question though, what if you allow life to go one, and try to move on but at the end of the day you still love that person? Is it us just holding on, years later or was there something there worth revisiting?

  11. Simone Grant says:

    Thank you everybody for your comments. I’m sorry, I couldn’t get it together to reply to individual comments on this. I hope you’ll understand.