I don’t like your boyfriend.
When I care about the people in my life, I can’t be selective about the issues I’m going to care about. I care about everything that happens to you, and when people are mean to you it’s really hard for me to look at them the same ever again.
We listen to the things our friends and family tell us and, because we love them, we hurt inside for the pain they are going through. We offer solace and encouragement and “you don’t deserve that” (because you DON’T) and we feel genuine pain over the suffering you have experienced. Sometimes it’s just normal couples stuff that everyone goes through and you can commiserate because you’ve been there too, and everything is going to work out and be fine and dandy again.
Sometimes, even though it may seem like a huge thing, it’s something you can work though between yourselves and move past and make an effort to resolve so that both of you are happy, and in those cases I’m happy for you. Everyone has conflict; no relationship and no person is perfect. I know that and I can accept that.
But sometimes it’s not.
So you can imagine how awkward it might be to be on the other end of that conversation when yesterday you were devastated and crying and today you’re sucking it up and everything is fine dammit. And by the way, boyfriend wants to hang out.
Because here’s the thing: you have that L-word thing going for you. That thing that makes everything this person does all pink and sparkly and smell like cupcakes. You can go through these cataclysmic events and come out the other side full of optimism that it isn’t going to happen again, and it was all your fault anyway, and if you were just smarter these things wouldn’t happen at all because hello…love.
I don’t have that. For me this person still smells like a shit sandwich. I can’t make that same shift in perspective that you can because I don’t have the love goggles on. I remember the things you told me and I remember how hurt you were, so I have a really hard time looking them in the eye and acting like everything is fine and they’re awesome, and boy you are lucky to have them! I just really can’t fake it – believe me, I’ve tried. I am a horrible liar and it shows all over my face anyway. I think this might make me a bad person, or at least it’s a character flaw that I can’t let it go and forget, and maybe it’s none of my business to get upset on your behalf at all.
But I do and I am. Because I love you.
And I know it bothers you, and I’m sorry for that.
And I’m trying.