It’s a topic of much debate whether borderlines are actually capable of real, true love. I don’t know what the answer is. For that matter, is there actually even one sole definition of what “real, true love” is? I’m pretty sure there exist different variations, depending on who you ask. There is no one universal conception as to what love is, and I don’t think anybody has the right to claim their idea as the absolute truth.
When anybody talks about love, they’re talking about the way love works in their world. They’re talking about the way they love, and the way they perceive love directed back at them. And so I am not going to bother arguing whether we are capable of love. I am, instead, going to talk about how love works in our (or at least my) world.
Love, for you, is larger than the usual romantic love. It’s like a religion. It’s terrifying. No one will ever want to sleep with you. — Richard Siken
I decided to write about this topic mostly because of an ongoing conversation I have with the Boyfriend, which never gets resolved because we ultimately have fundamentally different conceptions of what love is.
My definition—and I would venture to say, most borderlines’—is mostly predicated on a great deal of need. It’s intense and all-consuming. It pretty much rules my whole world and my entire life… and it’s been this way ever since I can remember.
Growing up, I’ve always given hopeless romantics a run for their money. I can’t remember when or how it began, but at some point in time I registered that my life’s sole purpose was to find The One and fall in love with him and live happily ever after. Everything else is a distant second, including my dreams of being a writer. I would give up everything else in a heartbeat.
If I psychoanalyze myself I’d suggest that my obsession for finding my soulmate, the mysterious person who would love me unconditionally and irretrievably and ‘get’ me in ways no one else can, definitely stems from my disconnect from my parents. I grew up being picked apart for being weird, strange, overemotional, different, odd, difficult… I don’t think it’s a huge mystery as to why I would spend my whole life looking for one person who would love the parts of me that my family hated.
Maybe it’s because of my extreme fixation, or maybe it’s because of the emergence of my BPD tendencies from all the emotional invalidation I received from my family (or maybe it’s just a chicken or egg argument), but as a result anything to do with love or romantic relationships elicits strong and intense reactions from me. Well, technically BPD causes most anything to register more intensely, but I dare say it’s the craziest when it comes to romantic love.
Since I’ve met you, everything I’ve done has been in part because of you. I can’t untie myself from you—not my heart or my blood or my mind or any other part of me. And I don’t want to. — Cassandra Clare
When I’m not physically with the Boyfriend, I’m thinking of ways I can see him again as soon as possible. He is always, always my number one priority. I basically plan my entire life around him. I think twice before signing up for activities just in case it eats into time I could’ve spent with him. I schedule meet-ups with friends during the times he’s too busy to meet me. I basically spend most of my life just waiting for him to call for me like a puppy curled up by the door waiting for its owner to return home.
Why? Because life is just… dull when it’s not spent with him. Anything else I do, any other fun I have, just never comes close to the intense waves of joy and happiness and excitement I experience when I’m with him.
Which brings me to my point that it’s not like I resent having my universe structured around him. I choose to do it that way. I love him, and being with him makes me the happiest version of myself… so why would I want to do anything else?
The trouble comes in when I begin to resent the fact that he doesn’t live his life for me. I mean, I know I’m a very important part of his life — but that’s the point. I’m a part of his life, whereas he is my entire life. And so no matter what he does, no matter how sweet he is to me and how dedicated he is, it just never feels like enough.
Is it fair of me to expect that from him? The logical answer is no. It’s unhealthy, and it’s probably impossible anyway. He doesn’t want to have his life revolve around me, and it would be unfair of me to pressure him to do so, and even if I did he would probably end up hating me.
Yet it still bugs me that I would willingly do that for him, whereas he wouldn’t do it for me. It freaks me out that I love being with him so much that it trumps everything else, whereas it’s not the case for him. It scares me that I would always choose him, whereas he wouldn’t (well, he doesn’t even see it as a matter of ‘choosing’). I guess obsessive need shouldn’t be a barometer for how much he loves me, and I honestly don’t know how that even came into being in the first place, but I have absolutely no idea how to change it.
I mean, we can compromise as much as possible, but that doesn’t alter the fact that it never feels enough. I can let him do his own thing, but that doesn’t change the fact that I still feel like crap. That doesn’t change the fact that I always end up looking at him and thinking, “Why don’t you need me more? Why don’t you want me the way I want you?”
I know the answer is that my definition should be altered. That people are people, and should not be treated as universes. But this has been my life’s dream since I can remember, and if I give that up it feels like I’ll be losing an essential part of me and who I am.
I suppose the next question is, am I willing to risk a perfectly good relationship with a perfectly good guy for some warped idea of what I want love to look like in my book? Am I willing to risk something real for something imaginary?
As of now, I have no answer yet. I feel like that’s how I’ve been ending so many of these posts, but that’s why it’s called a journey, I guess.