I have a confession to make!

You cannot love another individual wholeheartedly till you love yourself enough, admits this writer in her story

Neetole Mitra | Posted on 31 Aug 2016
Love Yourself First: A Confession I Have To Make | Bonobology

I have a confession to make. I’ve betrayed myself and the person I claim to love the most. I didn’t love him even though I really wanted to. Even though that was the only thing I wanted to.

Three years of rambling confusion later, here I sit one lonely Sunday afternoon, a realization slowly dawning over me. No, I didn’t love him. I despised him. Every single minute of it. Every moment I spent with him. Every dialogue we ever shared. Everything he did for me and I did for him in return. All of it marred, all of it scarred by jealousy.

He was everything I wanted. He was the love of my life. I loved him since the moment I set my eyes on him. He was so perfect for me that I didn’t even realise when I secretly started to aspire to be more like him. The way he walked. The way he knew so clearly what kind of scent he wanted to wear or which type of clothes would look the best on him. The way he talked about his job and his friends. And the feelings he evoked in me.

Did I make him feel the same way? Did he also look up to me the way I looked up to him? Me? Plain Jane? With big round eyes that seem to stare more than look? I was so jealous. I wanted to be as special to him as he was for me. Not for once did it occur to me that I was special and that he loved me too. All I could see was his perfection and his involvement with himself. He couldn’t possibly have time for me. He was so immersed in his own life.

And it’s true. He was indeed immersed in his own life. Each day he woke up with enthusiasm (god knows summoned from where?) and went about his routine so sincerely. He laughed at the same jokes in the evening with such honesty that the conversations flowed without awkwardness. He genuinely cared about the deadlines that had to be met at work. “The work would get stalled if I don’t finish this today.” And he wouldn’t complain! Ever.

I had a hard time understanding him. People in general complain. It becomes a great source of bonding. Boyfriends mostly are bumbling blunders and women get much sense of purpose in tutoring them to act more civil. But here he already knew what needed to be done and it seemed to me that nothing really seemed to pull him down.

Instead of mending him, the only thing that was left for me to focus on was improving my ways. I felt really purposeless back then. Nothing else seemed to be worth investing my time in. I could already do everything else. But how do I match up to him? I started to compare. And then it went downhill one painful step at a time.

Every conversation led to a fight. Anything he did that didn’t involve me felt like a threat. It made me feel like he was leaving me behind to find someone who was more like him. I stopped considering myself his friend first. Then I stopped feeling equal to him. And then he seemed more and more like a stranger who wanted to ridicule me and harm me.

Now that I look back, I realise what a paranoid behaviour it was. Everything they recommend against, on the internet. Don’t compare, don’t judge, don’t be clingy etc. Not proud of it. But sometimes when you are in the moment, it’s hard to observe yourself. Wish life would have a moment to moment replay so you know how lame it looks. And how selfish you can be, at times.

It’s only now when I have gained some distance that I realise how out of tune I was with myself this whole time. I gave myself a very hard time and was overly self-critical. I doubt if he was anything as perfect as I had presumed him to be; putting him up on a pedestal like that. But it wasn’t as though I appreciated or went gaga over him. I did the opposite. I picked out all kinds of mistakes and blamed him for all kinds of things. Just like I did to myself.

I write of him in the past because that’s the best way for me to think of him now. He’s mad enough to still want to be with me. And I’m mad enough to still have faith that we will find a way out of this mayhem and work everything out. Who knows, maybe we will. But as of now, I must do what I need to do. Love myself and look up to myself. And remember that he’s just a boy who wants to please his girl.

 

Neetole Mitra

Neetole is a freelance writer, devoted backpacker, impulsive painter and travel blogger at Living Unplanned.

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