Telling stories about love is not simply the same as telling love stories. Love comes in many forms. It's the earliest emotion we feel, the one that moves us the most, for better or for worse. This week, as we always do, we’re talking to people. And the tie that binds all of this week’s people is their hearts. Everyone has a story of the heart. It’s the most common of threads in the enormous tapestry of life. Sometimes our hearts tell a happy story, sometimes it’s a sad tale. Sometimes our stories involve putting our pieces back together and moving on.
Each day… a different person… a different story…. a different reason… a different heart. One love.
"I have no issue with it. I mean if people like it and want to use it as an excuse to show affection towards others, I guess that's a good thing, right? I mean the commercialization of it is ridiculous, and I don't think you should have to wait for a certain day, once a year, to show or tell someone how you feel, but hey, whatever works for you I guess."
ARE YOU IN LOVE?
"I am in love, but it's complicated. We're certainly not celebrating Valentine's Day. Not that I ever really celebrated it anyway."
"I am in love with someone, but we are not together."
SORRY TO HEAR THAT. DID YOU WANT TO SHARE WHY?
"Sometimes thing just don't work out the way you hope they will. Our timing was off. He was with someone when I was available. I was with someone when he was, and so on."
HAVE YOU TWO EVER BEEN TOGETHER?
"Yeah. We had a great relationship but it ended. I didn't really realize that I would regret moving on from that. By the time I realized the mistake we had made, it was too late. He had moved on and was in love with someone else."
THAT HAS TO BE PAINFUL. IS HE WITH THAT PERSON?
"Oh it is. It's horrible. He's not with that person anymore. But we're still not together."
CAN I ASK WHY?
"He doesn't want to be."
HAVE YOU TRIED TO GET BACK TOGETHER?
"Oh yeah. I've taken on the role of the hopeless romantic. I have tried everything. I'm like that annoying guy who has a crush on you when you're young and tries to pull out all the stops to "win" you. Sending flowers and leaving notes on your car and all that nonsense."
"Yes! I feel like that all the time. When someone asks me out and I say I'm not interested, typically that's the end of it. But sometimes you get that persistent guy who keeps calling, texting, etc. and you're like, "okay enough already stalker." But for some reason when you're in it, when it's you and you are blinded by your desire to be with someone, it doesn't seem quite so weird."
SO DO YOU THINK HE THINKS YOU ARE BEING STALKER-LIKE?
"I don't think so. I mean, I'm not camped outside his house or anything. He is just someone that I love, that I have always loved and I feel like I need to prove that to him."
WHY WOULD YOU NEED TO PROVE IT?
"Because, he doesn't believe it. If this were some random guy I met and fell for and he told me, "no thanks I'm not interested", and I kept on trying and trying then I would be walking that line between weirdo stalker and heartsick puppy (laughter). But, we've been together. We dated. And he's told me he does care. But again, our timing sucks."
SO ARE YOU HOPING TO BREAK HIM DOWN WITH THESE ADVANCES, THAT HE'LL CHANGE HIS MIND?
"Loving someone who you can't be with is excruciatingly painful. We're not together because he doesn't believe my feelings are true. I want him to know and understand that I do love him, that I'm not just doing this on a whim, and that just by saying he doesn't want to be with me it is not going to make me love him any less."
YOU CAN SEE THOUGH HOW THAT MIGHT SOUND UNUSUAL TO SOME, RIGHT?
"Well when I say it to you, yeah, it sounds weird. Like I'm parked in a van out front of his apartment with night vision goggles. Oh my God (laughter). It's like this, a part of me thinks, screw this. I love this guy, he doesn't love me back, I need to move on and find someone else. Plenty of fish in the sea. I'm young, cute I think, smart. Who needs this? Then the other side of that is that I feel like I see something in him, something special, and I think he feels it too. And I think he is afraid. Of commitment and of being hurt. So, I go back and forth between trying to prove over and over again that I am not going anywhere, and that I'll be here when he realizes that he loves me too, and is willing to take a chance."
WHAT IF HE NEVER DOES? HOW LONG WILL YOU WAIT?
"I just don't know. I really love him. How do you decide when it is unreturned love and you need to walk away or when it is just something you have to work for, to prove?"
THAT I DO NOT KNOW. WHAT DO YOU THINK?
"I once had a guy ask me out like 30 times in a month. Almost every day on average. I didn't think it was weird really because, for the most part, you can tell if someone is harmless and genuine, or if they are a whacko. I told him no. A lot. But, he kept asking and kept being nice and sweet and his theory was that I just needed time to come around. I needed to see that he was genuine, that he really cared about me, and that he wan't going anywhere unless I specifically said, get lost!"
AND DID YOU? TELL HIM TO GET LOST?
"No. I was nice to him. I talked to him. I was friendly, but I kept saying no to more than that."
AND WHAT HAPPENED?
"We wound up, after about 4 months, getting together and staying together for 3 years."
SO YOU'RE HOPING THAT WILL BE THE CASE HERE?
"Something like that. I mean it's a little different. But he knows my heart is true. He knows I am not going to give up on him. I'm not going to be crazy or psychotic. I will date other people and live my life. But he is the one for me. I know it. I feel it in my bones. How can you give up on that?"
SOME MAY SAY THAT IF HE HAS MADE HIS FEELINGS CLEAR, THEN YOU HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO GIVE UP ON IT. I TAKE IT YOU DISAGREE?
"I have to respect his wishes. I can't be crazy about it. But, I can't help my feelings. The heart wants what it wants. I am going to be myself, live my life, and continue to do things that I think will make him see me in that light. Things that will make him look at me and go, oh yeah, you know what, she does love me, and you know what, I love her too."