Valentine’s Day is near. It is simultaneously, one of the most loved and hated days of the year. No matter how you feel about the day itself, this time of year just lends itself to talking about matters of the heart.
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.
"No. I'm not married and I never have been."
ARE YOU IN A ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIP?
"Not really. I was in a relationship for like 8 years and another for 5 before that. My last relationship ended about a year ago and I'm not seeing anyone right now."
EIGHT YEARS IS A LONG TIME, WOULD YOU WANT TO SHARE WHAT HAPPENED TO END YOUR RELATIONSHIP OR IS THAT TOO PERSONAL?
"I don't want to go into details because it wouldn't be fair. I'm not the easiest person in the world to live with, I'm sure. I work a lot. I am not very forthcoming with my emotions. I do the best I can, but things just stopped working I guess. I'm not sure it was ever even possible for it to work so I guess 9 years was about 8 longer than it probably should have."
WHAT MAKES YOU THINK IT WASN'T POSSIBLE FOR IT TO WORK?
"I don't do relationships well."
WHY DO YOU THINK THAT IS?
"I'm very set in my ways. I am very stubborn and I never admit when I am wrong."
WELL YOU JUST ADMITTED THAT YOU NEVER ADMIT IT SO THAT'S SOMETHING AT LEAST.
"(Laughter) I guess."
SO EVEN IF YOU KNOW YOU'RE WRONG, YOU'D RATHER LOSE SOMEONE YOU CARE ABOUT THEN ADMIT IT?
"Pretty screwed up isn't it? I've lost a lot of people in my life. Some left on their own, some I am sure I had a hand in pushing away. There's a few that I would have liked to have stopped from leaving, but I just couldn't. I couldn't ask them to stay. I had to let them walk."
SO THERE HAVE BEEN TIMES WHEN YOU DIDN'T WANT THE RELATIONSHIP TO END BUT YOU LET IT END BECAUSE YOU WEREN'T ABLE TO ADMIT THAT YOU DIDN'T WANT IT TO END (THAT WAS A MOUTHFUL!)?
"Something like that. Just too proud, too stubborn or whatever to say, hey, I really don't want you to go."
WHAT IS ABOUT ADMITTING YOU'RE WRONG OR ADMITTING YOU MADE A MISTAKE THAT IS SO AWFUL FOR YOU?
"I don't know really. I had a lot of relationship disasters. There were a few that just cut so deep, so hard, that mark is still there. Letting myself be that invested, being the one who goes all in so to speak, has gotten me hurt, badly."
SO ARE YOU KEEPING YOUR FEELINGS AT BAY TO AVOID GETTING HURT?
"Probably. I mean, I haven't really been able to give 100% emotionally in a very long time. If I am with you then I am in it 100%. There is no one else but you and I will give you all that I have. But, all that I have is a lot less than what it once was. And it's a lot less than what some people want for sure."
DO YOU THINK THAT WILL EVER CHANGE?
"Unlikely. I've been this way for years. I do okay like this. It's a little late in the game to change the way I am in relationships."
BUT IS THIS WAY WORKING FOR YOU?
"I guess it depends on what you consider working? If your narrow view of life is that to be happy you have to get married and have kids and all that, then I guess it's not working."
IS THAT YOUR VIEW?
"It was at one time. That ship sailed a long time ago, so I make due with what I've got."
SOME PEOPLE MIGHT SAY THAT IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO CHANGE, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO LOVE. DO YOU DISAGREE?
"I don't disagree that people can change. I disagree that I can change. It's just not in the cards for me. I know what I am capable of."
FAIR ENOUGH. AS LONG AS YOU ARE HAPPY. ARE YOU HAPPY?
"Depends on when you ask. But I don't believe that happiness is defined solely by love."
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TRULY IN LOVE?
AND WHAT WAS IT LIKE FOR YOU?
"It was great. While it lasted it was incredible! And when it ended it was painful, soul-crushing torturous pain that I thought would ever end."
SO DO YOU THINK IT'S THE FEAR OF EXPERIENCING THAT PAIN AGAIN THAT KEEPS YOU FROM MAKING THOSE EMOTIONAL CONNECTIONS?
"I'm not really afraid. I just know what works and what doesn't. For me, my emotions have never gotten me anywhere but into trouble. I find it's best if I keep emotion out of all major decision making on my part."
DO YOU THINK YOU'LL EVER FALL IN LOVE AGAIN?
"I don't know. Don't know that I want to. I've been there, done that. Any time I have ever been in love it has failed miserably. I think I'd rather just work, have fun, and steer clear of women that want any kind of relationship."
AND YOU REALLY THINK YOU CAN LIVE THE REST OF YOUR LIFE LIKE THAT?
"I've definitely done harder shit."
YOU SAID YOU ARE STUBBORN AND NEVER ADMIT WHEN YOU ARE WRONG- IS THAT WHAT YOU ARE DOING NOW- NOT ADMITTING THAT YOU WANT MORE. OR HAVE YOU GENUINLEY GIVEN UP ON LOVE?
"I haven't given up on love. Love is great. I've given up on me and another person ever being in a relationship that involves that level of commitment that every woman I know wants and I refuse to give."
AND YOU DON'T FEEL LIKE YOU'RE MISSING OUT?
"Oh I'm sure I am missing out on a lot. But it's nothing that fits in to my life any way, marriage, kids, the summer house, all that. It doesn't work for me. It's not meant for my life. It doesn't fit in with the choices I have made."
AGAIN I HAVE TO ASK, BEING DEVIL'S ADVOCATE HERE, IF YOU REALLY WANTED IT, YOU REALLY FELT LIKE YOU WERE MISSING OUT ON SOMETHING, COULDN'T YOU MAKE CHANGES IN YOUR LIFE TO ACCOMMODATE THAT?
"Could. I guess. Won't. But I guess I could."
HAVE YOU NEVER FOUND ANYONE WORTH CHANGING FOR?
"I had someone worth changing for. I had someone worth living for. But she left me. And I moved on and made something else out of my life. That's who I am now. I don't want to have to put in all that work. I don't need to. I'm fine the way things are."
DO YOU KNOW WHERE SHE IS?
THE ONE WHO LEFT YOU?
"Yeah. I mean not right this minute, but yeah."
IS SHE MARRIED?
IF SHE CAME BACK, WOULD SHE BE WORTH CHANGING FOR?
"Worth changing for, maybe. But I still wouldn't go there."
DO YOU STILL LOVE HER?
"I'll always love her."
SO WHY, IF SHE CAME BACK, WOULD YOU STILL SAY THAT YOU ARE DONE WITH LOVE?
"I never look back. There's no point. I'd rather keep looking forward and be alone. It sounds nuts, I know. I'm never said I was sane."
DO YOU THINK AT THE END OF YOUR LIFE YOU'LL LOOK BACK ON THAT CHOICE AND REGRET IT? WISH YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN MORE FLEXIBLE?
"I don't really do regret. I already regret letting her go so easy the first time. I think one regret per life time is enough. That's why I'll never go there again."