How Can Loving Someone Be So Hard?

How Can Loving Someone Be So Hard?

When I first noticed her, I did not really think much of her as she was one of the girls in a WhatsApp group I belong to. It is not a gay group, rather a group where we mostly talk about TV shows. I had no idea what she looked like because she was new to the group and I wasn’t online when she did her introduction. But yes, our first connection was in the group, during a conversation about reality shows – Big brother US, Survivor, RuPaul’s Drag Race and some others. And we quickly bonded over our love for reality shows.

Then one time, someone in the group asked her who her ideal man was, and as she listed some characteristics, she mentioned that he must be anti-homophobic and anti-transphobic. This was when I really noticed her. I suspected she liked girls but I wasn’t that sure; her ideal man list made me 80% certain she was at least bisexual. So I started looking for any opportunity to slide into her DM.

The opportunity soon came. She likes to read novels and asked the group for suggestions of books to get. Some people sent her e-copies of some books, but I was more focused on a chance to get personal with her. I clicked over to a private chat with her and informed her that I had a Google drive of books and I could add her up if she gave me her email address. She agreed.

After she gave me her email address, we didn’t really chat any further. It was not like I liked her sexually at this time; I was just curious about her.

Then came the time when she asked me to watch Big Brother UK. I’d never really been a fan of the show, because it’s almost like BB Naija, and I do not like BB Naija. But she’d suggested it and so, I decided to give it a try. Nothing changed. I still found the show boring, but I wasn’t about to tell her that. After enduring a few episodes, I came back to her with gist about who I liked and didn’t like in the show, and we chatted and laughed over it. And from there, our conversation took on a flow. I wasn’t sure, but it seemed at this point like she was flirting with me. Her flirtation encouraged me to let her know that I am lesbian and we were soon talking about my past relationships.

Unable to stand the uncertainty about her own sexual orientation, I asked her pointblank. And she said she was straight and had never done anything with a girl before. She’d always had this candidness about her during the course of acquaintanceship that made me know she wasn’t lying about this. She told me she was feminist and pro-LGBT, but she had never been sexually attracted to a girl ever. I tried to brave the disappointment and carry on with our budding friendship.

We soon moved on from chatting to calling. She wasn’t based in Nigeria and the time difference was crazy. At first, it was a 5-hour difference, then it was 6 hours, and then 7 hours; so oftentimes, she’d stay up pretty late so we could talk and I would do the same too. The fact that I was willing to stress myself like this just to hear her voice was indication that I would fall for her.

And I did. About a week after we started talking on the phone and video-calling, I had started catching feelings. It was crazy. She was literally the last person I’d speak to before retiring for the night, and the first person I interacted with when I woke up in the morning. I had so much feelings for her, there was no way I wasn’t going to let her know. So, during one phone call, I told her. She responded that she didn’t know where she stood, that she was sure she was straight, but that she had grown to really like me. That wasn’t enough for me. I asked her what the point of everything was if in the end, nothing would happen between us. She reacted defensively to that, and the phone call pretty much went downhill from there.

We didn’t speak to each other for a day – which at this point was a big deal. And then, she uploaded something on her WhatsApp status and I responded to it. And so, we got back to talking. I told her how much I missed her and that I wasn’t going to rush her or anything. That we could still be friends, and that I’d try to work on shelving my feelings. I was actually serious about this; in my mind, I figured her friendship was more important to me than any selfish desires I had. She said she also missed me, and that when I started talking about being with her, it scared her. We reconciled from our fight and returned to our routine of daily calls, chatversations and video calls.

We’d agreed to keep our friendship feelings-free. But that is always easier said than done. Emotions of a romantic nature are not what you can just pocket and tuck aside. The more we interacted, the more I felt my feelings creeping back out. But I kept to my word and didn’t bring up the topic of wanting her or anything of a romantic nature.

My determination paid off, and I soon got used to appreciating her as a friend. The feelings were there, but their intensity had waned. And she must have noticed this, because she remarked on how I must be the kind of girl who likes someone else fast and just as quickly stops liking the person when I mean to. She wasn’t wrong. I have observed this about myself, and maybe, that is why over the years, I have struggled with commitment issues. Not that I cheat. No. I just find it hard to stick with one person for a long time.

Anyway, time went on. And twisted things around when she found herself catching feelings this time. As she admitted this to me, she told me she was confused by it.

“I am straight,” she always liked to state. “I’ve never felt any sexual attraction for any girl before.”

I wanted to tease her that perhaps she was just gay for me. But I didn’t want to sound cavalier in this moment when she appeared to be undergoing a personality crisis. We talked some more, and agreed to take things slow and see where they went. I suggested that perhaps she was pansexual, and she quickly agreed to that.

Still on the subject of taking things slow (lol), we began talking about the future, about how we would get married and have kids. She didn’t want to have kids unless via adoption, and she didn’t want any more than 2. I want 4. And so, we compromised at 2 kids and a dog. We talked about a whole lot of things. Our situationship was evolving. Something was happening to subtly change us from mere friends to something more. She was talking to her friends about me and my friends were getting to know about her. even her sister got to know about me and the nature of our relationship, and she didn’t seem to mind.

And yet, we weren’t officially dating. She didn’t want us to make that commitment because of the distance. She had no plans of ever settling in Nigeria and I had no plans of relocating to anywhere outside Nigeria. When this issue came up, we had our second big fight. She wanted me to consider relocating to the States and I was adamant that I could only ever visit the overseas, not move my entire life abroad. We didn’t talk to each other for two days after this fight. And it was the longest we’d gone without interacting. Those 48 hours felt very tortuous for me. Those around me knew there was something off with me. I couldn’t even deal, so I buried myself in work and my favorite pastimes, just so I could stop thinking about her.

I legit thought this was it for us, that this issue about where we’d be based was the deal breaker. And so, I wrote a future letter to her on futureme.org which I’d programmed to be delivered to her on her birthday next year.

But on the third day, she sent me a message. I felt a rush of light and love fill my heart as I stared at her message. It was a very heady and overwhelming feeling. It was like stepping out from absolute darkness into blinding sunlight. I couldn’t help but wonder: how could loving her be this hard?

We talked and made up, deliberately ignoring the reason we had cut off from each other in the first place. I told her about the future letter I wrote for her birthday next year, and she insisted that I show it her now. That she couldn’t wait till next year to read it.

So I emailed it to her. It reads:

 

“Dear Bee,

“I have thought of what to say when I begin this letter, but nothing comes to mind. We’ve gone almost 2 days without talking and it’s driving me insane. What have you done to me? I’ve had my own fair share of girls but none has had this stronghold you have on me and it makes me mad. Maybe that is why I haven’t bothered to message you either. Perhaps I don’t want you having such power over me. I was warned. Of course, I was warned. My friends said to me, “She’s just bicurious and they are the worst kind because they will never love you as much as you love them.” But I laughed and said, “Not my Bee.” Because I felt like what we have is a deeper connection that goes was beyond sexuality.

“Yesterday I went shopping. I felt a whole lot better, so much I wanted to put up a WhatsApp post that goes, ‘Whenever you feel down, just take yourself shopping.’ But then, midway through typing that, I deleted the post. In the night, I couldn’t sleep. I already am not a good sleeper, but it was worse this time, because every buzz I got on my phone, I hoped it’d be you. I longed to talk to you. I longed and I waited for you. I tried to distract myself with all forms of fun: Mafia City, Yahtzee, movies, music – heck! I watched two TV series in one day; I even finally got around to starting The Mentalist. I logged in on Mafia City more than ten times a day, and on Yahtzee, I kept nudging everyone so they could play back just because I needed a big ass distraction.

“You made me feel pathetic and hopeless. But the more I waited for you to talk to me, the more I got used to you not talking to me. Even though my heart still aches and I still hurt, I don’t think I want to message you either because I cannot afford to go through this kind of hurt again whenever we have an issue.

“But I am willing to try again, even if it hurts me. I am willing to put my all into making this work. I don’t know what you have done to me and I have no idea how to let you go.

“I don’t know if we will eventually get back together or not. I don’t know if we are still friends or anything more. I wish we are. But today is your birthday and I want you to have the best day ever.”

 

She told me she read the letter twice and was going to reply but wasn’t good at writing. I told her it was okay. I told her to never stop talking to me ever again, and she asked me to do same. That night, while we spoke, she told me she loved me. on my part, I have loved her a long time ago.

But the circumstances surrounding our efforts to be together were crashing in on us. Even though we love each other, we knew we had no future together. And no matter how hard we try to make it work, there is always going to be a reality keeping us apart.

I will lover her forever, but at some point, we had to let go of each other. And I found myself asking once again: how can loving someone be so hard?

Written by Net

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21 Comments

  1. Colossus
    December 20, 05:24 Reply

    Reality is the boulder that comes to shatter it all. Reality is also that masking tape that holds your heart together after all is done so hang in there. Never forget and never regret either.

  2. iAmNotAPerv
    December 20, 08:34 Reply

    Upon coming into my sexuality and the LGBT community, one of the first things I was told was that all of our relationships start with an end date and it broke my heart.
    Here’s what I say to myself:
    “We may not have forever or even up to one presidential term but we would love as hard and as fully as if we have an eternity together.”

    Delve into love. Dive into you. Forget your end date and love like you have forever. Love to the fullest and when the end comes, celebrate the time you had and the memories you made.
    When love comes back to you, don’t push it away. Give in and love once more.

    • Pink Panther
      December 20, 10:27 Reply

      Damn!!!! I love this comment.
      You preach the sermon I love to hear. 👏👏👏👏👏

    • Net
      December 20, 12:50 Reply

      Thanks for this 😊

      • iAmNotAPerv
        December 21, 11:41 Reply

        You’re very welcome. I wish you luck and more love

    • Becks
      December 20, 14:12 Reply

      Omg I read this like 7 times and I’m almost in tears. Thank you so much for this 😭❤️❤️

      • iAmNotAPerv
        December 21, 11:44 Reply

        You are welcome and it’s very okay to cry. I wish you happiness and healing

    • AduResa
      December 21, 23:58 Reply

      Ife, I just feel you should know someone who’s really struggling with their relationship and commitment just got a new perspective and would do everything possible to love hard forgetting the “end date”, just because of this comment of yours. Thanks!

  3. J
    December 20, 11:37 Reply

    I hope you’ll be alright if things don’t end up well… Apart from her bicuriousity, long distance relationship is hardwork.

    I think we can’t stop falling in love with other people even when we are married… The major thing to do is to learn how to be disciplined and committed to our partners. See them as the best you can ever have, know that getting attracted to other people is a human thing and it should be brushed off without hesitation. Our partners about everyone.

  4. Patrick
    December 21, 01:35 Reply

    I’m in a Whatsapp group where my pro-LGBT stance is unequivocal and I sometimes wish they would see me for who I really am: gay.

    Like Net, I would take a closer look at a person who takes a pro-LGBT stance in a non-queer social media group. Many of us are gay and are just trying to put word out there. Visibility, no matter how small, goes a long way….

    • Delle
      December 21, 02:31 Reply

      Why don’t you just come out to the group?

  5. Vina
    December 24, 21:17 Reply

    Why does this sound like me?

    Awww Net, it’s normal to go through these stages and phases. Remember that nothing good comes easy.

    You will find the one and it would be really easy to love them and have a family..

    Now you make me want to write.

    • Net
      December 31, 13:42 Reply

      You know I’ve been waiting for you to write

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