It’s Better to Have Loved and Lost, Than Never to Have Loved at all

Today I’ve decided that it’s time to broach the subject of my “love life” (as they say) which, save for the odd accidental date and random proposal, I’ve never really written about before.

To be honest, beside this and some irrelevant teenage nonsense, there isn’t very much else to write about. Romance does not hold a great level of significance to me and I find all the emotional fulfillment I need from the close bonds I share with my very best friends. I have never, ever met somebody and then quickly thought to myself “oh, hey, this person could make a nice romantic partner” as that’s not how my mind works.

But there was one time, of course, or otherwise I wouldn’t have made this the subject of a blog post, would I? It would be a bit like deciding to write about cycling and then just saying ‘I have no experience of this’ – it wouldn’t make for very interesting reading, would it? So I’ve got a story to tell and one which I’ve not told many people before.

In truth, there was a time, years ago, where all the factors were in place for me to ‘fall in love’ with somebody – and it was a wonderful experience. I never told them and I never really told anybody else either (other than vague mentions to friends years later.) I was having such a nice time and feeling that I was living in a heightened version of reality, that I felt like articulating it would burst the bubble and destroy the illusion.

It was almost certainly one-sided, and that’s okay – after all, we do not choose who we fall in love with. Though we were very close and shared many very nice experiences, it ultimately had to come to an end. This was very sad indeed and there are few things which upset me quite as much.

But, as the title of this blog post says: it’s better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all. I completely agree with this statement. Those emotions were something which I didn’t think I’d ever really experience, but I’m so lucky that I did. Not only was the raw energy of it so invigorating, but it helped to illuminate every single area of my life – never had I appreciated life so much and I still feel the residual effects of that now.

How could I possibly wish that one of the most rewarding experiences of my life had never happened? Sure, it was very sad to become separated from this person, but to wish the experience had never happened because of a sad ending, is to place more importance on happiness than sadness, which I will not do.

Ultimately, I feel very fortunate to have experienced something, which I don’t think everybody does. This may sound very cynical, but I feel for a lot of people ‘love’ is just a box to be ticked on the list of life’s achievements; they get together because they’re afraid of being alone, or because they want somebody to share their experiences with, or even because they just sexually desire the person.

But for me, that’s not the case: love is an appreciation of a person’s virtues – their kindness, empathy and their consideration for others. Meeting somebody who genuinely inspires you. A respect for the integrity of their moral character – and it’s not about sharing anything. It’s not about owning or possessing. It’s about wanting the other person to achieve the highest level of happiness that’s possible for them and doing the best you can to help them do so – even if it means them being with somebody else. Because when you do love somebody, their happiness becomes more important than your own (which, I appreciate, can be unhealthy) and you will learn to become content with the fact that you get to play any kind of role in their life.

I don’t know if I’ll have this experience again in my life and it’s okay if I don’t. I am just very lucky to have once had that positive energy flowing through me, because, frankly, it was amazing.

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