By February 14, 2012 29 Comments Read More →

Love Sucks?

Credit: Idle Hearts

I am one of those jerks who love Valentine’s Day. I don’t care for the nonsense of teddy bears, red roses and diamond bracelets, but I do enjoy celebrating my love for all of the people in my life. It’s my firm belief you should do that all day everyday, but the extra emphasis is nice.

It seems like something is in the air this year because everyone and their mom is protesting today. I don’t get it! What’s so bad about Valentine’s Day? I was talking to a friend of mine about it the other day and she said, “Of course you like it. You’ve got someone.” Oh, I get it. I’m not entitled to my opinion because I’ve got a significant other.

FINE. I won’t finish the post I started about how this is our chance to tell everyone we love how we feel about them. I won’t talk about how amazing it is to give and receive love. I won’t talk about how love is the one thing which gives our existences meaning. Screw Valentine’s Day! Let’s all get depressed and talk about songs which remind me of my ultimate heartbreaks!

Ben Harper – “Walk Away”

This manages to be the happiest and saddest song I can think of. I broke up with someone I loved with every ounce of my being because being together was hurting both of us tremendously. It was one of those relationships that wouldn’t have worked out no matter how much either of us wanted it to. With an extremely heavy heart, I moved away and ended the relationship. I played this song and bawled my eyes out every single day for over 6 months. I used it to remind myself that no matter how much I loved him, I needed to love myself even more. That’s one of the most important lessons I’ve ever learned, and it’s a piece of advice I often dispense to friends with relationship woes.

Fleetwood Mac- “Beautiful Child”

There have been many theories as to what this song is actually about, but I believe she’s singing about loving a man who cares about her, but won’t fully commit. I once fell head over heels for a guy who I thought felt similarly about me. We played the “are we or aren’t we” game more times than I care to admit. He made excuse after excuse as to why he couldn’t be with me: he was concentrating on his career, he had his heart broken before, his childhood was rough. After a couple months of back and forth, I realized what he had been trying to say the whole time—he didn’t care enough about me to make it work. Anyone who lets every little thing get in the way of what could be a great love affair isn’t someone I want to be with.

Bonnie Raitt- “I Can’t Make You Love Me”

This song isn’t necessarily about one person, but about multiple people in my life throughout the years. These were the people who told me I wasn’t good enough. These were the people who used words to cut me deeper than any knife ever could. These were the people who dragged me down to my lowest of lows. For many years I thought love meant constantly shapeshifting so I could become the version of myself each person liked. Since then I’ve learned love isn’t based on brownie points earned by being who everyone wants you to be. It’s being exactly who you are, and finding the people who adore the unabridged version of yourself.

A Fine Frenzy- “Almost Lover”

I won’t go into the story behind this because the person it’s about is so ridiculously stupid that he doesn’t deserve a whole paragraph, but I was once romanced by these very words: “You’re so much fun to be with, really. But if I’m being honest, you’re not as hot as the girls I normally date, and I don’t imagine you fitting in with my friends. I’d like to hang out more, but it would have to be a secret thing. Is that okay?” Be still my heart. To add insult to injury, he kept trying to get in touch with me for months after I told him where he could stick his request.

Bon Iver- “Skinny Love”

Sometimes the hurt in a relationship doesn’t come directly from your partner, but indirectly from their ghosts of relationships past. When you’re with someone who is living with memories of former lovers cemented in their mind, your relationship is doomed to fail. I dated a guy who had been engaged to a long-term girlfriend before he was with me. Their relationship ended in a rather quick and brutal manner, and I don’t think he ever got over it. He couldn’t fully embrace our relationship because he had one hand always reaching towards the past. I could see in his eyes that he didn’t love me—he loved that I offered a Band-Aid for the gaping wound his former fiancée left in his heart. Band-Aids are solutions to short-term problems, and love should never be a short-term problem.

(Deep breath)

I got really emotional while writing this post, and guess what? I still like Valentine’s Day. I liked it then, I like it now, and I will always like it. So to all of you haters, I’m turning this post around and taking it back to Valentine City.

You have to believe in the power of love in order to receive the power of love. Sorry, but that’s just the way it works. For every ounce of emotional energy you’re putting into hating the spirit of Valentine’s Day, you’re taking away from the love already surrounding you. It can exist in a variety of ways: in your children, in your parents, in your siblings, in your friends, in your pets, but most importantly, in yourself. Love will come to you, but it won’t do all the work.

The next time you think about bashing Valentine’s Day around me, don’t. There is opportunity for love all around you, and as long as you’re whining over not having someone to give you a teddy bear you’ll inevitably donate to Goodwill someday, you’ll miss out on what already exists. Build that little bridge and get over yourself already.

Now go forth and have a wonderful day. Not because I said so, but because each of you deserves to feel loved by someone or something today. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

 

Other original works by this author can be found at Sips of Jen and Tonic

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About the Author:

Jen and Tonic was classically trained in the art of guzzling a beer in less than fifteen seconds. She is single-handedly responsible for creating the David Hasselhoff empire, and destroying Dustin Diamond’s career.
On the weekend she enjoys wearing pants with elastic in the waist, arm wrestling small children, and skinny dipping in her neighbors’ bathtubs when they’re not home. She has struggled for years with being overly badass, and scientists are currently studying her in an effort to figure out how one person can be so awesome. View My Profile

29 Comments on "Love Sucks?"

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  1. More Bloggy Love! « Sips of Jen and Tonic | February 22, 2012
  1. avatar Janene says:

    I used to hate St. Valentine’s Day until I viewed it less as a day to celebrate that one true romantic love and more about celebrating how much love I have in my life. I’ve got great parents, siblings, kids as well as a husband and it feels great dedicating a day to the happiness we bring each other.

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    • I must say that many years ago I thought it was so pointless. Then, like you, I realized it was all of the commercial nonsense I didn’t care for. Now it’s just ONE MORE excuse for me to be all lovey dovey with the people I care about most.

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  2. avatar Katy Kern says:

    Jen -- you old softy. Love it and I love that you love this holiday. You know how much I care about you and think this is one of the sweetest things you have ever written. Well done, my dear! :-) Happy Valentine’s Day!!

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    • You didn’t even know I had a soft side!! ;)

      I’m so glad you liked it. I am so thankful for all of the wonderful people in my life, and you are definitely one of them. Thanks for always being a source of light and love.

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  3. Wow I am pretty much a cynic most of the time but this moved me. I cannot believe the guy in the Almost Lover said that to you, holy sheeeiit. Great article, got be one of your best pieces of writing yet.

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    • Cynics unite!! One thing I’ve learned about my cynicism is that 25% of it is based on truth, and 75% of it is based on fear.

      Oh yeah, Almost Lover guy is an assclown. Oddly, he tried to friend me on Facebook several months back, and sent this message with the request: “Time has been kind to you. Let’s catch up!” I replied, “Hey! Good to hear from you. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to approve your request. You see, I typically associate myself with guys much hotter than you, and I don’t think you’d fit in with my other friends. We can message back and forth, but we’ll have to keep it a secret. Is that okay?” I haven’t heard back.

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  4. avatar Larry Conley says:

    Jen,

    “Build that little bridge and get over yourself already.” Wiser and truer words have rarely been written!

    I too like Valentine’s Day. It is a pretext and a prompt to give that little emphasis to what we should do on a daily basis.

    If we could simply build more bridges and fewer barriers, our lives and the world would both be better for it.

    Great piece!

    Larry

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    • I agree that it is a prompt to do what we should already be doing. Perhaps that’s why it isn’t so stressful for those who are already expressing it regularly. We’re doing it all the time, and this is merely an extension of that.

      Agreed on the more bridges and fewer barriers comment!

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  5. avatar Cher Duncombe says:

    Jen, I agree with Garry that this is one of your “best pieces of writing yet!” There is a romantic side, a gentle side to you that shines in this and shows vulnerability. I am with you on celebrating this day. What other day could I possibly eat chocolates without guilt? And if we were to celebrate all those we love every day, as you suggested, what a better world this would be. You are simply fabulous! :)

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    • Thank you so much! It makes me so happy that you liked it :) A very wonderful (and wise) friend told me to let my vulnerable side out once in awhile. I’m glad I took that risk.

      Also, I absolutely agree with your sentiment about guilt-free candy consumption! I’m ALL for that!

      YOU are fabulous.

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  6. avatar TJ Lubrano says:

    Aww goodness Jen :) It’s all about you how you view things huh? What I don’t like about V-day is how suddenly everyone starts throwing around with hearts. Suddenly you hear from people that you normally never hear a thing about. Everyone is waiting for this day to come and I get that it’s just a day where you sprinkle a bit of extra love, but you surround yourself with people you care about every single day, so I’d say surprise them with something whenever you want.

    I seriously want to kick that Almost Lover between the legs for saying that to you. I actually just want to kick everyone who hurt you like that.

    Just know that I adooooore you and I send big cupcake hugs to You <3

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    • That is actually a great point. So many people come out of the abyss and suddenly want to be super involved. I just politely ignore them ;)

      Almost Lover got what was coming to him (read my response to Garry’s comment above.) From his Facebook profile I see that he’s divorced, has a beer gut, balding, and may be living with his parents again. Karma did a number on him.

      I adore you as well <3

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  7. avatar Pete Armetta says:

    I love the idea of Valentine’s Day, always have. Even though I don’t currently have a Valentine. I don’t complain about it at all. Anyone who’s in love and partnered certainly ought to celebrate. And hopefully celebrate EVERY DAY too. :)

    I totally relate to specific songs the way you describe here Jen, for certain periods in my life, certain people etc.

    I’m glad you still like Valentine’s Day!

    Pete

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    • I like that you’re not coupled and still believe in Valentine’s Day. The power of love is amazing, and it really is everywhere. We SHOULD celebrate each and every single day.

      I’m sorry you can relate to these songs (heartbreak is a pain, no?) but I’m sure you’re a better man for it.

      Thanks so much for your comment!

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  8. avatar Bill Friday says:

    I can’t even begin to tell you how much LOVE SUCKS… when it’s done wrong. And how overwhelmingly joyous it is when it’s done right. To summarize, love GIVES, because it knows it never needs to TAKE… because some other love, somewhere, is giving to it in return. People (really stupid people) say that LOVE is a 50/50 proposition. That’s a lie. LOVE, real love, is a 100/100 proposition. Give less than 100 percent… get less than 100 percent. I have a feeling that the haters of Valentine’s Day are, on there best day, only 50/50.

    You, and this post, are a 100.

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    • Bill, you’re absolutely Right!!!

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    • You are absolutely correct. Real love is a 100/100 proposition, and if you’re not all in you better fold your hand and step away from the table.

      “…love GIVES, because it knows it never needs to TAKE…because some other love, somewhere, is giving to it in return.” I love this. It’s so true.

      YOU are a 100….and then some.

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  9. avatar Annesa says:

    Ahh… Jen :) Happy Valentines Day!

    After all these years, our paths crossed again because of this amazing power of love and friendship. Thank you for this soul-baring recount of your free-falling journey through the bottomless pits of crappy relationships. You taught us that with free- falling comes with the realization of self-love and self-worth. There will always be a light at the end of everything.

    I still listen to Ben Harper’s Walk Away every day. Eventually, it will be less frequent, until one day, it’ll catch me by surprise on the radio.

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    • You know, when I originally started writing this post I thought, “What a downer I am!” Then I reminded myself that these are all stories with happy endings. Each person who comes into our lives (bad or good) are there to teach us something. Each of these people did, and I wouldn’t be the same person today without them. I was free-falling for what seemed like an eternity, but I landed on my feet. So will you.

      I am so happy we reconnected. Love and friendship are powerful on their own, but especially when I’m lucky enough to meet someone like you.

      And yes, one day the song will catch you by surprise. You will smile just like I did.

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  10. “Love will come to you, but it won’t do all the work.” Jen, so young to be so wise, and you’re right, of course. Instead of saying “bah, humbug”, I’ll think about how lucky I am to have so many people who love me, warts and all, and I’ll start by looking at the darling card I got from my great-niece, Harper Jane. Not only that, I had a terrific love-in with my cats first thing this morning and a hug from my son later. It’s a great day! Thanks, Jen, for the attitude adjustment!

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    • Pets are the perfect example of the kind of love we should give and receive. It’s so simple and uncomplicated!

      You received a card in the mail from your niece? How lovely :) See? Love is everywhere!

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  11. avatar Gillean says:

    When I first peaked around the corner and listened to all of you gabbing at the water cooler about life, feelings, each other’s writing styles and so on, I kept hearing about Jen & Tonic. I heard that this writer was missed a lot. Where was this writer? Why wouldn’t this writer come back?

    Well, when you did come back, I snuck over after everyone cool had read your latest work to read your work for myself. And it happened. I realized stark reality in writing could make me laugh, make me ponder and just make me feel. You need to be bold, committed, and present in life to write like you do, Jen.

    Thanks for reminding me just how much I love the written word when strung together like fireflies in the moonlight and like that guy that I shared my first kiss with at age 13, only wearing a pair of yellow shorts. Today, this guy is a state trooper. Back then, I watched the clock in the kitchen to time our kiss. (giggle) 15 minutes.

    Jen, thanks for allowing me to consider Valentine’s Day in a much brighter light. It’s a great day to appreciate the extraordinary ability to experience emotional peaks and valleys. Here’s to many more peaks than valleys for us all! :) <3 <3

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    • Thank you so much for your gracious comment! I took a break from writing because, at that point in my life, I couldn’t be bold, committed, and present in life. I’m back, and I’m ready to be more present than I’ve ever been.

      I find beauty in the highs AND lows in life. It’s only when we get really low that we can truly appreciate how amazing it is to be on top of the world. I’m at that point right now-- I’m on top looking down and thinking, “I MADE IT!!”

      Hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

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  12. Jen, the Bonnie Raitt “I Can’t Make You Love Me” brings back memories of an old wound, and makes me appreciate the love I share with my family today.
    An excellent article from the heart, for this Valentines day.

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    • I would say I’m sorry that you had someone trample on your heart, but it played a part in the great family you have now. I’m so happy you have that now, and appreciate the love you have with them.

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  13. avatar Anya Pham says:

    This was lovely. I support your position fully. And I find I trace a lot of relationship issues back to my parents, whom I nevertheless love dearly. And I agree, we should spend more time celebrating the beautiful and less time lamenting socially imposed failed expectations.

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