We used ‘‘I love you’’ like an apology for all of the things we knew we were doing to wound each other, like a final attempt at keeping the fire from burning out, like two beggars just gripping at each other’s limbs.
I love you — despite hurting you.
I love you — despite judging you.
I love you — despite being incapable of loving myself.
It took us years to understand that love was not meant to justify hurt; that love alone was never meant to be used as a means of vindicating the problems we didn’t fight to change.
In the end, we thought that love would save us from ourselves, but after ages of misuse, the only thing that needed saving was love itself.
See, with you I learned that sometimes love was not enough.
With you I learned that even the most passionate love needed work, that two people who were head over heels for one another still needed to make an effort.
They still needed to try, they still needed to nurture each other outside of words, and outside of fire and flame and intensity and impulsion.
With you, I learned that sometimes the best way to love someone was to simply love yourself more — to simply walk away, to save yourself the pain of trying to patch and sew up something that was never going to be fixed; something that was beyond repair.
With you, I learned that sometimes loving someone did not always mean that you were going to have a future with them, did not always mean that you should stay.
With you, I learned that loving someone sometimes did not always mean forever, did not always mean that things were okay.