I read an interview with folk singer-songwriter Carly Simon about her recent memoirs, specifically addressing her broken relationship with James Taylor. The two were married for over a decade and had two children, but the marriage went down in flames and after they divorced, he stopped speaking to her. She says she still loves him and wishes they were still on speaking terms. She expressed the desperation she's felt over the relationship, wondering what she did wrong that made him upset. But she said that she realized while writing her memoirs that love is not always a two-way street and sometimes you love without being loved.
I was really touched by Carly's words...I can relate a lot since I felt a very similar desperation in a few relationships that crumbled to pieces. I thought things were good between me and the person, but they just flipped the switch and decided to freeze me out. In that kind of situation, you blame yourself and wonder in circles what you did wrong. But I think that more often than not, the real culprit is the other person. For some reason or another, they just couldn't handle the relationship at that time. Or they just didn't take responsibility for the relationship and keep in touch with you. Or they were grappling with their own issues.
There have been times in my life where I thought I might be in love. I doubt I was most of those times, but I do wonder if I was a bit in love with the guy I was interested in this past year. It's hard to say since he never let me get very close to him. But I did really care about him and was definitely ready to put his welfare above my own. It was devastating when he decided to start pushing me away. I wanted so much to support him and get to know him better, even after he did and said some really hurtful things to me and started dating someone else.
So Carly's words about it being okay to love even if you're not loved were a comfort. For one thing, it was nice to know I'm not alone; even famous musicians feel alone, betrayed, unloved. But I also think she hit on something: love isn't just a mutual feeling between a couple; it can be something you feel for someone who could care less about you. That's painful, but sometimes it can be helpful to acknowledge reality so you can move on and heal.