Lessons On Love: Love Through the Eyes of Someone Who Sucks At Love

10:01 PM

My record is 1900.

1900 right-swipes on Tinder before I got a single match. Almost 3 weeks of swiping right on literally. Every. Single. Person. Until I reach the daily limit of 100 swipes before I got a match of some stupid podcast advertising their stupid show on this stupid dating app. You could say I was a little bitter. Of course I deleted the damn thing.

It’s a constant battle. A war between the conscience and the thumb. It sounds silly, right? Some people thrive in the world of online dating; utilizing it to it’s full potential without any sign of tarnish on their static minds. Don’t get me wrong… I have spent my fair share on apps like Tinder, constantly trying to justify myself with thoughts that “everybody does it” or “it’s only for fun” when in the end, my behaviors go against every thought I believe in. Why would I “waste my valuable time with such immature frivolities when I could be doing more productive with my life?” I ask myself, a lot. But why am I telling you this? Let me elaborate.

First, sup. My name is Alexon Tiem. For those of you who don’t know me, I’ve been a long time friend of the Lows. When given the opportunity to write for Maddy’s blog, I thought to myself in what world am I qualified to write about luuurrrrvvveee? I’ve never been in a relationship, I’ve never been in love, hell- I’ve never even kissed a girl. Right now I’m sitting here subjecting myself to the future judgement of all you readers while I’m trying to drown out the sound of my roommate watching Minions by the smooth sounds of Dallas Green. (Seriously. You don’t even need my dumb lesson about love when you have artists like him to woo your thirsty heart. Mmm.)

So why would I get on here and start revealing secrets about my decorated love history (haha) to an online audience of mostly strangers? Not because I’m in any urgent need to fulfill my physical desires like a normal human being. But we all know people who rush to be in a relationship, not knowing what they want, who they’re going to be with, their own lives teetering between the peaks of “yolo” and the pits of “lol” reflecting the sheer inability to even take care of themselves while trying to proclaim some nonexistent message to those following on social media. But what about those who are ready? Ready to take care of another life. Ready to be taken care of by another life? It’s basic conceptual math. Being single + being ready - everything that defines the structure of a relationship? Loneliness. Loneliness can do crazy things to a person. Trust me.

Loneliness made me believe love didn’t exist.

Hold up. What a dumb thing to say, right? Of course love exists. You look around and you can’t avoid it. The cheese, the ooey-gooey feelings, the lovey-dovey mush of words that wriggles its way out of the superficial crevices of relationships and surfaces to the eyes of social media onlookers. But love has an infinite number of definitions. I’m not here to tell you that. It’s common sense! You ask anybody, and they’ll give you completely different answers. You ask anybody actually in love, and they’ll answer with things they’d never post in public- or even have the ability to post in public. Let me explain with a story:

I worked for a few years on one of the trauma units at Intermountain Medical Center. We deal with a fair amount of death. I remember a few months into the job, I had an old lady who was put on palliative care (basically life support) following a pretty bad trauma in addition to a long battle against cancer. She wasn’t strong enough to heal herself, and it took her about 5 hours to die. The only other person in the room with her was her husband of nearly 70 years. He told me stories about their love when they first started dating, all the way through the end of their marriage- and you could just tell by the way his spirit lit up the enormity of how much he really, truly, loved her. Don’t get me wrong, the stories were amazing. But it wasn’t the content that made me believe how much he loved this little old lady. There are some things you can’t explain with words. Love is one of them.

The absence of love can make a person desperate. Desperate to a fault as to where any actions that take place can have an extremely detrimental effect. So what did I mean by “loneliness made me believe that love didn’t exist?” I meant that it didn’t exist for people like me. People who can sit there and talk people through their relationship problems. People who can sit there and write songs about some imaginary girl they have this unlimited amount of love for. People whose every actions reflected their ability to love, all while never having a taste of it themselves. We all know those people. “Those people” have it rough. They have enough knowledge to know what to do, everything they’re doing wrong, and still by the sheer order of the universe can’t seem to make anything work out.

But you just have to wait.

Because one day, you may have driven over a hundred miles to hang out with a girl you’re interested in… Only to have her go to bed with a random stranger while you’re stuck sleeping on the couch.
Because one day, a girl you’ve had feelings for asks you to cook dinner for her… and another guy she’s interested in.
Because one day, a girl you tutor at school may tell you that “if any other guy was as smart as you, she’d date him.”
Because one day, you may befriend a really cute girl. A year later when you find out she’s recently single, you may want to ask her out. She may tell you the same day that she’s moving to Alaska.
Because one day, you’ll take a “weekend trip” with a bunch of couples and you’re stuck in the middle of Bear Lake by yourself because everybody around you is too busy making out with each other, so you see how far out in the water you can swim without a lifejacket.

Because one day, you realize that 0/1900 girls thinks you’re cute enough to date.

But when people tell you over and over and over to “put yourself out there” and “don’t lose hope.” You think about your past failures. You think about the fatigue. You think about the constant rejection. You think about all the work, the time, the effort for little to no emotional or physical gain. You think it’s a waste of time.

Then you grow up.

Because one day, you realize that you aren’t entitled to love.
Because one day, you realize the world isn’t out to get you.
Because one day, you realize that if you want something, you better get off your damn ass and get it.
Because one day, you’ll realize that all the hardships, all the failure, the rejection have offered their lessons. You just have to open your mind and realize that. Take the lessons, utilize them, learn from them.
Because one day, you’ll realize that you’d have never been able to talk the multitudes of people down from the ledge if you haven’t gone through the same things yourself.

Because one day, when you’re sitting around with a bunch of your closest friends, you realize how much you actually love them. You realize all the rejection of what you once knew as “love”, made you love what is actually important to you. That maybe, if you put your focus on things that actually matter, somehow, the pain disappears and everything else aligns to fills the voids in your life. People have different ways of approaching this. Whether they do it alone, or with someone else, sooner or later, they’ll come to the realization that the ability to love is in a direct relationship with their ability to grow. All it takes is that first step.

Until that day, at least it’ll make a good ass song.

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