Dear Millenial

When I fall in love, I fall hard and completely destroy myself and once again this happened to me 4 months ago.
I like this guy and we are a thing right now and we go out and we work together but that’s not the problem. He’s married and he says he loves me more than her. Well, I know married men don’t leave their wives but I just can’t seem to detach myself from him. I know this is consuming me and I’m hurting but seeing him for 8.5 hours every day at work is excruciating.

Achy Breaky Heart

Dear Achy Breaky Heart,

I could tell you, “Been there, sister” but what good has that sentence ever done to anyone? We don’t open up our hearts to people just to hear that snub. What I’m going to do instead is open up to you. You see, my early 20s were all about playing it fast and lose. It was all about living dangerously – dating married men, having affairs with a pre-determined shelf life (set by me, of course), dumping them and moving on to the next big adventure. It was the easiest thing to do – no apologies, no explanations. An easy pattern to follow and, really, what did I have to lose. I won’t lie, there was a certain thrill in it. Imagine being a femme fatale in the movie of your life. An Oscar-worthy role, isn’t it?

It was all fun and games until things came to a screeching halt. I broke the only rule I had for myself – I fell for the guy. They say these things are beyond your control. They might just be right. I knew he was married from the get-go of that torrid affair, saw his wife call on his phone while we were at a pub getting drunk out of our minds, stalked her online to know more about her—and all these things made me fall for him harder than ever. You are right, married men don’t leave their wives that easily. It is the law all mistresses know to be true. It is also part of the reason we fall for them. I know, I know. The way we justify it to ourselves is still the same—so what if he’s married? He’s perfect for you, right? I kept telling myself that. I didn’t expect to be with him, didn’t expect him to leave his wife for me. I just wanted him to be around, spend time with me. And he did that.
But wait, isn’t there something wrong with this approach? How can I want him around? Isn’t it contradictory to get attached to someone you KNOW is not available? But here’s the thing – the problem is not that you’re attached to him, the problem is that you fell for a married man. Think about it. You knew he wasn’t available. You knew he wouldn’t leave his wife for you. And yet…

via GIPHY

Achy, spend some time mulling over this. Don’t you think your attachment to Married Man stems from the baseline that is your fear of emotional unavailability? It’s not that you’re not seeking attachment, it is that a part of you is afraid of the consequences. Achy, dude, you’re afraid of a heartbreak. I get it. ‘Tis the Millennial Condition, this being aloof and detached so we don’t have to be emotionally vulnerable. This is why we prefer to hide behind screens, find matches on Tinder, have a fling that’s shorter than the lifespan of a Snapchat selfie, and then find another.

All I have to say to you, Achy, is this – treat yourself better. Relationships are a risk but be willing to take a gamble. Affairs are half-hearted attempts at relationships, love. I wish I could tell you otherwise but there is no avoiding heartbreak. It is the cul-de-sac all streets lead to. But here’s the thing – heartbreak at the end of an affair is an inevitability, but heartbreak at the end of a relationship is only a possibility. So isn’t it wiser to invest in a relationship instead? Benefits are certainly higher if you look at the bigger picture.

Achy, get your shit together. You don’t want to be Becky With The Good Hair—a nameless, faceless, passing fad in someone’s life. You want to be Beyoncé—the storyteller, the architect of your life. Be the leading lady, not the vamp. You deserve that so start respecting yourself more today. You know you are worth so much more.

x Millennial

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