I love sappy romantic comedies and dramas (hell, for a long time, they were the air I breathed), and I love sappy love songs, especially country love songs. However, a prevalent theme in these love stories is the waiting love: the girl or guy leaves, finds someone else, needs a break, or just plain does you wrong, but because your love is true love you wait . . . and you wait. You leave on your answering machine “I still love you, Austen.” You leave all the lights on and the doors unlocked or you’re willing to be anything, even a one night stand, over and over again. True love waits, forever. . . . BULLSHIT!
I will admit that I don’t have much experience with love. I love my nieces with every part of my heart and life; should anything ever happen to my sister, I would unhesitatingly adopt them and never consider it a disruption but simply another adventure. I love my cat. My therapist says that is a valuable love. I love him, too, with my whole heart. He can’t give me true love in return, but I still love him. When it comes to men, though, not a lot of experience. I believe I have only loved one man, and he most definitely did not love me in return. So, I have not experienced true love.
Here’s the thing, he didn’t love me. I loved him through pain and destruction, through other women and betrayal. I loved him for three years without him knowing. Finally, I told him. I told him not for him to love me in return, but because the lies and deception were destroying me. I knew that telling him might mean I would lose him as a friend, and it was a risk I had to take. What I was not prepared for was his cowardice. I expected, perhaps, the silent treatment–after all, I know the man. However, he completely cut me out of his life, without one single word. He betrayed 3 years of friendship. He proved himself a coward unable to even reject the love of a girl.
Now, according to all the songs and rom-coms, I should hang out and wait him out. Prove my love by waiting for him. Does it make my love any less when I say “fuck that”? No, I don’t think so. I think it means I’m a strong woman who doesn’t have time for cowards. I still loved him, but I too have the right to move on.
I believe that if a strong woman loves a man she will love him through thick and thin, for better and for worse. She will dance with his demons, fight with his demons, and protect him from his demons. She will make him stronger and better. And she will hold a mirror up to him. Unfortunately, not all men can handle having a mirror held in front of them. They don’t want to see the truth or come face to face with their demons. If a man is willing to fight, a strong woman will bare-knuckle it with him. But if he turns tail and runs? Why is she supposed to wait? Demons are one thing. Cowardice is another.
Few men can truly handle a strong woman. Oh, of course men say they want a strong woman, but when it comes down to it, many men want passive, submissive, and docile. So many men fear passion and strength and call it crazy. The love of a strong woman is so much stronger than those that wait even when it’s over. Because the love of a strong woman fought and then realized the inevitable truth that there was nothing left to fight for, then was strong enough to pull up her big-girl panties, walk away, and move on. Best of all, a strong woman is willing to love all over again.