Romantic comedy would not be my first choice when it comes to selecting TV entertainment. This wasn’t always the case though. I used to enjoy them when I was younger but somewhere along the way they stopped doing it for me. No matter how we cut the script, most of the time we all know how the story ends. Person A meets person B through some unusual circumstances. They probably don’t like each other from the jump but then these circumstances force them to work, study or live together. Eventually the walls they have built between them start crumbling. They begin to be cordial, or possibly even friendly with one another, then the romantic feelings start creeping in. Initially they are reluctant to act on it. Eventually they give in to these feelings. Then comes a situation leading to a major fall out which somehow helps them confirm their feelings for each other. Finally comes the dramatic makeup scene and their happily ever after. The end. This is not to say I am not romantic. I love love. It has been a refreshing reconciliation for me to accept that my dark humour and romantic side reside in the same box in my brain. I ain’t mad though. Those who get it get it.
Love is not enough. Ever had a fight with your sweetie? I am not talking about the regular tiffs around small stuff, like when they forget to add a fresh tissue roll to the holder despite being the last person to use the bathroom. No, not those kinds of tiffs. I am talking about stuff being said in that moment of disagreement that hurts you to the core, where you are left crying alone in the shower because you can’t believe how much it hurts. You know the kind of fight that has you drinking alone in the bar at 7pm on a weekday because that loneliness is better than having to go home? Yeah, that kind. And you ask yourself, if somebody else spoke to you in the same manner, would you still even be friends? Would you let it slide? Would you put so much effort into trying to resolve it or walk away? And yet, you find yourself slowly making peace with the fact that you can try to forgive this person and continue with the relationship because you care about them and because you still want to be in a relationship with them. So you tell yourself this time round you can get past this fight and the negative feelings that come with it, but you don’t forget.
Love is not enough. Oh, your sweetie used to do everything in their power to make you feel loved. Not in the way they show or give love, but in the way you wanted to receive love. Maybe it was breakfast in bed every so often, maybe it was a baecation for your birthday, or perhaps your car was randomly fueled just because. Or Saturdays where you spent the day together doing random shit because quality time is how you know they care. Then slowly by slowly these things stop happening. Not at once, but gradual enough for you to notice they are no longer making the effort. These small things really only present themselves when you find yourself asking for those things more and more. And the more you ask the more they make you feel like a burden, like an obligation, almost like a chore they would rather not do. Here you go again with the excuses. Maybe they were tired, maybe they didn’t have money this month to do XYZ, maybe I am being too needy. You maybe yourself out of whatever you wanted. And then one day you wake up and realise you have settled for the bare minimum.
Love is not enough. Remember that time you got a promotion at work and the only reason your sweetie got excited over it was when they realised it comes with a pay rise. Before you knew it, your portion of financial responsibilities all of a sudden had more bills added to it? And you can’t quite seem to remember having a conversation about it? Suddenly the month has more days than your money can stretch. That is half the problem. You suddenly realise you can’t talk to your sweetie about money. Because every money conversation ends in a disagreement. You feel like you were wrong to express yourself in the money conversation. You feel like you actually should be doing more. But deep down that is not what hurts the most. It is that sinking feeling in your stomach when you realise your value in this relationship is equated to the money you put back into the relationship.
Love is not enough. Sweetie is lying next to you, deep asleep. Out like a light. You are wide awake. Not insomnia, no. Your brain and body are wondering what the heck just happened? When did sex become a one person sport, where only one of you had fun. Once in a while it is okay to take one for the team. And prioritise the other person’s pleasure. So what do you do now that it has become a common occurrence where you are not getting good loving? Always just being the one who dishes it? And yet again you feel like you can’t voice your needs because it will become another thing you fight about? So you tell yourself these are the trying times that lovers go through and so you choose to stick it out. And reconcile with a whole lot of self-loving to scratch that itch.
Love is not enough. If it makes you question your self worth. When you get caught up in a cycle where voicing your needs has you dubbed selfish. When you are self gaslighting in trying to rationalise a situation in your head and not with your loved one. You see, the kind of stuff they never really show us in the romcoms. Gerrit? If everything is of an opaque nature (reference Kenyan election results). Checkmate!