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The Dark Side of Love: Reciprocation and Safe Soul Searching

Love is just amazing. Wonderful, splendid, dangerous. Yes, dangerous. Love, in its entirety, is as dangerous as it is amazing. You have to understand the term and concept, reciprocation and why it’s okay when someone doesn’t love you back; otherwise you and the relationship could become very unhealthy.

Hello, Reader. I used to not know what reciprocation was, and that almost led to my downfall.

I remember my freshman and sophomore years like it was recent. It’s a little funny because it was recent. These last few years, I remember being a different creature than I am today. I would be very desperate for relationships that I couldn’t attain. I felt quite strange about it. I couldn’t understand why I was single, not in a relationship, and not loved by people who I really do get along with. Now, I get it. Back then I didn’t. This alone can make you a monster of different proportions if you aren’t careful; and believe me, I wasn’t careful.

I was trying to find a relationship, left and right. Whenever something failed, I would move on quickly but I would become more and more confused and frustrated as the weeks and months passed. One day, I fell for a really close friend of mine, and I truly thought that since we were close friends, we were able to become lovers in a nice, steady relationship. Yeah, no. Reader, it is completely okay to remain platonic with a friend. Sometimes, they won’t want a relationship closer than the one you two already have. If you aren’t okay with that, then you two were never really friends in the first place.

Back to the story. I was extremely in pain, and also extremely overwhelmed by emotions when I was told that I wasn’t boyfriend material for her. I started getting weird cramps and crying uncontrollably. I felt as if I didn’t want to be here, because if my closest friend didn’t like me, then no one would. I started developing the idea that maybe my life isn’t worth it. All over the fact that I was simply rejected. But again, I didn’t understand what reciprocation was.

Tragically, this has actually happened every school year since 8th grade. Since I didn’t understand how to deal with being told no in relationship matters, even when it’s my dearest friend at the time, I thought that my life mattered little, if not at all. Fast-forward to 2020.

2020 was amazing near the end of the year but the beginning? I was still struggling. Perhaps even worse than how I struggled before. It was the same tale. Same song. Same rhythm, beat, and key. However, a different tempo: everything was getting faster. It was getting faster and faster. My heartbeat was getting faster and faster. My brain was so overwhelmed with so many emotions all coming at once, like Twitter messages coming to you after a controversial tweet, or rush hour at a Bojangles restaurant in the middle of the South. I felt like I had way too much sugar. It was a sugar rush, but in the mental health field, they call it a “manic episode”. Sugar rushes and manic episodes alike, you will crash. Where did I crash, you ask? I crashed into the hospital. Yes. The hospital. Me, not able to understand the reciprocation of feelings and how to cope after rejection, landed in the hospital.

It was one of the worst moments of my life. I felt my dad’s assignment would be compromised because I would be deemed too unstable for what was next. I felt my mom would forever be worried for her son and his overall health, unless they put him into a mental institute. Even though my parents’ concerns were a lot to me, I was mostly concerned for my friends who would probably think of me always as a lunatic, a weirdo, a freak. A diseased man. I’m still worried to this day that this incident and myself will lead some to the stigma that some who are mentally challenged are doomed from start to end.

I moved. Yeah, that was the worst way to finish off a station but it was over, and since COVID-19 was all over the states, I couldn’t do anything about it. Through the move, I had no phone. No one to talk to. No social media. No outlet to cry to or anything like that. It was just me, myself, and I. Oh, and my family, of course, to keep myself occupied. I had moved again and, this time, I was put on medication to help me focus, and think somewhat better, so no more overwhelming moments. I was also put in therapy, alone and in a group, to help me understand my chemical imbalance, my diagnosis, how to control it somewhat, and lastly, how to be a better part of society.

Throughout the months in isolation, I gained my parents’ trust back and I started to realize that this was a problem. I needed to understand this fact. Not everyone and anyone is going to love you. No matter how endearing the smile. No matter how muscular the body. No matter how nice and caring the thoughts are. Simply put? If it all goes wrong, there is still someone out there for you. It’s just not the person you thought it was, and that’s honestly alright. It all takes time, and it is all a process. It wasn’t immediate, but I started to recover the trust of some friends and now, I understand reciprocation and how to keep this all from not happening to me.

I told you this story, dear reader, because I don’t want it happening to you either. You might think you are a great person and this person that you are into is going to love you back, but they might not, and that’s alright, because you understand that it doesn’t click. Right? Right. I hope explaining this experience was helpful in some way for you. I guess the moral of the story is to always, always be understanding, and to think things through clearly whenever you can. I think that’s the moral. You get what I’m saying. Thanks.


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