How Not to Love

I am far from being an expert on romance, but I am entirely sure this is not how it is supposed to go.

There are millions of reasons why you could love a person, and I know this because I do it all the time. I can adore the most mundane of things on the most extraordinary of people: like callouses on tired fingertips from hours fretting a guitar, paint stains on worn-out jeans that saw the creation of that painting on the wall, or vocal stutters that fade away as the sentence continues and confidence builds. The small intricacies I have to dig a little deeper for.

Or perhaps you are the type to see what everyone can see and fall in love with the story behind it. The beauty queen keeps her hair long to one day cut it short and donate the strands to charity. The football jock eats well and keeps in shape because he fears another surgery. While his friends party, the barista works double shifts to keep his late father’s dream alive. These are not uncommon stories.

I thought it was unique until more than one boy came to me saying they fell for me—at least partially—because I was sad.

I already find it exceptionally hard to swallow how the romanticization of one’s own depression exists. I find it to be disgusting and wholly unacceptable. I will be the first to admit that I never thought I would one day have to hover around the idea of a person romanticizing the depression of somebody else.

There are millions of reasons why I do not see how someone could love my depression, and I know this because I live with it all the time. I cannot adore the smallest inconveniences nor the blown-out-of-proportion obstacles: like a tired social battery fretting more social interaction the next day, tear stains on brand-new bed sheets that see the pounding of my fists on the wall, or vocal stutters that lurch out with choked crying as the despair peaks and confidence wilts. The private things that no one should want to dig for.

Nor can I understand how a person could see hearts in the sadness I accidentally let people see. Failing to wake up for a morning class because the pestering thoughts did not quiet until three in the morning. Hunching over a bathroom scale filled with tears because the numbers did not increase over the last two weeks. The time I tried a slow and visible suicide instead of a quick and disposable one. These are were not, are not, and will never be displays of beauty.

Never has sadness been something for anybody to fall for. We are not in the fairy tale world of Snow White or Sleeping Beauty where I play the dead girl who needs a kiss to live again. I am not a broken human that needs your fixing, and you are not the knight in shining armor when the fucking princess herself didn’t want, need, nor ask for one in the first place.

This is not romantic.
This is not solving the problem.
This is making it intensely, endlessly, carelessly worse.

You are far from being an expert on romance, but I am entirely sure this means you are supposed to go.