Ex Boyfriend

The Test of True Love

Billy, one of my exes

When I said I love you to this guy… I meant forever. We were friends for 8 months. Dated for 6 weeks. But it took me 3 years to get over him. I don’t know what’s harder, breaking up when one of the parties wants it to end, or when both parties want to be together.

We were the latter. He’s the guy I can honestly say I truly loved. He never hurt me, but we had a Romeo and Juliet kind of breakup. We were really young and our parents wanted us to break up, so we finally did it for them. He was in Florida; I was in Texas.

It was the first time I really experienced my heart breaking.

The first time food didn’t look appetizing (that never happens to me!)

The first time the emotional pain felt like physical pain. The weight of it all made my body heavy like a brick and I didn’t have the energy or motivation to get out of bed. What was the point?

Remembering this kind of pain got me thinking about the test of true love.

I think the test of true love is this:

You want love for this person regardless of whether or not you’re in the picture.

It’s easy to love someone when you’re in the picture.

It’s easy to wish joy, love, happiness and peace to those who treat you right.

The test of true love is if you still wish these things for the one who has

  • broken your heart
  • cheated on you
  • broken up with you
  • dumped you
  • left you alone

Or the one who you want to be with but can’t…
After you’re done crying…

can you honestly say, I want goodness for this person, even if I can’t be with them?

That is the test of true love: It’s selfless.

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I love thinking about the intricacies of dating, love and life. I share my tiny lessons in the hope that it helps you as you navigate the dating world.

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  1. Nathan

    I read an article recently that espoused a guaranteed way to avoid heartbreak. The idea was simply to love unconditionally without concern of reciprocation. If you do that, you have nothing to lose. Then just the other day I ran across this:

    “I love you. It’s none of my business what you think of me… Now if you happen to love me back, it’s a plus. So you can add to my life, but you can’t take away…because I’m not trading with you-I love you, period.”

    Or as Antoine De Saint-Exupery put it, “True love begins when nothing is looked for in return.”

  2. MidoriLei

    OMG. I LOVE that quote by Antoine De Saint-Exupery! That’s exactly what I mean!

  3. Lydia

    What a sad sad story. How young were you? Do you regret breaking up? I’m going to tell this story to someone who doesn’t understand how it can take me so long to get over someone who wasn’t even in my life very long. I’ll say See SEE?! I’m not the only one!!! 😛

  4. MidoriLei

    I was 20 and he was 18. I don’t regret breaking up. I think everything happens for a reason. I’m actually VERY grateful for the experience. I had never been able to feel that deeply for someone and I think that heartbreak is a human experience that is painful at the time but necessary. Cliche rings true, Better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. Because of this experience, I actually get that now. The point is… it’s a beautiful thing to be able to care for someone that deeply. To have experienced that is worth the pain.

    at least for me:)

  5. Scratch

    Nathan –
    “So you can add to my life, but you can’t take away…”
    That’s strange, isn’t it? Why’s that? Perhaps it’s because the feeling of selfless love is like a gift of happiness. It’s more than having nothing to lose. It enriches you inherently. I can’t quite figure out why. I suppose because “everyone wins”. It’s actually a very profound question I think. Love + selfish desire just isn’t real love, and therefore will hurt you. It’s corrupt in some way. To love someone selflessly is a wonderful gift; that person is a wonderful gift. But then this can be extended to everyday life, and it’s extremely liberating and energising. Sikhism has the concept of “seva” – compassionate work with no thought of return. It’s a spiritual exercise which brings you closer to God.
    Sorry for rambling.

    • MidoriLei

      Scratch,

      You are not rambling! Love hearing your thoughts. It doesn’t make sense does it? How by losing your life (loving unselfishly), you gain it. How by giving something away, you actually get something in return. It’s so puzzling and profound and wonderful. It’s like having kids. They are leeches, they are helpless, they are costly, but parents wouldn’t have it any other way. Kids have a way of taking everything– but they give back something intrinsically valuable, something intangible. I think that’s what love, true selfless love does.

  6. Scratch

    Giving and taking are two very different things. To give love is just that – giving. To “taint it with selfish desire” (to paraphrase the Dalai Lama) is a pollution of that pure generosity.

    We hope that the person we give to will return our love voluntarily – but no-one’s keeping accounts.

    People can abuse our kindness and generosity – however, unselfish love remains the highest ideal I believe.

    Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which spitefully use you, and persecute you; Jesus ― Matthew 5:44

    Hatreds do not ever cease in this world by hating, but by love. This is an eternal truth. Overcome anger by love. Overcome evil by good. Overcome the miser by giving, overcome the liar by truth. ― Buddha

    Sounds good.

  7. Scratch

    As for why it’s the highest ideal, and makes us happy – love is the food of life. We are a social species, and as I’ve just discovered, when we are nice to someone else, our oxytocin levels go up, and our stress profile goes down. When we only think of our own short-term pleasure, we feel happy, yet our stress profile goes up.

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