I once read that when you truly love someone their happiness always comes first, even if their happiness means they are not with you. There is not a single phrase about love I disagree with more. Because, to me, when love is involved, happiness should be mutually inclusive for both parties, meaning, if you’re not happy with me, then I don’t want you happy with someone else.

Selfish? Egotistical? Maybe. But if I give you my love, I give it completely and irrevocably and it’s only natural that I would want the same from you. It’ll change, it’ll alter, it may even falter from time to time, but it will be always and forever. Usually.

Because if we’re being completely honest here, how many times in a person’s lifetime could one find that “always and forever”, the one that’s there for the longhaul? Once.

So where do all those other “love everlasting”s go? Do we just un-love them, strip them out of our minds, our bodies and our hearts like we would strip out of clothes that no longer fit or suit us? Or is there a more intriquite design for feelings?

There are those who claim that they are more than capable of erasing the love they once felt a person. Erase them, and the things they felt for them, from their memory.

Let’s test that theory for a minute, alright?

You’re walking down the street, window-shopping. As you turn away from a pair of exquisite stilettos that are as beautiful as they are uncomfortable, your gaze meets the gaze of familiar eyes and a very familiar face. For nanoseconds, you pause. You know them from somewhere and you just can’t recall, automatically, who they are. They look away after a moment, as if they expected you to say hello, and you both continue on your way. Half way through the cup of coffee in front of you, you remember who that person was.

It was “just somebody that you used to know”, as Gotye and Kimbra sang, so successfully, a few years back. You used to know them, you used to love them; there’s was even once a time that you thought they were your ‘one and only’. But that is done and over now, because, well, you just don’t love them anymore. You managed to un-love them when the romantic affair between the two of you ended.

Now does that sound like a real scenario? Sure, it does. It happens.

Here’s the catch, though: Did you really un-love them or did something else happen?

It is just as possible to ‘un-love’ someone as it is to go back in time and completely obliterate anything you ever felt for them. You can’t un-meet them, you can’t un-kiss them, you can’t un-make love to them, you can’t un-fall in love with them and you can’t un-live the moments the two of you spent together. Once it’s done it can’t be undone. I don’t think that there’s a person who has ever been hurt that hasn’t wished they could, but it’s not possible — yet.

It’s just that sometimes that emotion becomes tainted. It can be poisoned by the other person with things they say or do to the point where it is transformed into something else. It goes through a metamorphosis; it does not simply cease to exist.

When there are real emotions, real feelings for someone, they never quite go away. Love never leaves, one way or another.

It turns into bitterness, resentment; even hate. But you can’t love someone one day and then not love them the next. And just to be clear, ‘from one day to the other’ is not being used literally here; there is always a completely objective amount of time each person’s emotions take to go from one to the other. Sooner or later even those emotions fade into something more neutral and natural, but you can’t say that they are the same as those you would have for a stranger.

There is that possibility that you never really loved them in the first place, of course. There are other emotions and feelings commonly confused with love. Interest, attraction, lust, sexual pleasure or even simply enjoying someone’s company to the point that you want to be around them all the time. But, none of those, by themselves, is love.

Now, for all you who might say that I’m one of those dreamers that sees ‘forever’ carved into any tree with initials; I’m the farthest thing from it you’ll ever meet. Some people are just more frugal with their emotions than others. Because they know how intense those eomtions can become. And I know enough about resentment and hate for someone I once cared for deeply. But, though far from love, even those are strong emotions. Because, the only way to love is with all your heart, and if you’re gonna hate, the only way to hate is with all you’ve got.

And there is always that one person. Your Achilles’ heel, your weakness, your Kryptonite, the one that you’ll always love, even while hating them.

Think long and hard. You’ll know who it is. You never really got over them, that flame never quite died out inside your heart. And though the feeling might have undergone a million different alterations, something, a residue of the old emotion is still there. Even if it’s just a tightness in your chest.

So, no, it is not possible to ‘un-love’ someone. You can try; try to hide it, try to bury it way deep down in the furthest corners of your heart and mind, you can even try to force the mutation of your love into something awful and despicable, but you can’t undo it.

Because a heart may flatline, but love don’t die.

Author: Nikoletta Vasilopoulou

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