Can Your Heart Lose the Ability to Love?

Yes.

I struggle right now as I sit here and see the title looming over me as I bite my lip and think why it is I chose to write this topic. I've been very honest as a writer since I started sharing stories with you. By now, I think you understand something of what I'm like, is that correct? I've given you a lot of information. But now I want to talk about something that has been on my mind since this summer. I want to talk about if we can actually lose the ability to fall in love.

A Nicholas Sparks, John Green, Rainbow Rowell, Disney Cliche story all wrapped into one, is that what all of this sounds like? Looking back, I truly never believed this would happen because I have so much love in my heart for my friends, my family members, my dogs, my writing, my music.

But these past few years, as I've gone through an insurmountable amount of change, I've realized something about myself. Most cynics would say that they never felt love before and that yes, many people don't truly understand what love is. I say this because I know people like this. I know that falling in love is difficult and what we felt in high school most likely wasn't truly what LOVE is. I think about believing I was in love with this one boy when I was seventeen years old. I remember the pain and torture my heart endured every day I tried to fall out of love with him. I remember not being able to tell him because at the time he was one of my closest friends. I remember memories and feelings, but my heart doesn't. My heart reminds me of none of those things. 

I believe that I've only truly been in love once. I can't say that it's true because I'm only 21. What do I know about love other than pining for people that I can never have? I keep writing about it and how difficult it can be to truly love a person due to the pain and desire to make sure they're happy. When I fell in love for what I believe to be a real, true love, it took so much out of me as a person, but more so of my heart. Falling in love destroyed me. 

He was one of my best friends. We'd been through a lot in the first year of our friendship, and I thought he was the missing piece of a friendship I never knew I needed. It wasn't until I was helping him with relationships that my heart seemed to think that maybe I wanted him to be with me. It never happened. He met a girl and they're both clearly so in love. I'm happy for them. But it keeps me wondering, too.

Ever since I finally fell out of love with him, ever since we went through the chaos that is our love lives together, built, broke, mended and grew that friendship, I've had my eyes open differently.

Did the long, painful nights of crying myself to sleep over a boy who didn't love me, losing him in the process because of the spiteful things I did to him and to our friends, angering people around me because they kept telling me to give up, hurting myself through watching him from a distance and nearly losing myself in the process...did all of that result in losing love in my heart? Did I use up the amount I have on people? Or did I lose faith in the idea of love?

I think it's the latter. Truthfully, I don't want to fall in love anymore. I don't want someone to look at me the way I looked at my best friend. I don't want someone to write mushy love letters about me or declare their love for me in front of the world. I don't want SOMEONE. I'd rather feel nothing when it comes to love, because I truly, honestly know what it's like for the person you care about the most to absolutely despise you. I know what it's like when he looks at you with confusion, disgust, and anger. Why would I want to ever go through that pain again? I'd rather have my best friend than be in love with him. Because there's an unspoken agreement as best friends that you're always there for each other. I don't like the term of "Best Friend", but I like the idea.

I think my heart lost the ability to fall in love. Or at least, I think it has for the time being. Maybe it's protecting itself. The people I've tried to go out on dates with, people I find attractive, I feel absolutely nothing for them. I could care less where they are right now romantically; I just hope they're all happy. I don't want to be in love with them. Hell, I don't NEED to be in love with them. 

But this also makes me wonder if, by chance, I'm protecting myself from getting hurt again. I'm wondering if I'd just rather be single because it's easier on my heart. I don't know, truly. It sounds ridiculous to me, that I could be protecting my heart without attempting to. But how does it account for the entire year? How does it count for all the times I've stood by others and said how much I love and care about them?

Here's the conclusion I've come to: It is insanely possible to block yourself off to love. The very fact that a person wants so badly to love, but hasn't been able to, shows that there's a wall they're clearly putting up. It's nobodies fault. It's not even yours. It's your metaphorical walls that you can't put down. Defense mechanisms, past experiences, watching people close to you, all of that can add up to the reason we're so unhappy.

So if I spend a few years not being able to love someone, who cares, right? I'm only in college. I have the rest of my life to fall in love. And besides, the only kids I want are dogs, so if I ever get married, the love of my life better understand that yes, we will have three or four dogs.