Where the Heart Isn’t
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree and Rising.
One of the saddest things I saw this past week was the emotional meltdown of an artist I’ve known for around 15 years. It’s one of those cases that make you believe in the fairytale of only one true love out there for each of us.
Before I go any further, let me say that I don’t believe that only one person in the world is perfect for anyone or that we all are at the mercy of the universe that our one true love will be born in our lifetime within an age band that’s acceptable to mate, and that we’ll somehow end up in the same country with the same circumstances so that we meet and fall in love, rah, rah, rah. Then again, it’s a lovely fantasy because true compatibility really does seem to be just that rare.
It’s even lovelier when you see someone find another soul that’s so wonderfully compatible that they feel there’s no one else in the universe meant for them as much as that person. Such is the case with my artist friend.
She lost her beloved several years ago. It was tough but even after decades together, they were still hopelessly in love with each other. (Sniff…the romantic in me emerges quickly.)
I guess I was a little surprised when she immediately jumped into a new relationship, ready to remarry so soon. If the new guy had been waiting in the wings for her or her previous marriage had been horrid, I could see it. I don’t mean that from a judgmental viewpoint, just that I was surprised that she could give her heart to someone else so soon.
The truth is, she didn’t give her heart. She jumped into a new relationship with a man nothing at all like the one who’d been her romance hero all her life. She tried to make it work, and is trying again after her meltdown to make it work. I don’t know that she can. I think she’ll settle and remain broken rather than risk doing anything that might hurt the new man in her life.
Even though she’s been with this new guy for a long time, she isn’t happy with him and never has been—and feels guilty for not being happy with him. One day, it’s tolerable…and the next, it’s better…and the next, she’s miserable. The truth is, her heart is still with the man in her past.
I think part of it is that she feels unworthy of finding another love like the one she lost, so she feels that this relationship is close enough and maybe more than she deserves, anyway. And that her only other choice is loneliness, even though she’s with someone and lonely.
That’s the saddest part.
That she’s willing to stay where her heart isn’t.