A heart of doubt.

A new year approaches and so we make resolutions. Join a gym or at least go back to the one that we’ve been paying for and not using. Stop smoking, drink less alcohol, lose weight and be healthy, take up a new hobby, spend more time with family and friends, the list is almost endless. Those are all pretty common so you might choose things that are a bit more personal.

Answering yes to more questions, to more chances of experiencing new things. It’s easy to shut yourself off at times, to just be on your own but maybe intrinsically you know that you need to mix things up now and again. The word ‘Yes’ is a sentence, first resolution makes the list. Learning to say no to other things, it’s a failing if you’re trying to please everyone all of the time. The word ‘No’ is also a sentence, second one sorted. You can be a kind person with a good heart and still say no to people. You want to know when to say no when you need to, but also when you say yes, the people around you know that you mean it. Setting boundaries can be a good idea. Sometimes you need to let people in, to let new things in or to let some things go if they’re not making you happy. Three for three, that’ll do for now, baby steps, right?

You need some things, people you care about, that you love. Sometimes you find those people when you least expect to. You can just click with someone and know that you’re both going to get along, you don’t have to pretend to be anyone else or anything that you’re not. Sure, sometimes your relationship will be going great and at others, it’ll be a bit of a struggle.

Last night we were more than fine.

In the middle of checking into a hotel and whilst the process is taking place, I look around and see her sitting in the bar. She spots me stealing a momentary glance, I’m so busted, but I get a smile so naturally one is returned. I concentrate on the person sorting out my room though, being rude is no bueno. Key collected, bags unpacked and a much needed shower after a forty hour journey is welcome. A beer downstairs follows, she’s still there and we strike up a conversation. She’s friendly, but our time ends with that one drink. A couple of days go by and I don’t see her.

Walking around the city, I randomly bump into her a few days later, smiles and awkward hugs are exchanged and we go for a drink. It turns out we like a lot of the same things, she’s also into spicy food, tequila, travel and girls. I didn’t see that coming but I like hanging out with her so why not continue to do so, everyone has friends that they’re not into in a romantic way. We have another week in the same city and we spend a lot of time together, eating, drinking, exploring. The friendship is formed and it’s sad when she has to go home.

Sussing out the benefits of any relationship is down to no one else but yourself. You can be around someone initially that you think you’re attracted to, but as time progresses, the friendship takes over and those feelings fade. No romance is on the cards but wouldn’t you want to be friends with the kind of girl you’d believe if she told you that the earth was flat and that Skittles fell from the sky? Sometimes you just vibe with someone.

We’re in touch regularly and she’s super polite, always asking about family and friends, about what’s going on, generally just a cool human being. Do you ever have a friendship though that’s a one way street? You’re always the first person in touch, the quicker to reply.

You text me when you feel like, when it feels right to you.

Days, weeks, months pass and we’re cool though, we speak, we hang out when she’s here and when I’m anywhere near her. An invite is extended to bring in 2020 together with other friends, she accepts and a plan is made.

Her plane lands, I pick her up and nothing has changed, the chat is seamless, it’s like we’ve never been apart. Neither of us have girlfriends but only one of us is looking for one, first time being a wingman for a lady.

The last day of the year is here, food and drinks with friends, always good. The bells toll to bring in the new year, we hug as is the case with everyone else, but she kisses me hard and it takes more seconds than it should to pull away. Conversing becomes difficult as I shake my head and tell her that we can’t. I love her but I’m not in love with her. It’s probably something that would’ve never happened if it wasn’t for a shit ton of tequila. Not all common interests are good.

The pain on her face is almost palpable, those falling tears hurt even more, but it’s down to excess on a special night of the year. It’s hard to look at the ruin, but it’s harder still not to find beauty in her decay, sometimes all you want is to get or give a hug.

Who doesn’t like being kissed? It has to be right though, if it’s not, then what’s the point? Isn’t it better to feel bad for a moment by saying no and stopping things going too far rather than harming you both in the long run? It’s okay to misjudge things but you always know when something isn’t coming from the right place.

On your lips just leave it, if you don’t mean it.

@TheSamMcLeod

In the heat of the moment.

You can find almost anyone that you can do everything with, but don’t you want to find someone that you can do nothing with? It’s easy to look at someone and know that you like them aesthetically, but doesn’t happiness come from something more than sexual chemistry?

We all know that you don’t need a certain other to make you happy, but it’s pretty cool when that new person comes along. Perhaps relationships are like arriving in a new city, when you explore, you find out more about yourself, you wander the streets with absolutely no idea about where you’ll end up. Sure, you love arriving, but one day it’ll have to come to an end and you’ll need to leave. Won’t you?

When you meet someone new and assuming that you really like them and don’t want to ever leave, you make promises to them, even if you don’t articulate your thoughts. Compliment them, treat them well, definitely no cheating, hopefully love follows. If they’re thinking the same things, then you’re set for life, right? You might look back later and realise that the greatest moments of your life will be those times when you went all in. Keep your promises, no need to put your hand on a metaphorical bible, but you know what you need to do. Promises are like crying babies in a cinema, they should be carried out immediately. It’s more than likely complete fantasy, but try and keep every promise that you make and only make those promises that you can keep would be a nice idea, wouldn’t it? At some point, don’t all of us want to be knocking on a very particular door? Some of us don’t take the time to appreciate the promises we’re making when we make them because none of us are infallible, it’s okay to fuck up now and again. It turns out that it’s not always easy to know a false promise from a true one. Stubbornness is in all of us at varying levels, but don’t we need to have the heart to say sorry when we’ve messed up? Maybe you’re never too old to be easily fooled, you can love someone but not yet learn about them.

You should have said sorry and it would have been okay. Four consonants and a vowel, just one word. Now?

Can’t sleep, can’t eat, my mind is a mess.

I was lonely but it was more than okay, because I like myself and my own company, and I didn’t need anyone, or at least I thought I didn’t. But then you came along, sparking something inside me like a forest fire. Things progress, promises are made, they’re said out loud to each other. Trips away, sneaked kisses in public, holding hands. Knowing glances, little winks, hugs, high fives, it’s beyond awesome to have a new best friend.

You messed up and you lied though, you broke your promises.

It only needed one word and it would have been okay again. It makes my heart hurt now when I remember all of those beautiful words that you said. I’m sitting here alone and it’s tough to breathe, because tears are falling from my eyes and they won’t stop. Despite them, I know that I need to keep try and build myself back up every day, tough as it might be, no one wants to be sitting for hours on the floor of the shower anymore. You need to know that you broke me that day, despite kissing me that morning as if you’d never done it before, and never would again. I’ve composed hundreds of messages to you, then I’ve hit the delete button. I’ve then tried to write more words that I’ll never be able to send. What does it matter now?

Time to leave for a while and try and ponder everything, to try and understand why you did what you did.

The stars are out and I wander these streets in a new city alone, thinking of all the memories that I want to still cling to. Every day, every kiss, night spent together is imprinted on my brain. Someone should have told me to try and capture every second, but it was too easy to get caught up in what was supposed to be an adventure starring two people. Fucking promises, it turns out that words can be twisted into any shape that someone wants them to be.

We could have been so amazing. Going to sleep beside you, waking up next to you, morning coffee, afternoon naps together at the weekend, late dinners, wandering through our city, through different cities holding hands, we could have been happy for the rest of forever together. Forever ever. Forever ever ever.

It’s late at night and it seems like no one else is awake. Staring at an impossibly beautiful view that you should be sharing, it dawns on me. I’m not your fault, you are your own fault, and despite everything, that makes me sad. For both of us.

I made a promise, you made a promise.

You said you’d be there through thick and thin.

@TheSamMcLeod

You need to know.

There are over seven billion people in the world, yet so many believe that there’s only one person out there for each of us. Can you only have one soulmate? That doesn’t sound fair, don’t we all deserve and want the chance of having a fairytale relationship or romance without it being limited to just one person?

Apparently we all fall in love with four different people in our lifetime, so there’s more than one person on the face of the planet that’s suited for you. If it’s true, does it matter then if your first, second or third love doesn’t work out, as long as the fourth person is the right one? Maybe you’ll only fall in love two or three times, so wouldn’t that would render the notion of just one soulmate as absolute bullshit? Maybe you’ll be that lucky person that meets your soulmate immediately, that ultimate complementary match.

Stick the word soulmate into any internet search engine and the response you’ll get, will be along the lines of, “a person ideally suited to another as a close friend or romantic partner.” Sounds about right, just someone that you have a deep affinity with, compatibility is key. If we had a wishlist, we’d all pick different things that we’d want from a partner, but someone who you connect with on an emotional and physical level would be a good start, right? Hopefully not too much to ask.

Just because you think that your relationship is meant to be, does it really mean anything? The odds aren’t great for soulmates or whatever else you want to call them. Four out of over seven billion? You’d never part with your money for any other bet, would you? Yet, every day, we gamble on love. Life is different every day, perhaps you’ll never know how lucky you’ll be, but surely there must be someone out there for everyone, just because you haven’t found that person yet doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. There’s university research out there that reckons less than 3 in 10 of us meet our soulmate and get together. What chance do we really have? Maybe some of us are luckier than others though. How many people in your life have you said those three words to? Maybe it gets to a stage where it’s five words. Maybe as long as you remember that it’s about both of you living this adventure together, the pair of you might just do okay.

The three words have left my lips to eight different girls in my lifetime. The five words? Only to three, so does that mean that there’s still one girl left out there for me? It’s only later when you reflect on things though, that sometimes you realise that those three little words get thrown around too easily and you can say those words to some people, but not really mean them. You can get caught up in the moment for sure, but who pretends in their heart about loving someone? Not fucking cool. You always mean the five words though, don’t you?

Can you remember the first time that you told someone that you loved them and meant it?

The first time? She was and is amazing. We shouldn’t have gotten together, she was with someone else at the time but there was something there and you know that when you look at someone in a particular way and they look at you in a similar fashion, that there might be a chance. Circumstances changed months later, and one telephone call from her changed everything. She’s so far out of my league that it’s unbelievable, always has been, this boy definitely got lucky. She’s pretty, super intelligent and she has a smile that will always be imprinted on your mind, if you’re lucky enough to see it. She told me those words first, but it took me a little while to get there too. It sucks, doesn’t it, you’re almost automatically put under pressure to respond with the same three words if someone says them to you? Doesn’t it matter more though if you say something that important that you know when you’re at that stage? It could and should have been the most meaningful relationship ever, but sometimes boys fuck up. We were in love, but now she’s in love with someone else and she’s happy, ergo, I’m happy. She gave me more than I could have ever expected and I’ll always be humbled by it. If I saw her today, she wouldn’t get the five words, but she’d definitely get the three. A relationship can destroy you when it ends, but one day you wake up, and it hurts less than it did the day before. You try to get better every day, you walk like you have somewhere to go, and you hope that there is another opportunity with someone else.

The second time? We met through work, she called me one day for help in finding a new job and coffee was arranged. We’d spoken about a hundred times on the telephone, but never met. Complete randomness, what should have been a half hour conversation turned into two hours. She likes the same bands that I do, she quoted film lines at me verbatim. When you smile with someone, with your eyes, as well as your mouth, then a part of you wonders about something more. Days and week passed and we met up more than once for drinks and food. Things progressed and then one day, I blurted those words out before she did. Maybe she felt the aforementioned pressure but she responded by saying those same words. We spent a lot of time together but then she had to move away for work. Conversations became less frequent and she met someone else. She told me she that loves him, it seems he loves her, so how can you not be happy for that one person who was in your life that you fell for?

The third time? It still hurts to this day and it’s difficult. She’s the third of three people on the planet to hear those five words and she’s the third girl to be way above anyone’s league, especially this guy. Punching above my weight, should have been a fucking boxer.

It’s difficult and ultimately wrong to put yourself out there again when you’re still thinking about someone who went before. You try though, but you’re doing well if you can manage to follow things through with someone else. Number four? It hasn’t happened but there’s a girl. You can be old friends with someone and then one day realise that there is the potential of something more. Leave your pride at the door and put your heart out there, right? Words are said and a rejection follows, but it’s almost a relief. No three or five word sentences are spoken but there might always be a part that wonders. Still thinking about number three though, so it wouldn’t be fair to the girl that might have been number four. The search continues, or does it?

Without all of these beautiful people, I might never have made it this far. Without them, I might never have even tried. The thing is though, you can try and move on and still not be over someone who you’ve said those five words to.

ILYSB

@TheSamMcLeod