The Unworthiness of Love
By Jade Walker


How do I get past the fact that someone I once loved finds me unworthy?

My problem has never been unrequited love. Most times, when I fall in love with someone, he falls in love with me, too. We stay together for years. Then one day, I'm just not enough anymore. I'm no longer worthy. At that point, we break up and I spend a very long time wondering what I did wrong, what I missed.

Instead of wallowing in Haagen Dazs and tearstained tissues, I turn to movies. Nothing makes me feel more alive, and less brokenhearted, than finding a scene or story-line that mirrors my own. So I peruse my video collection and pull out..."When Harry Met Sally."

After years apart, Harry and Sally meet up again, both on the rebound. Harry is a basket case. Sally seems completely in control. Until...her ex-boyfriend calls. That's when Sally learns the truth: "It's not that he didn't believe in marriage -- he just didn't believe in marrying me."

Oh, I've so been there. In fact, I've been there twice.

Again I search through my video collection for another movie, something that'll truly capture how much I'm hurting. I end up popping "Twister" into the VCR.

During an uncomfortable reunion with her ex-husband, Jo confronts the fact that she's still in love with him. Her Aunt Meg tries to console her.

Meg: "He didn't keep up his end of the bargain."
Jo: "What was that?"
Meg: "To die alone, pining for you."
Jo: "Is that too much to ask?"

And I think to myself, "Yeah! That's not too much to ask. Die pining, damn it."

My best friend Amy used to tell me I'm a little unrealistic about love. Apparently, I expect too much from men.

"The man is the leader of the free world. He's brilliant, he's funny, he's an above average dancer. Don't you think your standards are a tad high?" --Beth, "The American President"

But after years of reading romance novels and watching sappy films, I've conjured up the perfect man, the perfect relationship, the perfect life. Is this little dream an impossibility?

"You don't want to be in love. You want to be in love in a movie." -- Becky, "Sleepless in Seattle"

Perhaps that's true. But what's so wrong with that? Why can't the perfect man appear in my life and sweep me off my feet?

Annie: "This man could be my destiny."
Becky: "Your destiny can be your doom."
--"Sleepless in Seattle"

When I'm feeling really doomed, thoughts of suicide occasionally flit through my mind. Yet no matter how bad things get, no man is worth that option. As Charles Du Mar says in the movie, "Better Off Dead": "...Dying when you're not really sick is really sick, you know? Really!"

So where are all the nice guys? Do they settle with just anyone? Are they so afraid of being alone that they reach for the easiest match and make the most of it? Or do they wait and hope to find the one person who completes them?

I feel waiting may be the best option.

"Do you believe in love at first sight? Nah, I betcha don't, you're probably too sensible for that. Or have you ever, like, seen somebody? And you knew that, if only that person *really* knew you, they would, well, they would of course dump the perfect model that they were with, and realize that YOU were the one that they wanted to, just, grow old with." --Lucy, "While You Were Sleeping"

Until that happens, being miserable over someone who finds me "unworthy" is a waste of time. Instead, I turn it around. All those wonderful romantic things I remember? I lock 'em up and forget about 'em. I must or else they'll haunt me forever. No matter how much I believed in my ex-lover, he never got it.

And if Destiny and Fate actually exists -- and I believe they do -- then in the end I will find my perfect match. Until that time, I'm going to keep watching movies, and hoping.

Lloyd: "One question: do you need someone or do you need me?"
Diane: "I need you."
--"Say Anything"