Ági Kégl: Being hopelessly in love as a woman in her forties

Playing with Főldii / Celestial wonder,

We will meet at 5 o’clock at the corner of Podmaniczky and I don’t know what. Friendly. At 5:20 a.m., I’m already hopelessly in love. Not in a friendly way.

Even though it’s my 42nd birthday that day and I can boast of a lot of life experience and knowledge of people (on paper), by the time my defense system can mobilize itself, it’s too late: I’m lost.

As Ákos Fodor wrote: “There are those who run fast. There are those who read and write quickly. I feel fast.”

In my case, the challenge is not that I feel quickly, but that I feel it very deeply. If I get emotionally attached to something, I stay that way for a relatively long time. I’m a loyal bastard, which is often a bigger burden than anyone would think.

Cupid’s arrow hit me unexpectedly not long after the end of a lukewarm but seemingly safe relationship. The feeling is independent of age. And yet I feel a little entitled: “Still, how can I fall in love with someone at such a young age like a teenager – almost as a stranger?!”

Seeming to be a deity / Deceit, blind Hope!

When this kind of unexpectedly flaming love hits a person, they start to feel anxious, because the greater the feeling, the greater the chance of injury. (Perhaps it is no coincidence that many people – consciously or unconsciously – protect themselves and prefer not to open up to new loves, thus sparing their inner peace and the integrity of their hearts.)

I anxiously rejoiced that “well, you dare to feel, you didn’t close yourself off, in fact, you opened your soul and heart to such a self-evident, overflowing influence like a chitri”.

This is a great achievement, because – at least in part due to the experiences I’ve had in my relationships so far – I have a very deep and elementary fear of rejection. But as I mentioned, I didn’t even have time to be afraid here. Before I could have been afraid, I was full of feeling.

Excitingly, this elemental feeling seemed to be mutual. Over the pistachio ice cream I ate in a delirium in the Budapest patch on a scorching, warm Sahara summer day, and even after that a few times when we were able to meet physically, it felt like I was not the only one who touched me.

In the moment, the connection and my feelings were also honest.

It crossed my mind: how exciting it is to change the pattern of my affections. In the past, an elegant face, an attractive body, and a beautiful pair of eyes were enough. Today, the character I can get into is much more complex.

When I looked at the other person, I felt like I was looking at myself, and that gave me security. Suddenly, my somewhat erratic soul seemed to have found a home.

And people of my age don’t throw around such a gift any more: I embraced this unexpected, joyful, scary, or frighteningly joyful feeling. And looking at myself, I suddenly saw clearly that I would have the strength to do something for this relationship: no matter what tests life throws at me.

Who does he create for himself / The unhappy

Then, looking into life’s rearview mirror, the whole experience began to seem more and more like a mirage. What I experienced in the moments of the past, interwoven with intoxication, harmony created from nothing, deep attunement, began to be questioned and overwritten by the present.

As usual, everyday life reared its ugly head, and the distance between us grew.

Until one day he said goodbye elegantly, with a nice dismissive message. It suddenly replaced communication, bilateral presence – ugh, I hate it! – the silence.

The kind of silence that is so loud that nothing else can be heard from it. When someone inhabits all your thoughts, feelings, owns your attention, and you wander through the days somewhat hesitantly, as if you were a ghost of yourself. When, like Bridget Jones, wrapped in a blanket, you eat ice cream from a box all day long.

I drowned my grief in movement. The more I pushed myself physically, the more I could quiet down my thoughts (and feelings) for an hour or two. But then they attacked me again during the day and wouldn’t leave me alone even in my sleep. Sometimes I woke up to the other’s voice, other times to his gaze.

And as his guardian angel, / He praises tirelessly

Until the moment of saying goodbye, one could hope that a real, working relationship could emerge from the initial flame. From there, however, the nightmare could begin: hope based on nothing.

But when and what makes a connection hopeless? Where is the point where suddenly an encouraging situation transforms into a soul-losing state, a person clings to the air and tries to accept the new reality: that he is hopelessly in love. That he was left alone (perhaps he was always alone?) with his feelings.

Does this state come before the goodbye? When does one begin to feel that the other is moving away from the bond? Or would it be the act of saying goodbye that brings hopelessness to life? Or long after the goodbye, when we finally accept that it’s over, that this won’t be a pink hepiend either?

Social media is a particularly dangerous place in such cases. The ego turns on, you try to somehow prove that you are still important to the other person to some extent.

On Instagram, you are constantly checking to see if the other person has seen what you posted, in a rather miserable way. “Doesn’t it matter if he looks or not if he doesn’t talk to you?” – snaps the sanity hidden inside you.

You hang up the phone, only to check again 5 minutes later to see if he watched it. Dementia.

And as time passes, it becomes more and more clear that the other person has moved on, is no longer present in any way in this relationship that once seemed mutually important.

He’s off the map of my life and has no plans to return.

What are you promising with your smooth mouth? / Why are you laughing at me?

With the wandering days and weeks, the inner doubt grows, the number of unanswered questions grows, they become more diverse and louder.

Had I misunderstood your signals that much? Wasn’t I really important? I wonder why I chose someone who can’t love me back?

And a person can only converse with himself, since the communication channels have been unilaterally closed by the other. Close friends and the psychologist remain: they are treated with a boring, painful monologue.

This lonely and struggling state also has its advantages: hopelessness and pain are fertile soil from which a lot of value can grow. He inspired me too (though the hell he wanted this inspiration at such a price), awakened my creativity and forced me to face myself, to see myself even better through the fog of my pain.

The thought struck me: how could this platonic love be as lost as it was when I was a teenager? I’m at the age when, I thought-hoped, that with many, many experiences, life experiences, and many years of psychotherapy behind me, I can see myself relatively clearly and I’ve already acquired a fairly thorough knowledge of myself and people.

And, hell, even so, I can misinterpret a – for me – defining connection so badly!

However, this situation is definitely different: the way I think about myself in it. In my teenage years, but maybe even a few years ago, I would have looked for the fault in myself, where I messed things up, what I could have done differently to end the relationship with my partner (whatever my partner was).

Now I don’t start looking at my own values ​​in the mirror of the other one. I definitely feel that my values ​​are not detracted from the fact that the other party could not connect with me in the way I would have wanted for some reason. I don’t lose touch with myself, even in such a deeply emotionally upsetting situation.

If there is anything positive in this experience, it is this realization.

Are you instilling a dubious desire / Even now into me?

Of course, as with everything, time eases this burdened state of mind. Slowly, but the feeling dissolves.

One day I wake up to find that it is no longer suffocating, I can breathe again. I no longer think about it every moment (just every second) and I start to drift away. From hope. From the unborn, unlived future.

At the same time, with each such loss, a person leaves a piece of his nobler self. (And the hell take it away, I’m sorry for these crumbling pieces of me!) And the lack of this unlived relationship will remain forever, which cannot (at least I can’t) be completely filled with another.

And hopelessness can only be resolved by one thing: courage, the fact that one dares to live again, to open up, to love. And this can be started at any time. Today. Tomorrow. Day after tomorrow. But it’s best: as soon as possible.

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Ágnes Kégl

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