When exactly does love end?

It’s been exactly two weeks and four days since we broke up.  No, I’m not counting hours and minutes too.  I actually had to stop and access my fingers to come with these numbers.  Because also no, I am not wallowing in misery and my own snotty tears on the bathroom floor, crushed with heartbreak.  I am mentioning this timeline as a statement of fact simply because time figures prominently in what I am about to ask:

When does love actually end?

I mean there you are, rolling along merrily (and then too often not so merrily) for well over two years, professing love on a pretty much daily basis. The L-word shows up in texts, emails, phone calls and face to face encounters.  It exists because maybe three weeks into the relationship, on a romance-drenched (and probably horny) evening, the magic words were spoken.  It has existed ever since.  Honest, there has never been one single moment where one or the other fessed up and said “Know what, Putz? I don’t love you anymore.”

Nope.  It’s been hovering around the entire time.  Love, love love … lots of lovely love.

And then we break up.  We decide it just isn’t working.  We are too different, we want different things, we make different choices and we differ far too often.  It just isn’t working.  And so we break up quietly, gently, even sealing the deal with a final hug.

Two weeks pass  and I finally call, realizing that not only do we have business to attend to, but it’s weird.  It’s just plain weird that we haven’t said one word to each other in two weeks.  It’s not like there were bullets flying as he backed out of the driveway.  It’s not like we screamed and yelled and called each other ugly names.  I can appreciate that a certain amount of distance is necessary (indeed prudent) off the bat, just to digest and process.  I wasn’t, however, thinking fourteen days …

And so I ask him.  Why so long?

A bitter chortle escapes his lips as he replies “Because we broke up!”

Yes, I remember.

But, continue I cautiously, I love you.  I plan on always loving you. I plan to treat you lovingly for the rest of my days.

There is a pause.  And so I think.

Just because it isn’t working doesn’t mean the love has ended.  It just means that romantic love doesn’t seem to be our destiny.  Passionate, sexy, till-the-end-of-time love (and all that comes with it) is apparently not what we do best – with each other.  Yet love remains.

Finally he says “I don’t know if I would call it love, but I do care about you.”


There you have it, folks – the death of love.  Love has morphed to care.  Next it’ll be Yeah, you’re okay and finally What was your name again?

Perhaps I doth exaggerate some (been known to happen) but my question (once again) is – when did his love actually end?  Was it something that evaporated over weeks and months?  And if so, during that time was he kinda fibbing when he said I love you?  When we shared a blissfully romantic moonlit sleigh-ride no less than a month before we parted company, were all those love words a lie?  Or did his love magically – no wait, magically is the wrong word, does it have an opposite? – disintegrate at the exact moment that we decided it wasn’t working?  Did he walk out the door, hop into his truck and drive off into the night thinking “Well thank goodness I don’t love her anymore?”  Is that when it ended for him?

Or maybe it breathed its last hurrah in the ensuing days?  Those days of silence; those incommunicado weeks.  Maybe that’s when love turned to caring.  Maybe when you don’t profess love regularly, you just stop feeling it?

I have no idea.  I will never understand the male brain.  Heck, I have a hard enough time understanding my own.  All I know is for me, real love does not vanish.  It changes, it reconfigures, it redefines itself to the circumstance.  It does not disappear.

I have never stopped loving my ex-husband, not for a moment.  I still feel huge love for past beaus – even the one who hurt me profoundly.  Love is not a commodity in short supply in these here parts.  Or should that be in this here heart?  I have an endless fountain of love at my disposal and I have every intention of sharing it freely.

Honestly, I think I would worry more if I didn’t keep on loving.  What would that say about me and my choices?

However, I guess when you break up you lose your vote.  I no longer get to vote on his life or his feelings, nor does he on mine.  We have voluntarily removed ourselves from the electorate.

In my own little kingdom though, where I shall forever be queen, I shall always vote for love.

About winesoakedramblings - The Blog of Vickie van Dyke

Writing is therapy. Wine is therapy. Writing while drinking wine is the best therapy. Reading while drinking can also be fun. Listening while drinking is also fun so check out my podcast! And then there's that book (memoir) that I wrote: Confessions of a Potty-Mouthed Chef: How to Cheat, Eat and be Happy! My life has provided me with a wealth of inspiration. Maybe something here will inspire you too? ~Vickie
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8 Responses to When exactly does love end?

  1. jbwritergirl says:

    As you said, love doesn’t end, it just changes face sometimes. As the old saying goes, ’tis better to have loved and lost–then never to have loved at all!’ Beautiful post my friend.

  2. Brenda says:

    Could it be that “love” in this situation was NEVER really felt by both parties. There is passionb, sex, happiness, fondness, desire, etc, etc…but maybe for him it was never really love, love as both you and I conceive it to be. How do you fall in love with someone and then 2 years later for some reason, say it isn’t working out, sorry, if it is truly love, you find ways to make it work out, compromises are made. Surely there must have been discussions about your future together? There is a man out there for you who will LOVE every inch of you, no matter what! Vickie, don’t waste your time even trying to figure it out, it obviously isn’t worth it, at least not for him! Don’t look it as two years wasted but as great lessons learned!

    • I truly believe there was much love on both sides Brenda. And I would never classify it as a waste of 2 years. On many levels it was a beautiful 2 years with zero regret. Yet I realize that finding (and keeping) love at our (advanced) age is definitely a challenge. There is not so much “history” holding you together. And hey – if I didn’t waste time figuring it out, what the heck would I write about? 🙂

  3. Kelly h-d says:

    I love your last 2 paragraphs, so well put. You lose your vote, removed from the electorate. I am, like you. Once I love someone it is forever, regardless of what happens. It changes, always an evolution, but that is what it should be. Being IN love is for the senses, loving someone is for your soul. I love my friends, the man I am IN love with stimulates every fiber of me but he is – ever – my friend. And, like all of my friends, male and female, i truly love him. I know you Vvd, you will always love, it is why you are so beautiful.

    • Thank you Kelly. There is a vital difference between “in love” and “love”. As we know, remaining “loving” is often far more difficult than the alternatives. But it is so much more rewarding.

  4. Jo says:

    There are so many kinds of love… love means something different to everyone, the word love is used to freely in my opinion. When a relationship ends and questions arise (for some, not all) “where did the love go” or “do I love you anymore” or “I will always love you” or “did I ever love you” there are words to be expressed and words better kept to oneself. There are some who don’t know what love is… love comes in feelings, love comes in actions/reactions, love comes in words and when you are in love ~ that love should be a soft place to fall. Given that I’ve known you since birth, I know that you will find love again… it just will take time.

  5. Barb Heeney says:

    There are many faces of love, love for my family,, children, my grandchildren, my dearest friends,my sister past and present,my brother, my parents gone but still loved,,all challenge me be a better person, it can be rewarding, sad, confusing, exhiliarating and always worth the experience,,have to believe in it despite the ups and downs,,,,

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