4 years ago by
… How do you deal with the question: Do I still love him? Am I still in love with him? I guess doubts are normal, but it is still hard to deal with those feelings, especially if you don’t want to hurt your other half. – Anonymous
…How do we know when we must go, leave, and end a relationship? – Camille
… Have you ever left the nice guy for a tougher time out on your own? – Pearl
Dear Abby, dear Anonymous, dear Camille, dear Pearl…
So many questions about love. Always. Love is so tricky. It’s so on and off. It’s so the contrary of a fairytale. Love is everywhere yet love is rare. So how do we know when to hold on to it, when to let it go? Here are a few things I know – and I hope that through this letter, a few of your questions about love will be answered.
Well, these answers are according to my vision of love.
So just so we’re clear…
Some women need to be adored: I love to be adored but mostly need to adore. When I am too adored, I am bored. Some women are looking to be saved, some women are looking to save, some are looking for safety, others are looking for adventure… It depends on where we are in our souls and in our minds.
But how do you know what you want?
Me, I’ve always followed my gut. Or like, my heart. To be very simple, who makes my heart beat? If I really listen, I am attracted to very few people – makes my life easy: I want what I am attracted to.
Signs that my heart is beating?
Well, my heart rate comes up. Conversations can last for hours. I lose a lot of weight and I have no idea why. I feel invisible. I feel super fragile. I become extremely beautiful. I want to buy new shoes. Ok but that’s easy, it’s the first months’ butterflies thing, all right.
So, how do I know if my heart is still beating, say, after a few years?
Totally different. Things like: I care. Things like: I still want to have sex. Even if we don’t do right now, right here like we did in the beginning, I still totally want to. Things like: I am ready for a fight. Things like tenderness, acceptance, comfort, things like ease, joy, simplicity, admiration (yeah you gotta be proud of your partner, it’s important!) and still liking to do things together.
So when do you know it’s time to leave?
I’ve always found that it’s time to leave when I don’t care.
I left a man that would spend hours talking about our relationship to try to make it better, except the only emotion it raised in me was a giant yawn. Or he would come back from a trip and I would wonder who was that stranger in my house.
I know it’s time to leave when I don’t have the fight in me anymore.
But don’t you feel guilty, say, if the person absolutely adores you?
Well of course I do, but guilt is the worst feeling to hold onto in a relationship. You can guilt yourself to the gym but you can’t guilt yourself into love.
Also, in any relationship, we’re responsible for our feelings, not the other’s. And when you don’t love someone enough, out of respect, chic, and elegance, you don’t stay.
But what if you are leaving a guy who’s actually The One ?
Well, first, I don’t believe in The One. I believe we choose One, and then we project a ton of stuff on him and we make him The One. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Most times when it works it’s a lot lot lot of hard work. So much hard work that some people might wonder if it all was worth it in the end, but that’s the way they are and I respect that.
I am not a “till death tears us apart” person. I am a “as long as we’re two humans very happy together and can make it through high and lows without too much emotional damage” type of person.
All right but you didn’t answer the question. At all.
Okay, let’s say you’re about to leave what you believe to be The One but you’re afraid it might be the Biggest Mistake In Your Life.
Don’t freak out.
1/ There are actually a great number of great people on earth. Seriously. Don’t hold onto love, it makes it run away. Plus now, there are apps.
2/ If there is such thing as The One, then it means that you’ll find each other again when the time is right.
3/ Nothing worse than staying in a relationship because we’re afraid of the unknown. Nothing.
I am very very very angry at him. Should I leave him?
Because remember, love is not about perfect moments and endless peacefulness.
Love is real and it’s raw and people you love make you angry.
You don’t leave when you’re angry, you leave when he doesn’t even make you angry anymore.
But he cheated on me!!!
Well, you guys should talk first. I’ve been cheated on before (not in the relationship I am in currently, don’t you start looking at him weird!) and I stayed. It was hard, like, HARD!!! But I trusted we had talked it out, I trusted his remorse, I trusted he wouldn’t do it again. And I was right. We set the relationship straight and it worked out and it never happened again. Till I left him for totally other reasons (boredom, lol).
Oh and by the way, don’t listen to the Kardashians: men are not “programmed to cheat.” Some do. But it’s not in their DNA. Not more that some women. Most men I have met are loyal, honest, love a lot of other things outside of cheating (like surfing, fishing, training dogs, whatever rocks their boat) and would rather go take a nap than get into the complicated BS of having affairs.
So, one of you cheated but you both want to stay together?
Sit down and talk. Talk for as long as you want.
Except if, of course, you’re in a toxic relationship and you feel like this person is turning you coucou.
If the person hurts you (“Nah, it didn’t hurt”), diminishes you (“You’re not that pretty”), pressures you (“You know you want to have sex / drugs / whatever weird stuff he/she is into that you’re not into”), isolates you (“Your friends are dumb!”), sucks the life out of you (“You work, and I go play, okay? Also you’re not that pretty”), then you leave right away and never, ever, ever look back.
Okay but what about passion, you’re French, you would know!!?
Passion is great but passion should last only a few months. After that, if it doesn’t settle, if you can’t go back to work, if you feel depressed, if you want to drop out of school, if you feel on edge all the time, it’s not passion, it’s toxicity, co-dependance and you should leave, get back to your life, your awesome friends are waiting.
But Garance, I swear: in my case, it’s special…
And it absolutely is. This is why, take my advice and then apply it to your life and to your personality and to your story. Every story is different and most of them are worth living – the good and the bad, because at the end what’s important is what we learn about ourselves.
We can’t live life through the advice of others, but they sure can help lighten the way.
I hope I lightened yours a little. Come back here and ask anything, whenever you need. <3
Owwwww thank you for featuring my question ! Yeah, I’m the Camille you mention in the post :D Thank you Garance, you are the best ! <3
beautiful post and so much truth in it!
Merci pour ce super post et cette bienveillance. L’illustration est assez géniale aussi. Ce que tu écris m’aide à y voir plus clair sur cette question même comme Camille je suis bien paumée
Darlings I am putting out an open plea to all in the fashion industry , especially fashion bloggers, support other women , immigrants, ethnic minorities , lgbtq ????
GET OUT THE VOTE , read my impassioned plea at .
Dress The Part
I loved this newsletter so much that I forwarded it to my best friend and I kept it in my mail box, that’s a good reminder that I’m not the only one having trouble finding out how I’m supposed to feel. Thank you so much Garance.
This is perfect. Merci.
Dear Garance, I’ve read this several times. Your insight brought clarity to me, and I thank you. ?
Juste merci d’éclairer ma voie.
Garance merci pour ce billet qui va tomber à pic pour l’une de mes amies très chère qui traverse une grosse tempête.
Je suis tellement d’accord avec ton approche et ce que tu écris. J’ai passé ma lecture à faire oui de la tête devant mon écran :-)
J’ajouterais à tout cela qu’il ne faut pas avoir peur de la solitude, elle permet de découvrir que nous sommes bien souvent notre meilleur(e) ami(e) et nous aide à être une “meilleure” personne dans notre relation suivante.
Your writing is wonderful Garance,
your words always touch me like you are in my mind!
Have a great weekend!
Yes, love is tricky. What if he swears you are the love of his life, and he takes care of you and is making plans to grow old together but he hardly desires you (though he knows other men find me attractive) and, to make things worse, he has crushes on other women? (And I try to rationalize that, but It is so hard I only manage to get emotionally distant in order to protect myself) ( And I don’t feel any connection that way, so I don’t allow myself to love him as I like to love).
Merci Garance pour ce post, je suis complètement en accord avec ce que tu dis, et j’ai vécu des histoires incroyabes et improbables avec des mecs géniaux, jusqu’à ce que nos chemins personnels s’éloignent trop… (l’ennui :-)
Et ça c’était jusqu’à ce que je devienne maman. Sans les enfants je serais partie. S’il n’était pas aussi génial avec les enfants je serais partie J’ai l’impression qu’on est toujours à une dispute de la rupture, et je me suis perdue en tant que femme…
Mais ça c’est une autre histoire, merci pour tes mots, ton blog, ton histoire !
C’est triste à lire. J’espère sincèrement que vous ne vous cachez pas derrière l’excuse de vos enfants. J’espère qu’il y a plein d’autres raisons pour lesquelles vous restez, et pas uniquement en pensant bien faire pour eux. Ils méritent (tout autant que vous et leur père) une maman heureuse.
Je pourrais encore déblatérer longtemps (redondance quand tu nous tiens) sur le sujet, mais pour faire simple “Je l’aimais” de Anna Gavalda. En vous souhaitant le meilleur :-)
Merci Garance et celles et ceux des commentaires pour vos précieux points de vue…
je ne poste jamais.
Mais là, ce post m’a touchée.
Déjà, parce que j’ai quitté il y a 6 mois, car, JUSTEMENT, je respectais trop celui que je n’aimais plus !
et à nouveau, j’aime les posts de Garance où elle ouvre son coeur.
Je ne sais pas comment te remercier pour cette article. Dire que ça faisait des années que je n’étais pas repassée sur le blog. Merci Garance. <3
Thank you for your heartfelt, compassionate wisdom. This post resonates deeply within me. Happy Holidays, Garance!!
Merci d’avoir écrit ce texte. Je le lis au bon moment, il me confirme que j’ai bien fait de quitter ma dernière relation, il me rassure que je fais bien de ne plus lui chercher.
J’ai également lu ton texte sur ton break-up, que dire… je me trouve tellement dedans. Tu es un peu la grande soeur que je n’ai jamais eu ;) Heureusement qu’il y a des gens comme toi <3
Thank you! You really say what women need to hear!
When I go through a break-up I ask myself when will I be over this. The timeframe that suddenly pops up in my head. A thought comes like 6 months, etc. I mark the date with a smiling face in a written calendar like my Moleskine . Then I forget about it. Usually when I turn to that page on the journal I discover, I just got over it. By some osmosis, usually when you are over him the ex calls you back. Touch the smiley face on the calendar when he does and remind yourself you are not going through that with him again.