• A Loser in Love?

    by Sivan Butler-Rotholz

    Recently I’ve been obsessed with Lady Gaga’s ballad “Speechless,” and have listened to it on repeat at least a hundred times. Probably two hundred, to be fair.

    My favorite part of the song, which I can’t stop myself from singing out loud whilst listening on my iPod, goes as follows: “And I know that it’s complicated / But I’m a loser in love so baby / Raise a glass to mend / All the broken hearts / Of all my wrecked up friends.”

    The notion of being a loser in love strikes me and has started the wheels in my head turning.

    What does it mean to be a loser in love? Is there such a thing as a winner? And if so, at what point do you know that you’ve crossed that particular finish line?

    I look back at the relationships I’ve had over my life, and, as diverse as they’ve been, they have one thing in common: they all ended. Taking this fact at face value, it might appear as if I’m a loser in love, at least to date. As Amy Winehouse notes, “love is a losing game.”

    I could wallow over love lost; over hopes crushed and dreams dissipated, but in truth I think I’m a winner at the love game. I just think the rules are different than one might expect.

    If you marry and later divorce, are you a loser at love? What if you break up for the right reasons? What if you break up because of abuse or because someone isn’t being true to themselves by remaining in the relationship? What if because the relationship ends you go on to meet a person who truly is right for you?

    Are you not a winner for the mere act of putting yourself on the line, of opening your heart to the possibilities – equally likely in my opinion – of happiness or heartbreak?

    How does one measure success or failure when it comes to love?

    If success in love is measured by finding love that lasts a lifetime, then you can’t truly declare yourself a winner until your life is nearly over and you look back and say you spent X number of years with the love of your life. When I am eighty-five I want to look back on my life and be proud of the choices I made and all the life I lived. If I’m eighty-five and I can say that I spent fifty years with the love of my life that will be a blessing. But I will be equally blessed if I look back when I’m eighty-five and say I loved many times. My heart was open. I rode the roller coaster and it was a hell-of-a ride. I lived and I learned.

    To me, you are successful in life if you continuously learn from your experiences and rise anew like a phoenix from their ash.

    My relationship track record contains the good, the bad, and the ugly. But there is not one relationship I’ve had – from a little crush to a full-blown success or catastrophe – which I did not learn from. And I plan to keep learning for the rest of my life.

    If I ever stop learning from my relationships and evolving as a result, then, and only then, would I consider myself a loser in love.


      • Sivan

      • February 3, 2011 at 5:37 pm
      • Reply

      Thanks for reading and commenting. I’m glad to be read, let alone to resonate. Here’s to open hearts!!!

      Original comment: Thursday, December 23, 2010 – 01:06 PM


      • Amy Ferris

      • February 3, 2011 at 5:38 pm
      • Reply

      I LOVE THIS!!!!!

      Original comment: Thursday, December 23, 2010 – 12:07 PM


      • Hecebus

      • February 3, 2011 at 5:38 pm
      • Reply

      I believe the only true loser’s are those who do not follow their hearts and take chances. The only way to truly lose is to never have tried at all!

      Original comment: Wednesday, December 22, 2010 – 11:24 AM


      • Virginia W

      • February 3, 2011 at 5:39 pm
      • Reply

      YES!!!! I agree. Thanks Sivan, for writing with such an open heart.

      Original comment: Tuesday, November 30, 2010 – 08:05 PM


      • Laura

      • February 3, 2011 at 5:40 pm
      • Reply

      I guess it all comes down to how one feels about their love life. I can’t say that I’m proud of every choice I ever made in relationships past & present, and in those cases, LOSER. But it is all about learning and growing and being a winner moving forward.

      Original comment: Tuesday, November 30, 2010 – 11:54 AM


      • Tom

      • February 3, 2011 at 5:40 pm
      • Reply

      Fabulous insight, Sivan!

      Original comment: Monday, November 29, 2010 – 07:27 PM


      • Donald

      • February 3, 2011 at 5:41 pm
      • Reply

      Very nice. As in the last para. I was not a good learner-thus so many divorces. The only reason my present wife of 25 years keeps me around is to mow her yard and wash her car. This task is done happily at least once a month just so I can be called her husband. I kind of like the monichre. Without her lovin no one would call me Mr. Sanders.
      Oh , yes they would, nevermind.

      Original comment: Monday, November 29, 2010 – 02:28 PM


      • Sara

      • February 3, 2011 at 5:41 pm
      • Reply

      just started a new relationship after a long dry spell following a bad long-term relationship. I found this column — ironically titled “A Loser in Love” — to be very inspiring.

      Thanks Sivan!

      Original comment: Sunday, November 28, 2010 – 02:08 PM


      • David

      • February 3, 2011 at 5:42 pm
      • Reply

      Love this piece.

      Original comment: Sunday, November 28, 2010 – 01:27 PM


      • Madgedew

      • February 3, 2011 at 5:42 pm
      • Reply

      I agree. Taking risk on love and opening your heart is not a loser.

      Original comment: Sunday, November 28, 2010 – 01:05 PM



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