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.