This relationship I'm having with a woman I love isn't working out. It's basically over.
The reality is it's been over for months, but we kept trying -- or maybe I should say I kept trying -- to make it work. I finally realized in my head just recently it simply wasn't meant to be.
A lot of the time, I'm alright with this fact. Then suddenly I'll think of her and have a sharp pain in my gut. It's like a knife has cut through me.
I turn to music sometimes in my despair and depression. While doing this, I've made an important discovery about myself: I've never really liked uplifting, "happy" love songs.
I can't relate to them.
Love has never been that way for me.
"You Are the Sunshine of My Life" by Stevie Wonder is lost on me. I'm never looking for the sun or heading toward the light when it comes to relationships with women. I'm always waiting for the other shoe to drop.
When I hear the Carpenters sing "Close to You," I realize I don't let women get that close to me at all. If I did, they might find out who I really am.
Probably some of you are old enough to remember the Sonny and Cher song "I Got You Babe." Whenever I hear it, I say to myself, "Yeah, you got her until somebody better than you comes along."
When it comes to love, you might say I'm a bit negative. To me, the best love song ever written is "Love Hurts."
Love hurts, love scars / Love wounds and mars / Any heart, not tough / Or strong, enough / To take a lot of pain / Take a lot of pain / Love is like a cloud / Holds a lot of rain / Love hurts, ooh ooh, love hurts
I think Boudleaux Bryant wrote this song just for me.
I got married young. It was always a bumpy road. I wasn't good at communication, and I don't think I was a very happy person. If I wasn't happy, how could my wife be?
We tried and tried and struggled to make it work. After 17 years, we finally gave up.
We divorced in 1994. In my mind, it was totally my fault. I wasn't a good husband -- or at least that's what I convinced myself of at the time.
While my ex-wife and I remain good friends to this day, it was difficult for me to shake the feeling that I failed at something I wanted to succeed at. It took months to get over the hurt.
I'm young, I know / But even so / I know a thing or two / I learned from you / I really learned a lot / Really learned a lot / Love is like a stove / Burns you when it's hot / Love hurts, ooh ooh, love hurts.
I finally got over the hurt and got back to trying again. I've had my share of relationships. So far, none have worked out.
One in particular is a bad memory because of what I did at the end. I'm going to call her Elaine here. Many people thought she was perfect for me.
She had a heart of gold. She was beautiful inside and out and clearly loved me for who I was at that time. This was more than nine years ago.
She loved me, but I didn't really love her. I don't know why.
I got scared. I thought I was getting in too deep.
I simply walked away. I offered no explanation to her. I told her nothing.
It wasn't until years later that we even talked about it. I caused her a lot of pain by just walking away. I should have been honest. I still feel bad about it.
Some fools think of happiness / Blissfulness, togetherness / Some fools fool themselves I guess / They're not foolin' me.
What goes around comes around. I believe in karma. I think I'm getting paid back for the way I treated Elaine.
This person I love now, I knew it from the start. The first time I laid eyes on her I knew I felt something, which I don't think had ever happened to me before. That's why it hurts so much.
She clearly didn't feel the same way even when she tried to. I'll give her that. She did try.
Saying it's over, making it official, puts me in an "I'm a loser" frame of mind -- a loser when it comes to love.
Don't shove Joe Cocker's "You Are So Beautiful" down my throat right now. Let me lay in my pain for a while.
I know it isn't true / I know it isn't true / Love is just a lie / Made to make you blue / Love hurts, ooh ooh, love hurts.
In time, I know the blue will go away. I'll start feeling better. While I tell myself now that I'll never try again -- that it's better to simply be alone -- I know deep down that's a lonely thought.
When I find love again, I'll take a different approach.
I'll listen to some of those happy love songs and live in the moment. Rather than thinking it won't last or thinking I'm not worthy of that love, I'll be hopeful. I'll think less and use my heart more.
But not now. Not today.
Ooh ooh, love hurts.
CONTACT LARRY GROSS: firstname.lastname@example.org