PQ 13.4 — What evidence do I have that my partners love and care for me?

a detective's cap, a smoking pipe, a magnifying glass

PQ 13.4 — What evidence do I have that my partners love and care for me?

The Love Detective

For most of my life, I was a detective when it came to my relationships. I was constantly on the hunt for evidence — incriminating details that showed that they weren’t as excited about me as I hoped they were.

My biggest fear in those days wasn’t simply that someone would fall out of love with me. Or leave me. No, it was that they would do it — and it would seem like it came out of nowhere.

They’d be done with me, and I’d never see it coming.

I’d wake up one morning alone, without any sense of how things had gotten so bad. I’d seen it happen to other people. “I had no idea,” they’d say. “This came out of nowhere.”

I hated that idea, to be blindsided.

So I became vigilant instead — constantly on guard for the slightest trouble in my relationships. Sometimes this hypersensitivity served me well. I was able to address problems in their infancy and stave off nasty surprises. But other times, my vigilance created phantom problems. I saw things moving in the shadows that simply weren’t there.

Plus, in spite of my vigilance, I was still met with a few surprises along the way. And you know what? It wasn’t so bad to be surprised, even by negative things. Sure, the events themselves were painful, but a one-time pain beat dreading everything along the way. A long string of false alarms.

I’ve been thinking lately that maybe I should become a different kind of Love Detective. Accept the joys without assuming there’s a “catch.”

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This post is part of a series in which I answer each of the chapter-end questions in More than Two with an essay. For the entire list of questions and answers, please see this indexed list.

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