It Hurt

When it comes to love and relationships I am probably one of the most cynical people on the planet. When I hear the word marriage my first thought is tax benefits, weddings seem like hollow empty money monsters, and if I’m being honest too many people have shown me the inner workings of their relationships for me to believe all those happy fucking posts you all like to put on Instagram.

At this point I think what turns me off the most is just how unrealistic we all have made it out to be, which is ironic because when I feel sad or alone I often turn to romantic movies. I absolutely adore movies with romantic premise. Give me a sappy and predictable Hallmark Christmas Special, where the characters are paper-thin and the plot holes are massive, and I will unironically watch it all the way through without a shred of regret.

While it is true that I detest the unrealistic expectations that these types of movies breed, the products themselves are hard to hate, as I want so badly to believe them to be true. I want that happy ending. I want to be able to look at someone, and smile for no other reason but their existence. Most of all though, I want to believe that someone cracked the code, and found a love that was too good to be true.

Life isn’t like that though, and so cinemas have been flooded with wave after wave of movies that beautifully perpetuate a lie, with two glorious exceptions, 500 Days of Summer and Stuck in Love. I could go on for hours about my love for these movies. From Stuck in Love’s realistic depiction of codependent relationships, to 500 Days of Summer’s examination of the illusion of chemistry, these two movies are partially responsible for how I view relationships.

I’ve already briefly touched upon Stuck in Love’s influence on both my writing and personal life, but as I sit here on the brink of being consumed by loneliness, I find the thought of drawing inspiration from one of my favorite scenes comforting.

Stuck in Love opens with one of my favorite lines in all of cinema,

“I remember that it hurt. Looking at her hurt.”

 With two simple sentences this movie, better than any I had seen previously, reminded me of the ugly truth that often comes wrapped in with love. From the moment I heard those sentences I knew I wanted to make something out of them. Time and time again I tried to assign personal meaning to those lovely lines from an underappreciated movie, but time and time again it felt like a hollow attempt. Try as I might I never could fit my words with this passionate line. If I’m being honest I don’t really think I had ever felt enough to truly understand what a line like that really meant. Even now I’m not quite sure that I’ve healed enough to claim that I can understand what this line means. It may not be much, but what follows is the furthest I’ve come, and I’m choosing to feel some pride in that.


“I remember that it hurt. Looking at her hurt.”

Looking into those eyes that shined with the human capacity for love hurt, and it hurt because those eyes were never shining for me.

That look of love she gave was a light I couldn’t quite turn on. She glowed when I made her smile, beamed when I made her laugh, and even emitted a gentle glow when I made her cry, but that shine, that look that radiated like a midsummer’s sun was never meant to be made for me, and it hurt.

Had I never been graced with that look I might have been capable of living in blissful ignorance, but she showed it to me daily. I saw it twinkle in her eye each time that number appeared in her phone, watched it spread across her face as their song came on the radio, and witnessed it curl the corners of her lips the moment his name left them. Time and time again I caught glimpses of just how much one person can feel and it hurt.

It hurt, and hurt, and hurt so badly that I tried to use it to block out the memories. I couldn’t block them out. No matter how much pain I piled on top I always remembered.

I remembered that it hurt. Looking at them hurt.

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