“To love is to kill a bit of one’s soul.
When you’re in love, you give out a lot but receive little.”
– Simon N. –

I have been struggling with the concept and nature of “love” especially of late.  I have mused over it with just about anyone that would listen, friends, co-workers, family members, even strangers.  Picture this . . . some queer, impassioned woman engaging an entire train car of commuters in a debate on love . . . the meaning of it . . . the pursuit of it . . . the finding of it.  Yes, I am obsessed with gaining some understanding of love. 

Then I stumbled into this quote and it was as if it were written just for me.  It made me stop and reassess.  Just maybe the problem lies with my expectations of love, not the actual process.  Maybe I need to change my paradigm.  Maybe the presumptions I have are defective.  Maybe I have applied too much of the fairy tale and not enough of the real world in defining what I seek.  What is it that I expect when I give my heart to another? 
Well, I sure wasn’t figuring to “kill a bit” of my soul.  However, upon reflection, that is precisely what seems to happen.  Darn!  This quote is the summation of my love life.  When I’m truly, deeply in love I’m giving and giving and giving.  Part of me does this unselfishly, loving for the sake of loving.  Still, as I have grown older and become more “damaged,” it seems I am less willing to be so selfless in opening my heart to another.   
Each new crack in my already fragile heart makes me more protective of it and less willing to share it.  I find myself yearning for what seems the distant past when I would fall in love at the drop of a hat.  Okay, so perhaps that was not the smartest thing to do, but back then I had what seemed a limitless capacity to love.  I could freely give my heart to just about anyone and did.  I took a terrible beating though and learned it was perhaps best to be more discriminating.   
I now hold my love in reserve waiting for someone to wrestle it from me.  The result is that I only get involved with men that are looking to take up the challenge.  It is a game for them.  Can they break me down and make me submit to loving them?  Are they doing it for the love of me?  Not so far, rather it is for them a strange sport in which counting coup on my heart is how they score.  Once victorious, they move on and I am left to again pick up the pieces. 
This is the conundrum, the puzzle, the riddle.  How do I open myself with altruistic innocence to an unproven suitor?  How do I make myself “emotionally available” once more?  How much of my soul is left after years of killing it a “bit” at a time?  How much do I really have to “give out” anymore?  Why is it so important to me to begin with?  Why can’t I just be happy with the many wonderful things I have in my life without stressing over something I have no true understand of or control over? 
This illusive thing called love may just be something I will never attain.  I may have to resolve myself to the fact that there’s not necessarily someone for everyone, and more specifically there may not be someone for me.  Still, I think I have enough soul left to kill off a few bits more.  Its just going to be damn hard not to expect to get something significant back for sharing such a precious and rare gift as my heart, but I’m willing to give this new insight a test drive.  I’ll keep you posted on how the new make and model handles.