....is that it is akin to carrying a bucketful of water on each shoulder.
On one shoulder you have the bucket containing your love for a person, and on the other shoulder is the bucket containing their love for you. When it's weighted evenly like that you can't feel the pressure of it. You're content to carry it forever.
Only when the balance drops does the burden of carrying one bucket reveal itself. It weighs you down so low, whether someone has withdrawn their love from you, or you have withdrawn your love from them, you are left with one heavy bucket to carry and nothing to balance it with.
I don't know which bucket is heavier, when you're left with one full of your love for someone who has left; or when you're stuck with a bucket of love you can't accept from someone else.
Eventually though, carrying it around unevenly, sloshing it about like that, or due to a hole in the bucket itself, it slowly empties and the weight is lifted.
There was probably a hole in my love bucket for Linus even at the start of our relationship. It must have been tiny because I didn't notice it. Even when it became evident, I didn't care. I just wanted to stare at him and listen to him sing. (Are you noticing a pattern?)
I was left with the heaviest goddamn bucket of love for that boy that one woman ever tried to carry alone. It nearly broke my back. But it didn't, and I would like to announce to the world that with a little help from home and the people in it, from Robin's unwavering support (because blood might be thicker than water, but golden syrup is thicker than blood) and from the lilting French accent of a hot 18 year old intern, that bucket is now empty.
That's not to say all the love goes away, that it all spills over and out or leaks and leaves. There is a residual sheen, like an undercoat of paint. I don't regret a single moment I sat on the kitchen floor of a 1920s apartment, and stared at Linus, and listened to him sing. I just don't need to do it again.