Forgetting How To Love

You can forget how to love someone. I’m almost sure of it. It’s a skill like anything else, right? If left unattended, it withers, it dies, it gets forgotten. I’m forgetting what it feels like to really love someone or maybe I’ve already forgotten. It could be too late. I could be faced with something…


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You can forget how to love someone. I’m almost sure of it. It’s a skill like anything else, right? If left unattended, it withers, it dies, it gets forgotten.

I’m forgetting what it feels like to really love someone or maybe I’ve already forgotten. It could be too late. I could be faced with something that could be great, someone great, and not know the first thing to do with it.

Do I put my arm around you like this? Do we spend every night together? Do we get married after two years? What are the rules? You have to teach me. I’m a spring chicken. When everyone else was getting into relationships and learning how to be a great partner, I was studying, working or laying in bed or running away from the possibility of meeting someone because I was scared, because I wouldn’t sacrifice anything, because the concept of sharing my day-to-day life with someone else left me trembling, even though it’s what I wanted.

A dry spell can quickly turn into cobwebs. A few months can turn into a few years. Time is always screwing you up like that. It’s always reminding you that, contrary to what you might think, you’re not calling the shots. Time is. Time dictates everything and it can either kill something or make it grow.

Things have already changed. They’ve been changing and I’ve just been too frightened to acknowledge it. Just be nostalgic, just think about a day that’s not today, and you’ll be fine. You won’t have to move forward. That’s how it works, right? If I don’t pay attention to what’s happening right now, if I choose to focus on the stuff that’s already happened, I’m freezing time.


Wrong. It’s this kind of thinking that has led me here, that has caused me to forget the most valuable skill of all and be writing this stupid thing in the first place. I’m not sure what it is that I want. A boyfriend who can reteach me what it feels like to be cared for, to be protected. A boyfriend who can teach me how to not be so terrified of everything. The irony is that I’m an intimate person. I thrive off intimacy. But in the past few years, something has shifted to the point where I’m just frightened of human connection. It’s the one thing I crave the most but it’s also the main thing I run away from.

Here are two things I know how to do: Be someone’s friend and work. All of my brain power goes to those two things and it’s like there’s no room left for anything else. My best friend is the opposite. She knows how to be in relationships but struggles with work. It makes me think that every person has their deficit. Mine just pertains to love. For some reason, it’s more mortifying than any other deficit. It’s the most shameful. What say you, is it possible to forget how to love?

Image via Elixher


  1. Nosa
    “It’s the one thing I crave the most but it’s also the main thing I run away from.”
    Ultimate story of my life. Wanting not to be alone but not knowing how to do it.

    I love you for that line

  2. ChiChi
    I’ve been reading this blog for almost 3 years now and this is the first post I’ve commented on ! Story of my life ! I absolutely adore you for this piece 😀
  3. chaka khan
    Yaaay……my friend’s post is on TNC., Amyn I love you. Erm back to the post, i don’t think it’s possible to forget how to just need to take out time and express this feeling. Forget every other thing and enjoy LOVE. You know me Amyn… a sucker for love and I love love!!!!!!!!!
  4. Sunshine
    “The irony is that I’m an intimate person. I thrive off intimacy. But in the past few years, something has shifted to the point where I’m just frightened of human connection. It’s the one thing I crave the most but it’s also the main thing I run away from.”
    This is so me. I don’t even know how I’m supposed to act. I’m scared I also won’t know how to act when I do get into a relationship… sigh

    Every guy is in the friend zone. Its like I unconsciously just friend zone every one.

    1. Onyx
      I was just thinking about this the other day. I took a break from relationships 2-3 years back because I realized I didn’t know what relationships were. I didn’t know what they were for or what I was supposed to be looking for but I knew I couldn’t trust the media’s definition or the overly traditional definition of my parents. So I took time to soul search.

      When the situation crept up again, after I felt like I had a good handle on the definition of relationships and what I wanted from them, I realized something new – that I don’t know how to be in one. LOL

      But I agree with the writer, this is probably a skill that if not used will probably be lost.

  5. Olayinka
    I was once like this. Until I woke up one day and realized my life was passing me by and I wasn’t a part of it. So I threw down my inhibition and hesitation. And I started living. And I’m happy. Because for the first time, it’s about me. I’m being selfish. And it feels good.
    1. Nosa
      But seriously though, , I would love to know how you got over it. I realize that I have inhibitions and life is passing by, but i can’t see to do it. I tend to over-think things to the point where i find a reason not to, I am extremely self-conscious, I am too logical to even trust or try.

      I long for it but i don’t even know how to have it. it sucks

  6. Deehvahrzz
    , please share how u snapped out of it. I can’t seem to. Too scared and self conscious too.
    Amyn , you just said d story of my life. When you so much want the calls, the thoughtfulness, the love, the time together but can’t trust anybody.
    I always search round for the real girlfriend. Nothing hurts more than being the side chick and not knowing.
    Drained for the next few.
    1. Onyx
      Oh my goodness! Preach it! …and this fear of being the sidechic is not necessarily always for self in my case. I would just hate to be the reason why some other lady, who was here first wasting time with this goat, has to be in pain.
  7. seryxme
    We should probably have an association of the unloved lovers. Yes, we want it, but can’t seem to get it because we just don’t want it…yet. One of the shortest posts on here and one of the most resonating. But I can’t forget how to love though. Just can’t.
  8. Lipglossmaffia
    After I sent this post, the gods of malaria visited me, I never reply late.
    I knew I wasn’t the only one who felt this way. We need to start a group and I think we’re going to need a professional therapist or two or three. Let’s just make it four. And thank you for the kind comments, someday I will remember how it all works… I guess.
  9. lense and clicks
    I was so pro I never felt like itt could go wrong till it did. So many had made it through watching our steps and even now with kids, and I paused to see what I missed… well it’s been many months and I still can’t find it, humans lld always be human and so i lld take the risk, and I hope I make it through.
  10. Isi
    And to think i just cried about having this problem a few mins ago. Then come online to read this piece…. Question is where do we from here. Knowing i ve a problem is a step but after that what next??
    I know I want something but getting it seems almost impossible
  11. Nosa
    “What are the rules?” Really what are the rules? Do I Call everyday or every three days? How much emotional expression is too much? Do you hold her hands all the time or not?
    1. Mo
      The rule is there are no rules. You just have to go with the flow. To each his own. I for one love intimacy and want a partner in every sense of the word, but I know others that find it too trying and look at it as a loss of self. I think the most important thing is figuring out your own rules and what you like.
      PS: I’m always fascinated by your comments
      1. Onyx
        You see this “the rules are there are no rules” is not going to work with me and my type D personality (DiSC). I might give you a few weeks like 4-8 to find a ground and stand but if I don’t have clear evidence (aka something you said with your mouth that cannot be miscoded) that we are on the same page. Then I’m outta here.

        Because you might be reading all the right signals and undeniably it seems one way meanwhile in the other person’s head y’all are not even on the same highway talk-less of arriving at the same destination.

    2. My Name
      I agree with the rule of there being “No Rules”. And U may call me whatever but I believe if you love God, then U should know how to love someone else. It’s simple. Love your neighbour the way u love yourself. Means or translates to-even though you have some flaws and issues in your own life and you live with yourself and you can stand yourself, you can love others even same way. So maybe you start like that. Just Love. Don’t over-analyze it. Just let it lead you somehow. I’m a sucker for love. Sometimes I also feel I have forgotten how to love, but I just do to the next person the same way I would want to be treated.
      1. Onyx
        I think you took it a little too deep.

        Realistically speaking, we know how to love God and how to love others, even those we just meet. I think the better term is, at least for me, I don’t know how to be in a relationship anymore or how to get to the part where you can say you are in a relationship (I find this preliminary stuff is the trickiest of them all).

        There’s just too many rules and too many games at the same time. How much of my true self can I show? When is a little, too much? Has my being concerned turned into clinginess? Should I even still be worried about clinginess? What is your perception of me, us, this?

  12. Slim
    Accept that you will get hurt. Decide to open up and go hard anyway. Make good choices and trust your instincts. Enjoy it while you can. Catch your breath, be stronger and try again…No rules.
    1. ImpurfectHer
      Everything you wrote, before and after “Make good choices and trust your instincts. Enjoy it while you can” is easier said than done. It takes a lot, and I mean a whole lot of strength to know you’ll get hurt but still want to go into whatever it is.
  13. UFO
    I’d start by first saying misery always finds company
    No matter what it’d always find you

    There’s an epidemic going on now and being a depressive loner has become fashionable,
    Being the most stoic among your peers has become a thing to be proud of

    It all boils down to two things you ask yourself,are you those
    Humans who evolved to be lazy and selfish

    And only recognize your pain

    Hatred and indifference are the easiest things to feel in this world
    Love takes effort ,it drains you

    You’re comfortable not doing anything,you wanna be swooned over and deified but you just wanna lay down there and not do anything

    Then the part where you love someone who doesn’t reciprocate it comes into the picture,then you feel more miserable

    Then in an effort to console yourself your angst develops more and you further cut out people

    Then comes the part where people want to believe that they are the only one’s someone can love
    Its a flaw in thinking to believe you own people
    People aren’t properties
    You’re not entitled to affection like a birthright of yours
    Even God doesn’t love humans

    You evolved to be that way,its a primitive instinct
    From caveman where if you stumbled upon something good
    You only want it for yourself

    Why will you always go around looking for the other girlfriend or the other boyfriend or the other back up plan?

    Your mindset has a lot to do with things that come your way,its all science

    Being a loner isn’t cool
    Being someone that cuts people off isn’t cool
    Showing affection isn’t a bad thing

    Sitting back relaxing and breathing and keeping a positive mindset helps

    No matter how cautious you get in life you’d always be fucked over
    Giving people the power to dictate your happiness would get you fucked over more

    Stop looking for what did not lost

    Ask yourself if you’re lonely or you’re empty

    You can love someone who is lonely but can never love a black empty hole
    There’s nothing there other than desolation and sadness

    1. Nosa
      Congratulations UFO on that generalization of Loners. You just out a whole new light on the stereotype. Being a loner isn’t cool? Is there a law that dictates this? Are you who you choose to be based on what is depicted to be cool or not? And what does a depressive loner even mean?
      While I know that everybody has some form of pain, you make it seem like loners are the way they are because they choose to focus on their own pain rather than that of others. There are loners who actually choose to focus on the pain of people around them rather than themselves; there are loners who actually know how to deal with and manage whatever pain they have so that it doesn’t affect their lives and they choose to be the way they are.
      I get seriously pissed off when the world tries to paint loners in a negatively light. Loners find small talk to be mentally exhausting. Loners enjoy their own company more than the companies of others. There are loners who have lots of friends but still crave that silence that only comes when you are by yourself.

      “Hatred and indifference are the easiest things to feel in this world
      Love takes effort ,it drains you”

      Hatred is an easy thing to feel? As much effort as love seems to take, it takes an extreme amount of determination to decide that no matter what good someone does or say towards you, you will continue to despise them. Hatred is more exhaustive than love. You think any of these feelings including indifference (if I can call it that) is easy.

      There are actually loners who are in relationships, loners who are hardly alone. Everyone gets fucked over, even solitude fucks people over so just because I choose to be by myself and enjoy an album or book doesn’t mean I won’t get fucked over.

      I remember chatting with a friend and when I asked her about her impression of me; she , after saying some flattering stuff, added that I have Psycho tendencies. Apparently being a loner or an introvert means that you could have some sort of psycho-gene. Not Cool at all.

      This post was actually about “forgetting how to love”. And you seem to think it’s because one is a loner. There are loners who know how to love more than even the most outgoing. Loners actually tend to make the best friends.

      And there is a difference between someone who is lonely and one who is a loner. Being a loner isn’t cool neither is being an outgoing person. What is cool is being who you are, whichever that is.

  14. Priscilla Joy
    hmm, this post… this is so me, for a long time i wished there was nothing like a relationship, that everyone should just live their lives without any kind of connection with the opposite sex and die when their time comes. in fact i wished that there was this tall wall separating females from the male even though the most amazing and closest friends i have and have had are male, and most recently i began to wish that i could stop time, run to a far away land and prolong my single days as long as is possible, but the irony is that those ones that seem like they are fine by themselves, the confirmed loners, they’re the ones that crave and need loving the most.

    i just know it’s time to stop, i can’t keep running forever…i’ll just do it afraid

  15. madam creative
    Amyn i had to check like 3 times to be sure you wrote this, short and right on point. i’m certainly not of the school of thought that love can be forgotten, i was too hurt at some point and thought i had no iota of love(forgotten how to love) in me till i met someone. He didn’t have to teach me to love again, it just sprung back from where it was hibernating. Its all about right timing and the right partner who suites your current life pattern.
  16. Tori
    “But in the past few years, something has shifted to the point where I’m just frightened of human connection. It’s the one thing I crave the most but it’s also the main thing I run away from.”

    “Here are two things I know how to do: Be someone’s friend and work. All of my brain power goes to those two things and it’s like there’s no room left for anything else.”

    It felt like I wrote this. Because this is me! Every single thing you wrote applies to me. Reading this was all too real.

  17. Simi
    I’m 25 and I’ve never been in a relationship before. I’m not sure I’ll know how to be in one when I eventually am and it’s looking like I’ll be in one in a couple of weeks. Just need to make a choice out of a few options. So you have forgotten how to love but it seems I have never known how to.
    1. fierc3
      Sigh, Simi I am in the same boat as you, 25, never been hooked…might be hooked soon….sometimes I really do fear I was just made to be alone?
  18. MARIÉ
    Story of my week. I just realised how fearful I’m to love. My love default settings has been swapped. What you leave, leaves you!!! Now, so scared, unsure, and kind of selfish with my time, I so want it, but don’t know how to go about it, Lolz, i think my default settings has been formatted. But when it comes to work, haha, this process comes easy.
  19. tee
    This post hits home, I even do the ignoring thing. If I don’t think about it, maybe it will go away. I keep everyone at arms length but I hope love happens someday
  20. ibk
    People didn’t understand me, I try to explain But I’m not usually understood… until now…Thank you very much for the post…
  21. Farasha
    Thanks a lot for making me know that I’m not a weirdo or a cold hearted bitch (as pple usually say). Thanking for understanding and putting it just the way it is.
  22. ImpurfectHer
    The fear is always there, lurking, waiting for me to find someone I like/have a crush on, then it reminds me that I once loved and lost. That I am burned out by love itself, it reminds me that Mr A cheated on his girlfriend, and Mr B has numerous side chicks and plays his game so well even his main chick has not the slightest inkling.

    I can’t even give out my number to a guy I like, just cos of the fear. When I finally do give it, i’m uncertain how to reciprocate whatever is given. I “patiently” await the day he’ll either cheat, ask for something I can’t give, or just up and leave. I feel that reciprocating is too much work, and it’s scary, after all there will still be pain at the end. It’s like I have lost a part of me, even when I know I haven’t. I mean, I still love love, I still crave love, but I can’t seem to go the extra mile to get it, that is if there’s an extra mile to go.

    I truly have forgotten how to love. My fears make me short tempered and impatient with guys *sighs*

  23. Aaron Funmi
    This is my first time here and this write-up got my attention.
    I dnt even know what love is . Got dozens of male friends,who sometimes mix things up,thinking am finally in love or have a crush on them.
    I crave for the love and attention,but am too scared to give it a try…. Itz just a copy of my inability to love story.lolz
  24. Bk
    Love is confusing. Feelings are confusing unless one is absolutely sure that said feelings are equally reciprocated. The uncertainty of this is why some of us just clam up and eventually get rusty. I like someone now, genuinely for the first time in a long while and hiding it is the best thing I can think of. Cos even when I’m with him, despite the attention I’m not exactly sure how to go about it. I get shy and over filter every single thought I have before I speak. And then other things like How often is he to call me? If he doesn’t call in 5 days, is he no longer interested? Do i call? Is that okay? Do I make it obvious I like him too? Do I read meaning to hand holding? And if yes, what meaning?
    I just cant! Emotionally shutting down is lonely but it’s safe. No second guessing and that’s fine by me. When I’m bold enough to take the risk, I’l be sure to do so with someone who wouldn’t mind brushing me up on how to love.
  25. N
    *siiiiiiiiiiiiiigh* I feel like you read my mind and put it in words, I still sometimes wish life was as easy as going to the market and looking for a partner… like, bargain price for Mr Tall Dark and Handsome… without actually having to ‘put myself out there’… I know it’s not that simple and I’m still learning to be more….. outgoing… God help me
  26. Ndali

    Wow. Great piece. This is very much me. I feel like there are rules to follow, and I’m usually clueless. And if I think back, I wasn’t always like this. ???
    It’s true what they say after all, after so many “heartbreaks” the pieces are never left complete, with time, it’ll be like you don’t have aa heart anymore.
  27. QueenEsther
    Story of my life. Took a break from relationships over years ago…the whole “discovering myself” jazz. And now I just can’t get back in there. I’m not sure I even remember how to be in a relationship. What do I say? What do I do? How does this work? Sometimes I’m not even sure I want to be in a relationship sef. Today I want, tomorrow I’m fine being alone. I’ve either pursued or friendzoned all the guys I’ve met in this period.
    Biko who has solution? How do I get back? How do I snap out of it?
  28. herquilarh
    Just came across this post but its just so me. I want to love someone so bad but I just don’t know how to. Anytime I get attracted to someone I automatically start looking for reasons why it won’t work out and basically start preparing doe the end even before it begins.

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