… and what you can learn from them.
Once in a while, Quora would send me e-mails about popular questions and answers. One of them caught my attention: What’s the stupidest thing you’ve done for love?
Some of the stories ended well, but most of them ended tragically. I have included the 3 stupidest and saddest stories of what people have done for love:
Stupid Love Story #1 – A Blizzard Can’t Cool His Passionate Heart
I graduated from college two years before my then-girlfriend and was obligated to move across the country for a military assignment. It was the first time we’d been long distance. In six months I was only able to visit her twice (this was before the days of Skype), but we spoke on the phone every day.
She called me and ended things just before Thanksgiving saying that she couldn’t do it anymore and she felt like we were just really good friends (although I found out later that her parents had told her that she could do better than me). Within a few weeks, she was seeing someone else. I was heartbroken because she was my first love.
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, she called me routinely and sent me a Christmas present with a note that said if I were closer to her, she’d give it to me in person.
Silly me decided to make a grand gesture and fly to see her on Christmas night, deliver a present to her, and get back together and live happily ever after. Bought a plane ticket from my hometown, several states away, to her hometown in Illinois. Got in to Chicago in the early evening and was one puddle jumper flight away from her town when the airport cancelled all flights for the evening due to a blizzard (flights ended up being cancelled for the next two days).
Undeterred, I decided to rent a car and just drive the last 200 miles to see her. Foiled again – every single rental car station at the airport was sold out and all off-airport rental car places were already closed. That’s okay, I’d take the Greyhound – except that the bus had left 30 minutes prior and there wouldn’t be any more that night because visibility was so limited by the snow.
Ready to give up, I thought I’d try one last thing. Walked outside to the cab stand and asked the first driver in the queue how he felt about driving to Springfield. I explained to him why I was making this unusual request and his reply was that it was just about the craziest thing he’d ever done, but he’d do it. Jumped in the cab with my bag and Christmas present in hand.
Ended up driving around 35mph the entire way there and shared the entire story with the driver. About 30 minutes away, I started to get worried that she would be going to sleep soon as it was getting quite late. Asked her to stay awake, and when she asked why, I told her that I was coming to see her and deliver her Christmas present in person. She said she was shocked, but wanted to see me and would stay awake.
Minutes after hanging up, her *MOTHER* calls me and asks what in the hell I think I’m doing and tells me that things are over with her daughter. It was unbelievable to me that a grown woman would meddle so much in her adult daughter’s business. At that moment, I was completely deflated – I had thought that after seeing the great lengths I’d gone to in order to get there, her family would understand and be supportive. Instead, my (ex)girlfriend called me and said we’d better meet at a hotel.
My driver dropped me off at a local hotel and I was completely sick over what had transpired in the last half hour of our drive. Everything had started crumbling. I was already in a daze when I paid the $650 cab fare.
Inside the hotel, I waited for my (ex)girlfriend in the lobby. I poured out my heart to her. Ultimately, she said she didn’t want to get back together because she didn’t see how it would work out and she left.
Didn’t sleep a bit that night. Stayed up on the phone with the airline trying to book a flight home. The earliest they could fly me out was still more than 24 hours away. The last thing I wanted to do was sit in a hotel room by myself in my ex’s town after being so flatly rejected.
When the sun came up, I took a cab to the Springfield airport to rent a car. Had to wait three hours for the car rental counter to open up and then another hour for a car to be readied. I proceeded to drive twelve hours home through a snowstorm and cried my eyes out the whole way home. By the time, I got home, I was completely numb (and over $1000 lighter in the pocketbook). I slept for the next two days straight.
And that was the stupidest thing I ever did for love.
Stupid Love Story #2 – How to Fail at Love in Russia
During our freshman year at different colleges, my high-school girlfriend and I decided to spend the summer in Russia. Or rather, she decided that she wanted to, and I, hopelessly in love with her and eager to see her over the summer, decided to start taking Russian as an excuse to join her.
But she dumped me in March. I had already sort-of committed to the summer, but not really. Yet in my infinite wisdom, I thought myself left with only one choice- follow her to Russia to win her back.
The 8 weeks I spent in St. Petersburg were, as one might imagine, terrible. I had no friends and didn’t speak the language. I lived in a homestay with an 80-year old Russian woman. Oh, and I watched as she (my ex, not the 80-year old) fell in love with a Russkie, who, in my pathetic attempt to be near her, I sort of became friends with.
When I got to the airport to come back to America, dejected and stupid as I’d ever been, I didn’t see my flight on the departures list. I asked around in broken Russian, and found out that there are actually 2 separate terminals of the St. Petersburg airport, and I was at the wrong one. Needing to get to my flight asap, and discombobulated as hell, I accepted a cab driver’s offer to get me there for around $100, most of the money I had left.
When I got to the right terminal, the customs officer told me that there was a problem with my visa. I couldn’t leave until I got it taken care of, and the next flight wasn’t for 3 days. It was back to the nasty 80-year old woman.
Except when I got there, she was gone, and the door was locked. When I called her, she told me that she had gone to her dacha (Russian country home), and wouldn’t be back for a month.
So at this point, I have no money, no girl, and no place to sleep. I got my visa taken care of, but still had to lug most of my stuff (except for what I’d left at the airport) around for 3 days. The only person I could call was… my ex’s new boyfriend.
But, pathetic as I was, I couldn’t bring myself to do it.
So my last 3 nights in Russia were spent on a cold beach, in a train station, and in a 24-hour bookstore. I almost got a full night’s sleep in the bookstore, but was awoken by a terrifying man yelling at me in Russian. When I clearly didn’t understand him, he said, in a not-too-accented English, “Get out.”
So I arrived in America dirty, dumb, and loveless. Five years later, I’m just about over her.
Stupid Love Story #3 – Do You Laugh or Do You Cry?
This story is probably best suited to be in the annals of the stupid, yet true, romance stories.
Ten years ago, I was just out of the university when I met this girl. She was young, beautiful and her smile just lit up the room. I was a nerd, physically unattractive and never been in a relationship. I was also very naive as events turned out. It was my first relationship. I had never had success with girls. I came from a ‘psychologically inadequate’ family background and had serious self esteem issues.
Four months into the relationship (I will not bother to waste the reader’s time narrating how we happened to be dating), she came crying to me one day. Her brother was ill, had been ill for a week (I eventually found out he had been in the hospital for six months at the time), and needed a kidney. Their only surviving relative was unwilling to donate hers and she was worried that her brother would just die.
(An aside, I live in a third world country and there is nothing like waiting for an organ donor. If you needed one, you would have to hope for someone you know to donate it or die a long and painful death.)
Then came the torrent of tears from her pretty face and I knew that I was going to do something really crazy. I volunteered to donate a kidney. She looked at me in disbelief. You can’t be serious, she sniffed. But I was. I assured her that if I was a good match, I would donate one and her brother would not have to suffer much longer. I was young and very healthy. I figured that there was nothing to lose and a lot to gain by being the hero in her eyes.
Knowing that my family would never agree to such an action on my part, I didn’t tell them anything until a day to the surgery. The hell they raised is better imagined.
Fast forward to one week post operation. She came to see me since I was leaving the hospital that day. She was full of gratitude. She was full of life. Her brother’s surgery was successful. She would be eternally grateful to me. She would be happy to spend the rest of her life with me. And so on. I felt like the king of the world. That such a stunningly beautiful girl would feel indebted to me gave me the best feeling in the world.
But things didn’t remain so pretty for long afterwards. She began to give excuses for not coming to see me. If I called to ask if I could come over, she would make up funny reasons why not. She was busy. She was out of town. She was tired. She was having a mood swing and didn’t want to see anybody. Eventually, two months after my good, eh, stupid deed, she broke up with me. Her reason? She didn’t want to waste her time with a sentimental fool. Her exact words.
(I found out later that the ‘brother’ in the hospital was in fact her long time fiancé whom she loved very much. )
Since then, my already low esteem is yet to fully recover from the blow that being in that relationship dealt me. That was my first and possibly the last relationship I will ever be in. I was a fool indeed.
The Major Mistake All Fools in Love Make
After reading the 3 stories, can you spot the mistake all the guys made? Take some time to think about it.
The mistake is …
Doing too much for an unloyal or unproven girl.
Guy #1 spent over $1,000 and 2 full days to see a girl that dumped him.
Guy #2 spent 8 weeks in Russia to win back a girl that left him.
Guy #3 donated a kidney to the “brother” of a girl he had known for only 4 months.
If I am to guess, these guys do not have much experience with girls. They lap up what the media tells them: If they poured their hearts out, if they did everything humanly possible to please their girls, the girls will love them back. They put girls on pedestals, while placing themselves on footstools.
If that is you, don’t despair. Most guys go through the “fool” stage at once point or another. Even the Don Juans, Casanovas, and Lotharios all have made mistakes. If you’ve made this mistake in the past, learn from it. I’m sure the 3 guys did. If you have yet to become a fool, learn from the stories.
Remember … the biggest mistake to avoid is over-committing to someone who does not deserve it. Divorced women. Girls who had a lot of boyfriends. Girls who dumped you. Girls you hardly know.
Many girls can call themselves princesses, but few of them actually are.
Understand that a quality girl is not just someone who is hot. She has to have more than a pretty face and a nice body. She must prove her commitment and loyalty before you make even one huge sacrifice for her.
How does she prove her commitment? It doesn’t just have to be sex. Let’s start small. Does she tell you the truth? Does she keep her word, such as showing up on-time for dates? Does she do things for you, like cooking for you?
If the girl does small things for you, do small things for her. (Take her out to a nice dinner, if she cooks for you.) If she does big things for you, do big things for her. (Donate a kidney to her, if she showed loyalty and devotion to you for years.)
If you follow my advice, it will save you from a lot of pain and heartaches. And you’ll have more time, money, and energy to find the right girl — someone who is worthy of your hard work and sacrifices.