How Can We Learn From Loving Someone?
I believe friendships typically stem from common interests and complementary qualities, however our reasons for falling in love are often irrational and projections of our pathology. As straightforward as it is, it seems a little lacking to select our lifelong mates on the same bases on which we choose our friends: common goals, compatibility and affinity. Sometimes we speak of love as though it feels more like we’ve been chosen as the perfect pair than us choosing to be the perfect pair. When we love, we become undeniably at our most human. We have our senses heightened, yet we lose all kinds of common sense. At times, we are blinded to the truth.
As the saying goes, “love is blind.”
I’m sure we have moments when we encounter our friends being with their loved ones exhibiting aspects of their personalities we don’t quite recognize. We know them as a friend, perhaps a close one, but not to the extent of a lover. We would imagine them being fully compatible with a particular type, yet there is something unexpectedly beautiful when we witness a driven careerist marrying a feckless artist. Maybe it is about the Yin and Yang, or simply put, opposites attract. When we love, we don’t care. We stop caring about what others think, because the world revolves around her. She is the world. I have watched my female friends’ reaction as they hear of my journey in a relationship. I could almost see them thinking: Really?
Perhaps the outsiders are truly the only ones who can see through the camouflage of beauty.
Regardless of their (impeccable) opinion and judgement when it comes to my relationship, I tend to smile defiantly into their eyes. It was a signal, a telepathic message back at them: I’m sorry, but I don’t care. Like all fortune tellers with their “I told you so” message ready to be pulled out from their back pocket, my friends were prepared to lend a listening ear and packets of tissue for what is about to come. Their hearts were broken for me even before my heartbreak. They realised it, and I realised it too. It just took me a much longer time to face the truth.
The truth hurts.
When you’re almost at the end of a relationship, it is like that floating, slow-motion moment before the roller coaster begins its heady, accelerating descent. What do we want? Perhaps all we wanted was not to lose her, because losing her meant losing a big part of ourselves. Then, we go into the cycle of jealousy and rage with ourselves over someone we realise there was no future to look forward to. At some point, we must have thought to ourselves, we must be overthinking. Yet, the emotions are real. These emotional upheaval were not only incommensurate to the circumstances but felt much bigger than we were.
It is like a Can of coke. Disguised as a happy soft drink with nearly 10 teaspoons of sugar ready to set you high only to let you down quicker than you know.
As obvious as this sounds, maybe the way to go about having a healthy right relationship is to find someone with a touch of pathology we require, but not so much that it destroys us. Similar to gaming, we want to play enough to feel mellow and well-disposed toward the world, but not so much to the extent that it becomes a chore. It takes a considerable amount of trial and error to calibrate our emotions with something and someone. When we meet someone compatible, and hopefully right for us, I believe it would be like suddenly seeing the answer to a puzzle that has been obvious all along.
She is the one who makes us realise: Uh-oh.
In the past, I was afraid to say this. But now I’m neither in love nor heartbroken. With each calibration, we become more cautious of our heart but we tend to worry if we have a finite capacity for falling in love that gets depleted with age. It might be the case that romantic love is an affliction of adolescence, similar to acne. However when we fall in love, with whoever it may be, there is an illusion of timelessness, isn’t it? Somehow, we’re temporarily exempted from that oppressive sense of obligation. Love seems to take us to a place where nothing else matters. In this game of life where we come in with nothing and leave with nothing too, wouldn’t love be our greatest pursuit? I’ve written this in the past and I believe it’ll stay relevant for a long time. You don’t lose when you love, you learn when you do.