Thursday, August 2, 2007

Yes, a heart can hallucinate, if it's completely starved for love

Tonight it was girl-talk and umbrella drinks on a Kits patio. We got to talking (as we often do) about love and sex, relationships and dating. As always, some interesting thoughts and stories were shared.

If you spend enough time on the dating treadmill, you're sure to be run ragged. You're running fast and getting nowhere. So often we get wrapped up in all kinds of drama and games, which can lead to crossed signals and mixed messages. After a while, you're never taken by surprise; except maybe by your own ego. Mark Twain wrote,"There are no grades of vanity, there are only grades of ability in concealing it." There was a book written a while back, inspired by an episode of Sex & The City, which presented the idea that perhaps it takes women too long to realize when "he's just not that into you." The book's basic contention is that all heterosexual men love to pursue women, and highly prize "catching them." If they like a woman, they will overtly declare their interest. If a man sends mixed or positive signals, but waits for the woman to ask him out first, then he is either lazy or not very interested. In my opinion though, sometimes it's as much a case of "she's just not that into him either." Let's be honest: very often, when we date people who are all wrong for us, it's our vanity and ego at work rather than our heart. Are we so caught up in finding the fairytale romance, or feeling wanted that we are willing to settle for something that isn't genuine?

Here's a scenario: You meet a guy, you're not interested or you're completely oblivious. Either way, you don't give him the time of day. Instead of taking a hike, this guy takes a street fighter approach to dating. Although at first you completely brush him off, he is persistent. He chases you, really pours on the charm. He won't take no for an answer. And truth be told, flattery gets him everywhere. He is never your first choice; you know he is not "the one." You could really take him or leave him. But slowly, over time, he wears you down. Along the way, you really start to care about him. At times, maybe you even think that if he could just be a little more like this or a little less like that, things could really be serious. Do you love him? Maybe you continue to hold onto an ideal that you have of his "potential." There are definitely some good times. But of course he doesn't change, and neither does the pattern. You wonder what happened to the guy you thought he would become. We all want to believe that time truly changes people, but in reality, we all fundamentally stay the same. And besides, why should he really have to change for you anyway? Perhaps a cycle continues; things fizzle between you for a while and then he decides to chase you again. You fall for the charm, the lines, the lies, into the trap...and so the pattern continues. Why do you put up with this?

Eventually, something changes. You start to see him for who he really is (and isn't). You jump off the train before it goes off the tracks. Was it that for a time, you wanted to be wanted? Did you just not want to be alone? Did your ego become interested in the validation? Even when you didn't want him, you wanted him to want you. Does this make you a horrible person? And did you ever really love him? Or were you just addicted to the cycle? Sometimes it was fun and rewarding. Other times, it was just a warm body to heat up the cold stretch of empty nights. And sometimes it was just empty, period. Having these kind of relationships is enough to mess a girl up. We start to question whether or not true love is even out there. I believe it is. Will it be some gift-wrapped box that brings eternal happiness? No, it probably won't...but do you know what? That's okay. It will be better because it will be real. You've made the first move and stepped off the dismal treadmill. My guess is that you're probably just a stroll away from finding what you're really looking for.

I'm finally at a point where I can say that I'm pretty sure I know what I want. I want to trust without thinking. I want to be generous with my affection and patience. I want to love somebody unconditionally. And this is how I want to be loved. Perhaps for a time I was afraid to love like this again because my heart had been stomped on. Two life paths come together and then diverge. I've realized that life is peaks and valleys, ups and downs. Plato said, "love is a grave mental disease." He may very well be right, but I still think it's worth it. I believe true love to be something that we all need to experience, because whatever the outcome, no love can cross our path without having some significant impact. I still have faith in that true, simple love. You have to make peace with yourself first. The key is to find the harmony in what you have. True love will find you in the end.


Miss 604 said...

Oh I've had my share of 'he's just not that into yous' hehe.

I stumbled into love 3 years ago and I'm about to head out on a long weekend road trip with him this evening.

Man, if he or I ever blogged about our past relationships people would realize we both would have never seen this coming. When you least expect it, it knocks you over and you'll never be the same.

No matter what heartaches and heartbreaks the past contained, no matter how severe... it all seems worth it now because without all that I wouldn't truly know how lucky I am today.

(I recently wrote a sappy lovey post on Duane's blog... I'm so emo lately hehe)

Jennifer Stoddart said...

I read your post on Duane's blog Rebecca, it was fantastic. It's relationships like you and John have that allow me to keep my faith in finding that genuine, true love...proof that it really is out there.

Duane said...

Good post.. Someone just tell me where to stand so I can get knocked over.