“Whoever your girlfriend will be, I’m sure that she will be happy.”
Ironically, that was the parting remark of the last girl that I dated with. And to further emphasize the ploy of the irony, it was I who called off our relationship.
The reason? In the grand scheme of things which I projected upon others, I gave two reasons, even though both were true, those varied in terms of depth: the one that scratches the surface and the truer one that I couldn’t bear to tell.
I was even employing it in this write-up of mine!
Actually, when we had that conversation, I cited three (3) reasons. Even so, I remained true to my nature, or perhaps my understanding of myself as an individual, as I remained true upon giving two reasons, as the two (2) out of the three actually pertained to a more generalized explanation. I told her two out of those three reasons: (2) I was disillusioned upon seeing my ideals on a romantic relationship became ruined after actually being on one, and (3) it was not the right time to be date someone given that there were still some loose ends on my part that I had to fix.
Those two reasons that I gave (#2 and #3) were actually coupled as both were response to the event to served as a catalyst to the “break-up”. Both constitute my views on dating, which is the main topic for this write-up.
When I wrote some of the write-ups here in this domain that I put up on WordPress, I asked myself whether doubting love was a common thing in those who were scarred on their respective pursuit of love and their subsequent failures in it. I brought back to my recollection and reviewed those episodes of mine from the past, no matter how embarrassing or painful they were, but there were only a few which I thought to come up to satisfy my judgment into being classified as monumental. There were seven (7) of them. I made sure that I’ve counted right – looking over and over to my fingers to check whether those fingers that I’ve unfolded from my clenched fist were indeed inferential amidst the abundance of the stories of the past pursuits on which my fingers could never be able to count. Those seven instances seemed like thorny vines sown and reared to cover something in darkness, having loneliness without solitude and smiles without joy.
However, when this prolonged period of solitude enlightened me, I saw my error, and unnecessarily came my relief. After all, who is to blame apart from myself? I was in aimless wandering during those times, though I am not afraid to admit that I might still now.
Now that I’ve regrettably shoved most of my romantic opportunities; now that the labors of this useless love have come crashing down; I’ve finally get to face myself, my past actions, and my confused feelings to reflect, because when the external noises and conflicts have ceased to exist, all that remained were the ambient woes of my heart, waiting to be heard. Sometimes, it is that voice within the heart that needs to be heard. No longer will I need affirmation that this happened and that happened, for it was my experience and my experience alone. Even though involvement of others in that experience will reduce that thought to a mere stubborn insistence of mine.
To understand what human relationships were like, how real they were, I took my eyes off the screen, let go of the devices that project the reality to us, and cut off the medium that we rely on with communicating, and see for myself the visuals and the senses that were not brought by those wheezing devices with the emanating smell of sterility. I sat on the bench, basked upon the radiance of the afternoon sun. Even though it was the height of summer, the sunlight was surprisingly gentle as the rustling leaves waved back and forth, casting an array of alternating shadow and light.
After quite some time, I finally get to see something vivid before my eyes. To see things as they were, seeing the wonders of nature made it so accessible, and yet when in the facet of human relationships, now that another fabric of medium has seemed to envelop it, in the form of social media, to see things as they were turned to be rather a luxury and sometimes a hopeless wish.
When was the last time that you have become enthralled to a person by seeing that person personally and not just by looking at their profile pictures in social media? When was the last time that you became intimate and opened up to someone because you drew closer and got comfortable as an indication of trust, and not because that you grew comfortable with the distance – a distance you deemed enough as safe into venting out those frustrations and woes of yours?
It is superficial and erroneous to take “hints”. Such imprudence gives way for the culture of superficiality, where people had to keep images and appearances. It is presumptuous and cowardly. The pursuit of love does not demand that people who wanted to establish their feelings to be real, allow themselves to be deceived and hoodwinked with the confusion caused by indecisiveness, but wants us to reach out and sometimes depart from their comfort zones in order to establish the link that the other would mercifully endow them upon their consent.
They might turn into madmen if they were to flow the light of hope that the person that they were harboring their feelings to, only to fall and suffer as that light itself was revealed to be a lie, as they were in the dark all along, and the darkness was bidding them to become lost. Further resentment could be incurred if the person who gave the false hope would deny that the hope was never put up in the first place, or that the hope might be real but only that those who chased it have faltered.
Attention can really be heartwarming thing. A person may end up craving for it. But without checks and restraint, that craving might turn into insatiability where the person would resort to deception and outrageousness in order to garner more attention. The deceiver is fond of saying to the deceived that he/she had brought this upon himself/herself.
Even though it is more presumptuous for me to consult my own judgment alone rather to hear the opinion of others, my internal thoughts and views about this topic, on which I’m currently going around in circles on, would only be classified as mine alone if they were the products of my own introspection. However, I beseech the readers to still maintain their skepticism as I, the author, might turn lazy in forcing myself to write these intricacies and would resort into deceptions as the half-truth may only be revealed.
But a promise is a promise and I deemed that the stories from those seven that I’ve mentioned will be enough to constitute what generally are my views on dating. This rather roundabout way before even mentioning what has reflected from those seven may seem like a random rambling of an individual like me, but I just wrote them there as easter bunnies for you to decode to whom I’m referring those to, as I was just writing spontaneously up to this point.
To describe the evolution of one’s perception on dating, of course, one has to present it in a chronological fashion.
Well, indeed, presenting it in such fashion will enable me to depict how that notion of mine has developed all over the years. Even though, there were turns, there were no gaps, Tracing back led to the story of my first love. Well, a lot of people know who my first love was, so there’s no point of denying who it was.
The days of the youth is a flower-bed that is to bear what becomes the fruit of those experiences. And the episodes of the youth will accumulate into what’s called the wealth of experience. It is also during that rather volatile and unsteady period of our lives that the foundations of our notions and attitudes toward some fundamental abstracts in life, like love, begin to sprout and manifest themselves. Being a resigned and beaten person in the pursuit of love, my first love would also be my first heartbreak. It would be fine if it was just a mere heartbreak. There was already a rivalry. My rival was regrettably my best friend that time. And I’ve found out that the girl had feelings for my best friend. So with the realm of romantic love only involving two people, the one who was not part of the mutual had to be left out. Growth was the fruit of adolescence and maturity was the result of the developments that arose from the events the surrounded the individual.
What was the thought that matured within me that time?
I learned that love was something seemingly out of reach. A love that grew in the mud of futility was unsubstantial, hurtful, and good only for the masochists. If only I was accustomed first to the happiness than to the pain, then my concept of dating and love might have turned into something of a good light rather than an exasperation of a disappointed idealist who turned into a cynic.
But what kind of happiness would love bring? To hold hands a lot, kiss each others cheek and lips, share moments of unspeakable bliss, and believe that this love last forever?….
Fortunately, the agony from the first love didn’t last that long…as I came onboard to another period of agony from the love that followed. As to what I’ve said about being accustomed about the pain first before the happiness, is there anything in the world that would make love both a happy and hurtful thing? Foolish was I who found a small measure of happiness as I found comfort in the pain; but cursed be the situation and the circumstances which never gave me a chance to this love that followed the first one, which lasted for two years.
She was an underclassman of mine. I still remembered the moment when I began to fall for her. I was hanging out in the library, when she and her friends came. Having known me as the top student, they tested me by asking some questions they thought were difficult. I managed to answer all of those question. And that girl, being a new face at that school that time looked to me and gave me a genuine praise. In writing this passage, a smile has etched upon my face. Even though she was not confident about how she looked, she’s totally my type. And even though she has a child already today, if fate and the circumstances permit, the tendency is still high that I might fall heads over heels for her. But it was not the case back then. The distance remained astronomical and as if I was looking at a distant star, I looked from afar. The pain ground out from the first love made me thought that this secret unrequited love was not so bad after all. The cold that was bequeathed had provided me the comfort. It gave me the chain to subjugate any stirring that others have caused.
With that, I fell into the pitfall of romance, the root of all tendencies of failure: romanticizing it. The abjectness became rather a normality, giving a false hope that romance was sure to succeed if it were to be poetic. The poet, in his conceited way of delivering poetry, could justify any scale of tragedy into a form of necessity. He did not cater the mission for rapture in his quest of establishing a literature. He did not mention efficiency, nor he wanted it to become simple. He demanded complexity and solicitation of affinity. That’s why the poet failed. That poet lies within all of us. We find boredom in simplicity. The search for vibrancy was maybe why we, I myself included, found happiness within pain, for happiness was like walking on thin ice and pain indicated exhilaration, which can be mistaken as vibrance.
It was with that vibrance that I found the third love. Those who have scanned my blog thoroughly will know the person whom I was referring to. It was during that rainy afternoon of August 2010 that our hands made contact. The drowning noise of the rainfall pounding the windows seemed to cease. The people sitting in the corridor seemed to disappear one by one. The classes were being held in the classrooms faded into the backdrop. The screen which we were both gazing to materialized into reality, as the two of us, who seemingly became the last people in the world who remained at that moment, gazed upon each other’s eyes, enough to trigger an electric spark which shocked both of our hands. At that moment, I knew that I was in love.
At the age of 16, I finally get a real shot into pursuit romance, into dating somebody. She was the first to influence my consciousness of dating. She drew out my entire existence, giving it a sole purpose of finding its meaning through her. She was the first one who gave an official consent into pursuing her,
Indeed, there was happiness during my pursuit of her. But the previous notions I’ve had towards dating and love had backfired on me. I still believed that it would be fluttery all the way that time, as I inherently drew a rather foolish dichotomy: that it was rather pain or happiness. I never knew that these could both coexist, nor that the pain reflected to the value of happiness. The uncertainty of the events and of what we thought of each other still led me to take happiness as that fateful walk on thin ice. Even though that the feelings were revealed to be mutually shared, I simply lacked the resolve, to all that was sincere and firm of purpose, clear judgment, clear procedure, honesty, sincerity, unconditional love, and trust, which I dearly lacked. And, seeing that life was full of thorns and thistles, I failed to fortify my mind against any stroke of adversity and accustom myself into fighting for my feelings. One cannot expect the pursuit to be successful if he gave up along the way. No certainty could arise from confusion; nor happy endings could come from an indecisive heart. As to the fact that no good water comes from a turbid spring, it dawned to us that no sweet yes can come from half-hearted efforts, hence the bombshell that was dropped upon me…those words: “Putang ina mo, lubayan mo na ako.”, maybe the rightful words to someone pusillanimous like I was.
At this point, I cannot bear to further recall or reminisce that episode from my past, or is it that I’m still failing to grasp what happened then. I can only speak of the aftermath, which was me having a rather jaded view on life. I dwelt in the pain, as if it was my comfort zone. I did not open my heart for a long time since then. That event was like having my entire existence rejected. That taught me never to simply trust people, because with my existence rejected, I knew that I was somebody nobody wanted.
Even though my deliverance from the suffering due to the lingering pain from that past had not yet come, I opened my heart a little bit, maybe twice in 2014. Those two stories were further inferential and made contributions to my notion on dating and love, for better or for worse.
Running away from the pain has spurred me into establishing sports organization, and into being a person being looked up to. I’ve dated an underclassman of mine who indirectly confessed her feelings to me. The relationship did not last long, as we both tripped over the first rough patch that we’ve encountered, leading me to say the words that I didn’t mean yet it scarred her for life. Maybe what triggered me into saying that was that remark of hers that struck a chord:
That I was only fit to be a guy being looked up to, than to be with.
The duties that I have to fulfill perhaps were to deliver hope, to be the light that gives strength, but in turn, I might not be allowed to go beyond the realms of the pedestal where I was placed on. Never someone’s special companion, because being that guy, I belonged to everyone, yet inaccessible.
So, it was natural to prove that notion wrong, by seeking to be someone’s companion, even if it’s not romantic on any sort. Unlike that fourth one, the fifth one was rather spanned relatively longer, for I sought two things which I never seemed to achieved: companionship and stability. Yes, it was that girl from “The One Who Joined My Lonely Walks” write-up. That write-up pretty much told what generally had happened, which are generally of no real importance with respect to the main point of this piece. It was around that time that I was advised to seek stability on friendships. However, little did I know that I would be hoodwinked and tied into being led into falling for her only to learn that she had a boyfriend all along. Not only that… She made me her tool in her cheating ways. Well, I guess writing further would upwell the cynicism that I had on her.
Maybe the cause of backwardness in the optimism towards dating lies in the fact that women like her exist. And maybe the cause of our reluctance into treasuring memories is the tendency of people like her to discard and even deny those memories. And so, even though most women that I knew were educated and blessed with encapsulating intellect and strong will, there were still a few who used those as tools for deception, all for the sake of their personal convenience, and thus my skepticism into committing myself again into those things called dating and relationships.
Personal convenience is such a scary thing. When the things go beyond comprehension, or when things provoke the anger or discomfort in people, they will cease giving attention, however dense the situation will be. For the sake of keeping the narrative of them being the protagonists of their own stories and for the sake of convenience, they will justify any scale of their atrocities and they will devalue what were treasured. And those who were scarred by assertion, people like I would unceremoniously lick those scars and would find themselves with Stockholm syndrome, amicable to the pain that chains the heart, and find that pain as convenient for them.
I would not delve further on the sixth one, for I would find it redundant to do so, having written many write-ups for that girl in this blog, most notably the “Missing You” series. Though, a need to juxtapose the sixth and the seventh one was needed in order to explain what ultimately was my view on romance and dating.
I was not allowed also to elaborate some of the events that happened during that seventh one because I made a promise not to spill the beans.
Honestly, with that girl, I finally got to experience what real dating feels like. Everything was going well.
…That hug was remarkable.
…Her hands were warm.
…Her gazes were piercing.
Honestly, she’s close into being somebody’s ideal girlfriend.
Maybe for her part, to clear things up, I was stern with regards to maintaining myself in the place that I was told to be in. By the time that she was constantly making denials like “Don’t take it seriously.” and “Don’t get too close.”, if she remained unaware of the implications of her saying those words to someone who’s so accustomed to rejection, then those would definitely be the nails of the coffin of our relationship. I was actually sensitive to those kinds of statements (Yeah, because of that fifth one) That’s why I kept maintaining the distance, because I no longer wanted to see my expectations being betrayed by denying how close the relationship went.
But instead, what brought it to end was the our disagreement about our notions of love and dating. In the greatest of ironies, it was I who was the idealistic one and it was she who was the pragmatic one. Unable to settle those differences (or maybe just the stubbornness on my part), I called it off. And I immediately psyched myself up into reviving what feelings have remained on the sixth one, a habit which I finally took notice.
Of course, having taken that idealistic stance, one would presume that I was one of those exemptions on the generalization that “Men are trash.” But the notion that I was an exemption was a grave error.
My concept on dating involves employing reductionism on women. That reductionism can be classified mainly into two: (1) objectification, and (2)deification. One would argue that deification can not be classified as reductionism for deification elevates the status. But still, deification was still an outright lie, for one’s treating a person like something or someone he/she wasn’t.
Mine was a mix of both. It was not something authentic or generic really. I still had that “Maria Clara” image on women. My romanticization on things extends from my notion of romance to my perception on women. The risk with that lines upon the betrayal of expectations which most of the times lead to the loss of the deification aspect. Expectations are the most burdensome weight that everyone will carry, even if it’s against their will. It was if the women were being blackmailed into keeping up to their expectations or else they would be just objectified. So, in the end, it was still that same trashy thing, befitting for men.
That led to the final point that I’ve contemplated within this write-up: how did the sixth one ultimately defined my notion on romance.
Well, to explain it to you simply, it was like how Sengoku Nadeko loved Araragi Koyomi in the Monogatari Series. Maybe it was around when I realized that she just used me to help herself adjust to the UP environment back then that I gave up. I just put her up there at that pedestal for the sake of putting an impression that would make people defer into knocking to the door of my heart which grew comfortably of being empty, having bled itself dry. I just put her up there to an inaccessible spot, in order to give an impression that she’s something out of reach, and with that the unrequited “love” will give poetic feel leading me to indulge myself in self-gratification of having one. Maybe that’s why I didn’t recognize her when she brought me those tickets. Maybe that’s why I was upset to those mixed signals because she kept displacing herself from that pedestal, or maybe that if she were to knock, I knew that I would be rejecting her. I just wish her to be happy (and maybe she is now) so that I can escape from this set-up that I brought upon myself. Maybe that’s why I don’t want that relationship to progress any further, because any change might make me lose her ultimately in the end.
Maybe there was really no one. It was just that I’m tired of dating and romance and all. Maybe I was also wrong in coupling dating and romance together. I just don’t know anymore.