Archives for posts with tag: romance

Have we become so jaded that we approach love as a form of power play?  We gauge each move and see whether the other person responds and we weigh our next move accordingly and see whether it would secure us the leverage we wish to prevail in the game? This form of approach is already dubious even outside the realm of romance, because the crafty shrewdness undermines honestly, honour, integrity, and what more, the highest of all virtues, love.

We are so uncomfortable at losing power or control over any situation that if we so much as express more emotion than the other and it is not reciprocated, we feel that we have not made the ‘right’ moves and it confers power upon the other over us.  Perhaps, in a manner of speaking, this is true.  At a base level, a love relationship is not immune to politics and plays for dominance, but this sort of approach demeans what it truly means to be in love with someone.

How averse are we to being hurt that we are willing to protect ourselves at any cost–even from ourselves or from someone else who may break down our walls and love us? There is nothing wrong with loving another, what causes us pain is the expectation that the love would be requited and it need not be. Yes it would be all the lovelier if the love was reciprocated, but it need not be.

We are capable of truly loving all by our lonesome, as sad as it might be.  We may only hope but we may not expect that the other be able to or should be capable of loving us back in the same manner or with the same intensity.  When we love, we must remember that it should be with no strings attached, otherwise, it detracts from the essence of love which gives freely without expecting another in return–though perhaps hoping for reciprocation.

(c) Niconica 2013

 

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We have become so sophisticated with so many facets of our lives that it has spilled over to the realm of love and dating.  We have become so versed with saving our faces and advancing our own interest that we have found many ways of being defensive when it comes to relating with another in the realm of love and romance so that we minimise our losses and are able to retract immediately and safely save our faces if it seems that the other is not on the page as us.

We become so obsessed with winning the dating ‘game’ that we lose sight of the bigger picture altogether.  We have convinced ourselves that we date and love in order to advance our self-interest and gain the most advantage without exposing ourselves or being unduly vulnerable or hurt.  If we think about it, this strategy almost sounds like the way we would undergo negotiations for business or even a strategy which might apply to warfare, and it is up for debate whether this is the best way to go about falling in love.

We cannot truly love when we are more obsessed with winning and preserving our own image.  Love entails a certain vulnerability and it is risky up to the point that it may actually be so painful that we may wonder whether we would survive a heartbreak.

We may see someone and wish to gauge whether they love us more and we may employ tactics which would assure us that they love us more or that we would not be hurt, we may also wish to ascertain their emotions for us before we surrender our own.  It is but prudent, yet at the same time, it robs the spontaneity and the raw authenticity which true fiery and passionate love is characterised by.

Love at its purest form is unguarded and undefended.  How often can we say that we have loved like this? Perhaps, we may only recall our adolescent days when we did not know any better–this was the only time wherein we loved with abandon–the first and perhaps even the last time we allowed ourselves to be carried away by our emotions, only to be destroyed by it.

After the first debilitating heartbreak, we start to employ more armour and adapt more defence mechanisms so that we may not experience the destruction and the pain we have gone through the first time around.  It definitely does have its uses, it protects us from completely falling apart and allows us to function without being destroyed.

However, it also takes away the raw beauty of love–the authenticity which is inherently unprotected.  When did we suddenly regard dating and love as a game or a battle where we must win at all costs and make sure that the ‘opponent’ surrenders or submits before we do?  It is true that the person who loves the most is at the mercy of the person who loves less but at the same time, the person who loves the most experiences love in a more genuine manner.

By all means, in business or in our careers, we must strive to ‘win’ and ‘prevail’ but love is not a competition wherein devious strategies would benefit the players.  Love is not even a terrain wherein winning would necessarily benefit anyone.  Sometimes when we are so calculated in the realm of love and even if we feel that we have secured victory by guarded and cautious moves, we have actually lost.

In our unhealthy obsession with winning in the realm of romance, we might actually cheat ourselves out of a wonderful soul-searing and life-changing experience called true love, which entails that we put down all our defences and is counter-intuitive to our notion of self-preservation.

(c) Niconica 2013

 

I can understand mulling over big purchases and researching before finally buying them because money does not grow on trees, but for some reason, I cannot understand when this attitude spills over to the realm of dating and picking a mate.  Logically speaking, since our choice of a life partner can make or break us, it is not something which can be entered into cavalierly and requires careful thought.  So perhaps a prolonged period of observation and interaction is justified before making any conclusion.

Be it that it makes sense to be cautious about our selection of a mate, I also believe that there is only as much as we can find out with observation and surface interaction and sometimes, it’s better to start dating seeing each other exclusively in order to find out more of the nuances up close and personal and whether we can live with these quirks. There is only as much detail that “window shopping” for a partner can provide and sometimes, we must simply make up our mind and jump in.

It is way too idealistic to think that upon a few interactions and with simply dating or being just friends that we can determine whether this person is the one whom we would be willing to make a life long commitment to.  It’s a romantic idea but it cannot hold up to reality because assessing from the entry point, it does not give us enough details or insight to make an informed decision. It also places too much pressure on the person whom we are considering to be able to measure up to whatever phantom criteria we fancy they must meet.

Experience is the best teacher and it is the same way with relationships.  if we choose to merely be friends or date indefinitely, it wastes precious time and is counterproductive to our aim of getting to know the person well enough to know whether having a relationship with them would be feasible in the long run.  Nothing replaces the actual experience of being in a relationship to find out whether the relationship can stand the test of time, it is not something which can be preempted and prejudged.

It puts an inordinate amount of pressure on ourselves too when we nurse the odd idea that if we enter into a relationship with someone that they would be ‘the one’ we are to make lifelong commitments too because we must always consider the inherent reality of life which is that everything is subject to change.  We may change our minds further down the road but it does not mean that we should cheat ourselves out of what can be a potentially beautiful experience.

In thinking that we must research for as long as we can before determining whether we are to go into a relationship, it shows that we are risk averse and that we which that our decisions be final and lasting.  It is understandable that as humans, we value security and permanence, however it may be too much weight for the reality to bear.  In order to experience life to the fullest, some measure of risk must be taken and we must give ourselves the leeway of making mistakes.

Finding an ideal partner who will be our first love, our first relationship, and our lifelong partner till death do us part would be a dream come true indeed, however, this scenario is too perfect that it would be very rare for it to be that way.  When we get attached to such standards, we sometimes forget that we are ourselves fallible and imperfect and expecting everything to fall into place in an ideal and dreamy manner is indulging in daydreams which, as pleasant as they might be, are a waste of time and would be detrimental to our finding someone who would hold up to the light of day as our romantic partner.

After a reasonable period of observation and interaction, it might be best for both parties to make up their mind and decide whether to give it a go, or just let it go.  Having uncertain situations drag on for an unspecified amount of time does not benefit both parties involved and furthermore reflects a lack of respect for the other person.  It might also cause the other party to perceive this lack of respect for their precious time and encourage them to move on.

(c) Niconica 2013

 

We might want instant results and answers, owing to the immediate access to Googling and Wikipedia, but with getting to know someone we are interested in, there is no better ally than time to aid us with uncovering whether the person is worth investing emotions in and whether our impression of them matches who we discover them to be through the passage of time and whether what we discover can sustain our interest and relationship dynamics.

Dating might not be the best manner in getting to know the other because it requires socially accepted forms of mutual deception owing to our desire to impress the other party and get them to reciprocate our feelings.  It is of course an enjoyable process but in the long run, when the real person is reveal, the reality might not live up to the glittery packaging and we are left floundering and wondering how we ended up in this position.

The social ritual of dating while being the norm in getting to know someone whom we are romantically interested in inherently contains some pitfalls because in hoping to impress the object of our affections, we try to minimize conflict and conceal our imperfections or true sentiments if it may take away our chances of securing the admiration and approval of our desired partner.

If the desired result is for a long term relationship, it would be valuable to address point of conflict and dissimilarities early on and this would require disclosure of the weaknesses which doesn’t usually happen in the early stages owing to the haze and excitement brought about by infatuation.  In getting to know someone, it’s not about grand sweeping gestures or romantic overtures, it’s the daily manner of relating and interacting which increases in significance as time passes.

It is these seemingly trivial ways of relating which are the fibers which weave together the relationship which only becomes apparently when we let down our guard enough to reveal our true manner or relating and being on a daily basis.  These crucial tidbits reveal themselves through the course of time and are best nurtured by friendship where there is no pressure or expectation from both parties to commit prematurely.

The process of getting know, while fraught with emotional vulnerabilities and turning points, is a necessary stage before even dating or committing because it is where we get to assess the other and their compatibility with us for the long haul, if it is what we desire.  With important decisions such as choosing a life partner, we cannot afford to be hasty or cavalier for our future happiness or misery lies in the decision which we make in selecting someone whom we would move forward with.

(c) Niconica 2013

 

It happens in one split second, and before you know it, you’re a goner.  You’ve fallen and you know that there is no backtracking–you’re helplessly in love and there is usually no fantastically profound reason for it except that you simply have.  It’s one of the most exhilarating and horrifying experiences one could ever experience and it involves a relinquishing of one’s grasp over one’s feelings and just letting it carry you away.

We are often cautioned and told to play mind games or hold our feelings back and it is with good reason that we are advised to do so.  Love can hurt.  Love can break us.  It is one of the purest risks that we would ever take and there might be no coming back from it.  So we try to avoid rejection and we try to keep ourselves safe, and we wonder why we feel that that there is something more to experience.

The moment that we affix high expectations on love and on the person whom we have fallen in love with, we have set ourselves up to fail miserably because it is more likely that ever that they may never meet our unrealistic and idealistic expectations of what kind of people they should be and how they should treat us.

We may also have strange ideas about what love is supposed to feel like that we wouldn’t recognise it even when we are deeply in and and by the time an inkling dawns, it might be too late.  We might have let pass us by because we are too scared to let go and allow uncertain and unknown experiences to take us with it.  We prefer to stay safe.  We prefer to stay in fear.

Whatever happens after, the moment we realize we have fallen in love, there is an imperceptible click in our hearts and everything just seems clearer and more meaningful and at the same time our emotions reach out to greater extremes than we care to experience when we are in a saner state of mind.  We can’t help it when we find ourselves in that moment.

Perhaps, it might end up badly.  Perhaps we might get hurt.  Perhaps it might not result in the ideal ending which we hope to achieve.  Perhaps we are just letting our fears run away with us and cheat us of experiencing the finer and more poignant experience life has to offer.  Perhaps we may let love in and experience the lessons and moments it has to offer us.  Perhaps it might be a risk which pays of.  Perhaps.

(c) Niconica 2013

 

Sometimes, finding a partner to share the rest of one’s life with may not be as self-determined as we thought it would be–it may be the luck of the draw, finding the person whose needs or wants match with our timing in a real world romantic version of musical chairs.  Does that person whom we end up with at the time with the music stops become more appealing and acceptable simply because we are ready?  Is it less Hollywood romance movie and more a matter of biology, practicality, and timing?

We would like to think that we would know whom we end up with but time uncovers the truth and we then discover whether we have found ourselves in ideal or favorable predicaments? Does it matter though by the time the decision becomes irreversible or at the very least, difficult to reverse.  It is hard to say going into a marriage or a permanent romantic partnership with someone and judging by the present set of circumstances what the longstanding effects would be and it becomes almost a matter of chance whom we end up with.

Whether or not we wish to acknowledge it, everything in life is ephemeral and unpredictable.  No matter how devious or calculating we may attempt to be, we would never really be able to outsmart life or our own karma.  We have little or no control over many facets of our life and it’s a sobering realization as we watch our peers, family, and friends get married that whom we end up marrying is the luck of the draw–of course, it goes without saying that we must do the best with what comes.

(c) Niconica 2013

The wide-eyed idealism which kept us in its thrall during our early twenties as we emerged from the rebellious teen years will be sorely tested and destroyed after at least three decades of existence when we realize that the notion that we can determine our fate is a limited one because there are many things which are beyond our control.  

It is said in Buddhism that the nature of human existence is such–plagued by constant change, uncertainty, and suffering.  We acknowledge the truth in this yet we do not fail to be surprised or shocked when people around us suddenly fall ill or die.  Another relative has been rushed to the ICU again and it is jarring because one minute, everything seems like it is going well, and the next minute, everything can be swept out from under us. 

The feeling of calm and peace is only there until, it is not.  Last year was punctuated by many upheavals, and just when I thought that perhaps this year might be different, here we go again.  It got me to thinking about how luck runs out and how it affects our lives.  Of course, luck is a cavalier way of putting it because luck is not accidental.

Even chaos theory perpetuates that there is some order in what appears to be utter chaos and this is the same way with good and bad luck which we perceive we experience.  Good fortune is not capriciously bestowed by a God or a pantheon of gods randomly, and the same goes for misfortune.  We are far enough into the age of science that we know that everything which happens is caused by other phenomenon.  Every single effect has a cause.  

This is the same way with good health, luck, and fortune.  These pleasant experiences are a result of good merit which we have acquired in this lifetime or perhaps previous lifetimes if we do so believe in reincarnation.  There is a time lapse between cause and effect at times so it is not always the case that doing a good deed immediately yields a positive result but we can be sure that any action which we undertake is not lost in the cosmos. 

When we observe that one’s luck is running out, it is simply because one is running low on the factors which cause good luck or health, which are merits accrued through good deeds and helping others; consequently, the unpleasant circumstances arise due to the negative seeds which have been planted in the past.  We know that seeds do not immediately sprout into plants or trees, and it takes certain causes and conditions, as well as time, so see the growth of the plant coming into fruition and it is the same way with ‘luck’ as we designate it.

When one’s luck appears to be running low or running out, it might be a wake up call to replenish the lucky currency which is good karma or merits which can be accumulated through helping others and alleviating others’ suffering.  This is a way to keep some control over circumstances in our lives even if the past cannot be altered and we might have to reap what we have sown, it need not be the case that what we reap should always be negative.  It is upon us to decide and make a choice now as to what our future might be–whether in this life, or the next.

(c) Niconica 2013 

 

It has been said that idle minds are the devil’s playground and it certainly applies in the realm of romance when we are suffering the pangs of unrequited love.  If we are mature enough to not stalk or prostrate before the object of one’s affections and beg for their love or attention, then we must know that keep ourselves occupied with something other than thoughts of the person whom we believe has ‘broken our hearts’ is the best way to deal with this.  It does not pay to go down the road of wishful thinking nor speculation as to why we have found ourselves in such a predicament.

The facts are clear when the person is not inclined to reciprocate our feelings–we need not delve into their inner thoughts not intentions because no good can come of it.  We must also avoid thinking that there is something that we can actually do to win their affections because once it becomes very clear to us that it is a lost cause–it often is a lost cause.  It can be hoped that we have lived in the world sufficiently long enough to harbour a realistic worldview which includes knowing that there are many things–in fact, most things–out of our control, and this just happens to be one of them.

As much as we would want things to turn out a certain way because we are convinced that they are our soul mates or that they are perfect for us, we must swallow the painful truth that they cannot be perfect for us because no one is perfect as well as the fact that they cannot be our soul mate if we don’t even warrant a strong or intense romantic response from their part.  True, soul mates can come in the form of friends, but that’s another topic altogether.  Back to the topic of dealing with unrequited love, we must strive to channel our frustration elsewhere and it would be good if we use the energy towards something which benefits the world in general such as volunteering for worthy causes, or raising funds for a non-profit organisation, or even, simply by donating time, money, or goods to charity.

There are many things which are out of our control.  We cannot make someone who doesn’t love us, love us… But instead of becoming a whirling dervish of gloom, we can instead choose to give happiness to others who need them even more instead of sulking and pining to the detriment of our own physical and mental health–as well as those who are around us who have to put up with our black moods.  Ideally, we must learn to accept the situation and let go of it but it might be too much to ask so perhaps keeping busy would be a better immediate antidote which might lead to eventually being able to let go.

(c) Niconica 2013

Perhaps it is because we are used to the constant motion around us–fast food, fast internet, fast love–that when everything suddenly falls quiet, we go into a tailspin and we wonder what is going on.  It incites anxiety and even panic.  It does happen though and more than once, and to more than just us, that communication with a certain romantic interest suddenly stops, and we wonder whether they have fallen into a black hole or have been eaten up by wolves or something.  As painful as it may be to hear it, chances are, they are completely fine and have all their limbs intact; it’s just that their opposable thumbs or any other finger is occupied with whatever is holding their attention instead of sending us a quick e-mail, a short SMS, or giving us a call as we might have wished.

They have not fallen into the black hole, but we have.  We have fallen into the void.  We find ourselves stuck and lost in a vacuum wondering what happened and what it is that has occurred to cause the ceasing of all communication and we wonder what we have done to cause it.  We then sink into a depressive reverie which we should eventually manage to extricate ourselves from, for our own good.  They might have a perfectly good reason for not contacting us that has nothing to do with us, or on the other hand, they might just not be inclined to continue further contact with us because we might have fallen into the background noise in their lives, or they might actually be avoiding us.

Short of confronting them about not being able to warrant their attention, or manipulating them, we must eventually come to terms with the fact that we cannot fore anyone to sincerely communicate with us.  Manipulation and guilt trips backfire on us because it takes too much trouble to sustain and even if we have the energy and the time to do so, we would know deep inside that whatever they are giving us is not out of their own volition and this will eventually consume us–if it doesn’t, it should. It is not pleasant to be in the chasm of not knowing what is going on and why we are not hearing from them, but we must grapple and eventually accept that this is out of our control, and what is in our control is our own lives, and our own actions.

It may not be easy to reconcile the painful sensation of being rejected, ignored, or overlooked but if we have at least three decades in us or more, chances are, we have survived worst than this communication blackout and we will just learn to call it a day and move forward.  We can tell ourselves that we have given our best effort to earnestly initiate a romantic connection with someone and it has not been reciprocated.  And this is all we could have done, because there is such a thing as free will and it is crucial to be able to respect and remember this fact.

(c) Niconica 2013

 

In this increasingly busy and complex world where constant movement and action is abound, being helpless is one of the worst circumstances to find ourselves in–and this applies most especially in the realm of romance.  We can only do as much because beyond a certain point, we would be stalker quality already–and this is not a designation we should find ourselves with or even come close to being.

We can keep on seeking a reaction from the person whom we fancy by reaching out through messaging or even phone calls, but there is a point where we must stop working so hard because it might be that the person is just not that interested in us and yet unable to rudely dismiss and reject us and they find themselves having to endure our bids for their attention.

We cannot force anyone to fancy us or to regard us in a mutually romantic manner–as much as we wish we could–short of a love spell, which is not worth the trouble it eventually causes. Yes, we must admit that this situation–when we fall for someone–puts us in a vulnerable position and we are wont to feel helpless in the throes of limerence or romantic affection for a person.

We might as well acknowledge the undesirability of finding ourselves in the embarrassing position of feeling that our love is unrequited–as well as the excruciating pain of feeling helpless. Yet, we must not do anything to force their hand; because it behooves us to respect ourselves in this manner.

Therefore, if they do so choose to come forward and respond to or initiate contact, we would then know that it is of their own volition, and not because we have trapped, guilted, or otherwise manipulated them into doing so.  If they don’t, then we must bear and grin the unfortunate situation because the truth is that most things are out of our control, and the sooner that we accept this painful fact, the sooner we can move on with our lives.

(c) Niconica 2013