I write this because in 31 years of my life, at every given point in my life, I have mistaken all of these things for love and/or romance. And I think, because these are the kinds of relationships and scenarios we see glamorised (no one wants to watch a movie about a happy couple just being happy in the long-term and not having terrible obstacles to overcome), it’s important to remind ourselves that these are mere mind tricks when compared to the real thing.
Getting isolated moments of affection or attention from someone who is otherwise very distant and, because of that, makes you hang on every move they make to see if it’s going to be one that ruins or completely makes your day. Yes, don’t even get me started on why I think this could be the sweep me off my feet kinda love!
Having really incredible sex with someone who proceeds to turn off like a light switch once the physical part of it is over. (This is often followed by an unceremonious cuddling and a “this was fun” as they extricate themselves from the cuddle attempt.) Oh how many glorious morning are spent, reliving this moment when they would move the strands of hair from my face and say ‘Good morning Sunshine, I love you… marry me’! Yeah… NO!
Being interested in an excessive amount of the same obscure music stuff. Although, if this person happens to be Joseph Gordon-Levitt circa 500 Days Of Summer, feel free to mistake that for a real connection. But then how many times would you run into a Joseph Gordon-Levitt in an office setup?
Thinking about someone constantly, with very little interaction in real life, so that most of your thoughts and desires about them are from what you imagine them to be in your head. Read: Javier Bardem. I know he is Spanish and all… But love knows no language! Comprendes?
Finally meeting someone who fits the description of “ideal partner” you have held onto, even if they are only good on paper and you don’t really feel a connection with them. He is Mr good education, classy family, well to do for himself and 7 generations, drives, rides, runs, works out, polite, friendly, …. . ….. .. …… …. …. … … … … And Pooff! Magic? Where are you?
Having some kind of shared experience or past that enables the two of you to feel close without ever forming a bond as a couple. Love? Yes… took the ‘in good times or bad, in sickness and in health, in rich or poor’ too seriously too soon?
Spending so much time together that you start to see each other as the “default” option and become incredibly comfortable with one another without really feeling any romantic emotion towards them. (This often results in the dreaded “dating-for-convenience” syndrome” that plagues many a hometown.) Been here… Done that… Bored of that… too many of that! Ugh!
Meeting someone again after a long separation in the kind of circumstances that lead the more reptilian part of your brain to believe that it’s “fate,” “destiny” or “meant to be.” Oh my god! You’ve circled the surface of Earth and now you are back to save the damsel? Wow.. welcome… you are here now! Yeah, I conveniently love you!
Being treated like shit by someone who has mastered the art of tearing you down and building you back up again, so you come to associate them with the “repair and soothe” feelings they provide without ever realizing that they are the ones making you feel like crap in the first place. Oh I’ve been here! I was the mayor of here!
Finally getting attention from someone you perceive to be much more attractive, popular, or worthy than you. Feeling like you are honored just by getting a bit of their time, and not really caring how reciprocated the emotions are. Oooooo you look so shiny and beautiful from a distance… and that’s exactly where I will always belong… Far away from you!
Being with someone for so long that you assume you must still be in love with them, even if it’s been a really long time since you’ve felt anything resembling connection or desire towards them. (I sometimes still think I might be this one!)
Staying in said relationship more out of loyalty, comfort, and not being a quitter than anything else. I hate break ups! I don’t want to be the first one who starts the drama!
Lusting after someone you are hot for, but who is completely unavailable. Now everyone has been here! Haven’t we?
The magic of life is the tragedy of life! We find meaning and value in that which is denied to us: complete communication with others, love that wholly overcomes loneliness, happiness, complete self-knowledge. We live to struggle, to attempt to achieve the unachievable.
Just like how I am sitting here even though the Earth is falling through the night, I ponder on how the love I mentioned above does die. It stays in here, but the memory fades. The intensity slows the shit down. The alarmingly inaccessibility just changes how consciously we would stop loving him.
People will screw you over. They will screw you hard. But, you know what? It’s okay. Think about when you were five and someone stole your toy or did something awful to you. Can’t recall a moment like this? Exactly. Life goes on.
Go on fall in love, or don’t. Love temporarily or be permanently lustful. Whatever you do. Just be happy!