I once read a quote. It was by Elisabeth Rohm which runs thus:
For the longest time, I have been afraid of being lied to when it comes to romance. And no, it’s not because of any of my exes have left unforgettable scars upon my heart blah blah blah.
It’s because of myself. I was the liar. I was the disillusioned one, whispering sweet nothings into my partner’s ears while harbouring a small fire of hatred inside. The correct path would have been to let that fire out, to talk about it, to resolve, to let it burn, or to ask for a break up, but no. I was disillusioned by romantic idealisms. I was chained to expectations of the perfect romance. I played my part perfectly, but when my partner fell short, I hated them for doing so. It’s all the worst when you are drunk on romanticism because in theory, you should accept all of your partner’s flaws even if it means they are not romantic enough. You would have to bear it and grind it.
I played my part, and after that whole relationship ended, I was scared. I was scared in case someone who is drunk on the idea of love, just as I was, stumbled upon me, whispering sweet nothings into my ears, and made me fall in love? What if they told me they loved me, but secretly holding a burning grudge inside which cannot be let out for fear of breaking the romantic spell?
That thought is what makes my knees jerk, my lungs halt whenever I am about to jump of the proverbial love cliff. What if I fall for an innocent liar who doesn’t even know they are lying?
That, my friend, is the puzzle that has been plaguing me for the past two years- the difference between being in love with the person and being in love with the idea of falling in love. It’s a blurry, blurry line when emotions are aroused, and involved. How can you tell? How can you discern your own feelings especially when you are being courted?
Say, someone is doing nice things to you that make your stomach goes haywire, making your body tremble, your mind swoons, but you’re still held back because you’re not very sure if they are doing it because they are drunk on love, or on you. You, yourself, is not sure if whether you are reacting positively to the attention, or to the person.
And after years of puzzling, I think I’ve come to an answer. Not a definitive one, but more like a hypothesis, and I’m going to test it out, because not being able to plunge fully into the complex water of loving emotions is a great miss out of life.
My hypothesis is this. If you are not sure whether you are into someone because of their attention for you, or because you really do like them as a person, you should just ask yourself honestly this, “Would you fight to get a date/hang out with them if they were not lavishing you with all those attention, and loving gestures? If they were to treat you like a normal friend, without so much as a shy smile towards you every time they see you, would you still like them? If they did not enlarge your ego by pleading, messaging you and showering you with attention, would you still want to hang out with them? Would you still want the best for them if they rejected you?”
I’ve done my asking, and answering, and I think I may be on to something worth jumping into.