On Love

January 19, 2009
I never thought I would be able to care for someone outside of myself.

It goes by many names; a blessing to most, and a curse to the broken heart. To others, it could mean moving forward. For the rest, it could mean looking back. A lot of us have gone through love. In whatever shape or form: there is no denying that love is the reason for our current person; our present being.

Although subject to the other kinds of love, I have unconsciously developed a fixation on its romantic side as I fall victim to the typical eros taking over the lives of young adults these days. Chic flicks and teen novels have exploited the sensation- but it is my thirst for it that has sent me into this chronic ‘high.’ I was taught that love is “the willingness of a person to extend one’s self for the other person’s growth.” It took me one summer and a broken heart to realize how true this statement is.

Some time ago, I had been fortunate enough to be able to share my world with someone else. At that time, I had no expectations, no precautions whatsoever. I never had any ‘guidelines’ to tell me what it was that I was feeling, what I should be feeling, what choices I was about to make, and what choices I was supposed to take.

It didn’t happen in an instant; but rather it was a gradual and continuous process of endless and repeated conversations. The eagerness we had reflected our genuine interest for each other. It was the only time where anything negative was not part of my life and where happiness and sorrow never intersected. Pain and pleasure were never in equilibrium. I didn’t want to move, I didn’t want to age, I didn’t want anything else- there was only me and her in our own personal world. Where infatuation and selflessness collide- that is where we remained. We were a boy and a girl who woke up one day, suddenly realizing our deep fondness for each other.

Every time I saw her was like falling in love all over again. There was never any need for any physical intimacy- just the sight of her would suffice. Our relationship was one that exceeded anything sexual like those of pointless flings fuelled by lust. Public displays of affection do not make a relationship real. Being real needs no actions to go along with it. Being real doesn’t care about expectations. Being real transcends expectations. It is love that makes real things real. It didn’t take long for the relationship to eventually break, but it left me with much to reflect on and wisdom to gain.

I found out that being with someone always provokes an “instinct” to protect one’s other half from anything that could bring them discomfort. Anything. Everything I could think of was how to make things easier for her. She demanded little and it felt like abuse every time when she actually deserves more. The ‘I’ never existed, for it was always the ‘us’ that went first. Selflessness wasn’t something I was used to, but she made it so easy. I belonged to her, and she belonged to me. I guess love does make you do things you wouldn’t normally do.

In my own words, love is like a stubborn sickness: it keeps us conscious, but it alters our every thought, our every decision, and our every action. We forget how we used to feel before it got to us. We can’t get rid of the thought when it will all be over soon, even when it has just started. We think to ourselves: “how could it possibly have grown on me without me noticing it?” And when we finally heal, we don’t realize it’s missing; until we get up.

Although sacrifice and duration do not justify a relationship, it’s still enough reason to think twice. I know it because I have seen it firsthand. Some of us don’t see it, some of us do. Almost every time we go out, we hear couples grumbling about how they are still ‘working out their differences.’ Which brings me to ask: how many fights do you need to resolve just to know that it's about time you trusted each other? Sometimes it's you who's been short-changed. But hey, all for love, right? You just can’t let it all go.

Most of the time, love is all you need. But at other times, it's just not enough. In the end, it is only ourselves who can determine what we're really holding in our hands; and if it really is time to move forward- or hang on for dear life.

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