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Romantic Relationships: A Parable

Jul 07, 2009

It seems that as a person progress to and through high school, academic performances becomes sort of life’s backdrop and social networking become more and more of a priority. This is especially the case as we develop more mature and complexes relationships with the people surrounding us. For that very reason, nothing could be more confusing and difficult for an individual than searching for love and, as almost always what tends to happen, losing the object of your affection’s love.
Relationships, particularly romantic ones, are a strange thing. For example…I didn’t like my last boyfriend. It is a statement hardly believable but nonetheless an honest to god truth. But that’s a story for another day. In contrast to the prior statement, I had another boyfriend whom I liked far too much, and far too unhealthily; a perfect example of havoc wreaked by idealism, lack of communication and love solely surviving on physical attraction.
My very first boyfriend’s name was Dan. He was tall, handsome and stoic. I hadn’t been aware of my feeling for him, yet as most extroverted, love-struck girls, I took great delight in approaching him constantly- paying no mind to what other people thought as I pulled my chair next to him in class- all smiles and giggles, unbeknownst to myself that I was working my girlish charms for the very first time in my life. It wasn’t long before, with the help of a few friends, that he asked me to be his official girlfriend. Much to my pleasure and against my better judgment- I said ‘yes.
There it was. Mistake number one: going against the gut feeling. I remember the shadow of dread the moment I said ‘yes,’ like it clenched my insides tugging and twisting, saying, “No. No. You don’t even know him.” But I didn’t listen, and the confusion in me was indescribable from then on and forward, never giving me a moment’s rest. It seemed that everything I did was just so I can escape and be relieved of that ominous feeling- the knowing that things were going to end when it had all just begun- a feeling which could have been avoided if I’d just slowed down enough to get to know him, discovering— or perhaps I had already known and chose to ignore it—the fact that we never really started out as friends, and had never really been able to communicate with each other.
Mistake number two: panicking. I talked to all of my friends about that ‘feeling’ issue. Yet even after words of wisdom imparted to me, none of it really could give me lasting peace. Because of that, I took matters in my own hands and began to attach myself more and more to Dan, depending and feeding on that feeling of ‘togetherness’ alone. I wanted to close that gap by always keeping him near, and when he missed a beat, and I didn’t feel ‘in-synch’ with him- the result was catastrophic. Suddenly over IMs I would grow restless when he took too long to respond (this is due to his video games,) when he accidentally overslept and came to my house at nine in the morning instead of the traditional seven am I was moody- and when he was quiet because he was thinking of something, I always wanted to know what was wrong as if something always had to be wrong not ever considering if he wanted to share whether there was something to share or not.
Mistake number three: unknowingly, right from the start I had bought into the media hype that a perfect relationship always involved the man doing whatever it was their girlfriend wanted. So I tested him, little by little, to see if he ‘really’ loved me. An example of this is when I wanted to watch The Notebook, and when he refused to, I gave him the silent treatment- feeling sorry for myself that I had such an uncaring boyfriend. I was unaware that by doing this I had set myself down the road of endless disappointments and heartaches.
Now all this didn’t mean I was a bad girlfriend (though I was convinced I was at the time.) I was just inexperienced and overzealous about the idea of love. Near the end, I came to find out that we shared the blame. The kind of person he showed me in the beginning whom I fell in love with turned to be very different from the real him. Our social groups, ethics and mindsets were a complete universe apart. I denied it most of the time, but no real conversation ever went on between us, what he found funny I found cheap and vulgar and I knew that he was losing interest in me too- and all the magic that we found in our hugs, kisses and cuddles each began to fade, one after another . So despite the initial intensity of our physical attraction feeding the bonfire, on that kind of wood alone, what might have been true love, could never have survived.
I broke it of. But I confess I did it more as a ‘final’ test. I was deeply jealous of a girl putting all her moves on him, and Dan wasn’t able to do anything about it- I wasn’t sure if he wanted to. I couldn’t take crying myself to sleep every night for another week, especially when school was just beginning and with everything piling up I finally sighed during lunch time, “Let’s just call it off.” To be honest, I wanted him to look forlornly and say,
“No baby, no. I love you, I’ll be better” etc.
But the best laid plans. Of course he failed the test. It’s not like the movies where a boy willingly gives a girl his heart and throws his pride away. We come to find out that in reality, no boy who seeks the path to being recognized as a man would grovel and let her see a weak side of him. Instead he quietly says ‘ok’ and the girl sees his sad face, her heart breaks again, the end of lunch bell signals and they both part ways.
Most of us would think that’s the end. But it really wasn’t. For a few more weeks after that, we still acted like boyfriend and girlfriend. And once after school he even kissed me, and what I had thought it had meant hope- was actually just an official farewell from him (that I would only recognize during an English class lecture months later). Soon we didn’t walk together anymore. There were to be no more hugs, and though we shared almost all our classes together- we wouldn’t ever exchange words either. I was waiting and waiting yet he made no effort to speak to me. The promises he vowed to keep after we broke up such as looking for a puppy for me, taking me to the movies, handing out Halloween treats to children and going to school dances together- when I realized he wasn’t ever going to keep any of it- also contributed to my resentment that turned to sorrow and further more served to push us farther apart. I wanted to be friends with him, yet the kind of friendship I was probably aiming for was a special kind- one that really only happens once in a blue moon. Where he would be my best friend and I would be his- exes that in the end secretly loves each other but can never be (it made quite a good tragedy in my head.)
My pride was hurt. My self-esteem was in an all time low and I felt like I had nothing, because everything I had I made it to revolve around him. It’s a common thing for girls to think that it’s their fault and often we place the blame on ourselves, but we learn that it’s not. It’s a relationship and we can’t really help any of it, try as we might. Though I detailed only the monstrosity I brought on the relationship- I could name equally as many things that I did good and probably dedicate a whole new blog just talking about what he did wrong and easily sway opinions.
Probably the biggest favor I ever did to him was severing ties altogether, resisting the urge to ask him meaningless questions just to hear his voice, or asking him for homework so I can catch a glimpse of his face. It was a favor to me too- by giving up and settling with the idea that this story doesn’t end quite happily, and though there are slight variations, the ending almost always fall in one of the two: For some people, letting go hurts too much and so they keep little keepsakes that remind them of their loved ones, hiding the pain (that sometimes people describes as pain that transcends all) as their object of affection find other loves and priorities disconnected from them. But for others, no matter how much deep down inside we’d like to reach out to the person we once were closest to, especially when he or she is just sitting right next to you, you find that leaving things broken could be the best course to healing.


hakan's picture

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