Won’t Believe in Modern Love

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February 15, 2014 by NowhereButPop

by Andrew Doscas

As with most things in life, love is something that I can’t help but be of two minds about.  On the one hand, I can be very idealistic and naïve, but on the other I can be overly cynical and skeptical of it.  This comes from the break in my life experiences between what I want, and what I’ve witnessed.  I’ve never been in love, nor have I been in a relationship; the closest I’ve come to either, I would say, is really liking one girl…a lot, and being in a pseudo-relationship that should have been more serious than it was with another girl.  So, in my understanding of it, relationships are incredibly fragile and fickle things.

Like many in my generation, I don’t even think I know how to be in a relationship.  In our parents’ generation a guy would ask a girl out and if they went out a few times, they’d be considered a couple.  Now, there seem to be so many derivative alternatives.  Two people can be “together”, “hooking up”, “with each other”, or my personal favorite, “We go out and then she lets me have sex with her” without actually going steady.  This comes from the fact that it is now, more than at any other point in history, that we are allowed to be as unsure of ourselves as we want to be.  This gratuity has made us immature though because it allows us to try things out just because the opportunity presents itself.  When coupled with feelings of emotions such as love or attraction, feelings that we tend to keep rather guarded, it leads people into relationships for the wrong reasons.  It’s a mix of mild attraction and the sentiment of “Well, they’re there…so why not”.

At this point in my life, I don’t think I could be in a relationship, and I would say the reason for this is that I’m far too much of an individual to be dedicated to someone else.  It’s an incredibly immature, selfish, and arrogant thing to say, I know; I also know that when I meet the next girl that’ll make my jaw drop, all of those sentiments will go out the window.  But, as Steve has said before, “You have to be content before you can be happy”, meaning that before you go into a relationship, you have to first be happy and comfortable with yourself.  All too often people get into relationships with the wrong person because they see that relationship as being a means to an end, that by being in a relationship they’ll be in love.  But in reality, shouldn’t the opposite be true?

This goes back to my point of being too much of an individual to be in a relationship though, as this version of Andrew Doscas still has to work on his own flaws and hone himself before he can both give himself completely to someone else, and fully accept someone in return.  I’m too focused inwards, and as a result am not yet ready to expand outward into a committed relationship.  In the past, I thought I was and for those girls I made that incorrect assumption with, they are the only two girls who I would acknowledge as having the right to slap me across the face.

At this point in time, I think the only kind of girl I could be with would be one who knew that she shouldn’t be in a relationship either…which is a paradox then, as either no relationship would abound, or we’d try and it’d be a Frankenstein’s monster that would eventually combust.  In college there was one girl I met like this, and even though I wanted to be with her, and even though she like me (?), nothing would have worked out because we both weren’t ready to be in a relationship.  I still can’t help but think that fate fell short that time however…

Despite all the pitfalls of relationships and the obvious fact that the majority of relationships we’ll embark on will inevitably fail, it’s something that we still want to be a part of.  There’s such an unparalleled rush that comes with sharing yourself and your life without someone to whom you are attracted and care for.  You want to know everything there is to know about this person, and you want to make them feel as great as they make you feel.  When you see them upset it breaks your heart and when you fuck up it’s the worst feeling in the world.  These are all feelings that we’ve all had, but I can’t help but try to intellectualize these feelings.  At what point do you actually love the other person?  What happens if that feeling goes away?  How do you know that they love you too?  The answer to these questions are intangible, and that drives me absolutely crazy.  Because I simply can’t trust that there is an answer I have to play the part of paranoid skeptic.

Relationships are tempestuous because they’re predicated upon the most volatile and spastic of emotions.  That’s why most relationships are at their most fragile in the formative stages.  You’re still trying to get used to the other person and trying to figure them out which creates a sense of caution that tempers whatever fires may burn within us for that our person.  There’s excitement, but there’s restraint because obviously, we don’t want to go all in too soon.  It’s just strange though that being “exclusive” is considered all in now.  If it weren’t, we wouldn’t be arguing semantics by using empty synonyms such as “together” or “just hooking up”.

What winds up happening is that we mislabel these trysts because we know not what to make of them.  If we’re just hooking up with someone, we’re going to wind up hanging out with them, and if those hangouts occur in public or outside of sleeping together it becomes dating even if both parties are only looking to get their rocks off.  It’s come to the point that we have so many options when it comes to dating and how we label it, that we no longer know what to make of it.  In an attempt to simultaneously protect and assert our uncertainty, we’ve altered how we approach dating and relationships to suit this need.  As a result though, it’s made an already sensitive protocol even more fickle and fragile.

No relationship comes with a guidebook, and even if they did no one would read it.  We want to discover these things for ourselves.  Maybe things have always been so complicated and I’m only just realizing it, but what my ponderings essentially boil down to is “Why keep sleeping with someone and then be surprised when they want to spend more time with you”.  All these pseudo-relationships have put us in a place where we’re even more frightened of the real thing.  We want to feel the real sensation of being in love, so we settle for someone who’s just there, but what we ignore is the reality that it only serves to make us a little more jaded when things don’t work out with that person.  I can’t tell if this is us just acting like a bunch of stupid kids, or if we’re being to self-serious with our sense of capricious uncertainty, but whatever it is, it certainly gives a new definition to modern love.

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