Love is so often unrequited, unfulfilled, or even unequal. It’s pain and agony and slowly dying while its captives are looking for it in other places. It hurts and tears up the parts of our soul we hold most dear, and yet we consume it like alcoholics drunk off the romantic ideology we’ve been spoon-fed since infancy. Happily ever after’s and long rides off into the sunset are what we have come to expect. We fantasize about billionaires and princes choosing us and only us. Or insta love with over protective vampires and possessive werewolves. I’m as guilty as the rest. I fill my days plotting and romanticizing situations in my mind, and I even feed the beast by writing some of them down. There is always a thread of a story running through my mind even if it’s just twisting a situation I’ve just experience. The what if’s and what could be’s a constant.
Even after being destroyed by romance. we still crave it. Seeking it out, and going to extreme lengths looking for it in all the wrong places. The exhilaration of those first butterflies and the instant arousal someone could cause with a single look. We all know the look. Even ripe from a fresh shattering we put ourselves back out there looking for a new fix, junkies needing the next hit. We let this emotion ravage us, destroying our minds and with it our youth with emotional scars from those who don’t value us. Who hasn’t been deceived by someone with nefarious intentions?
But maybe part of it is our own faults. What we’ve made this game of love into. Why do we wait so long before we text someone back? Don’t be too interested, but don’t be overly aloof either. Ride a fine line of indifference to draw your prey in. Keep the ‘crazy’ inside until you’ve hooked them. Socially constructed rules about how to do this dance, ruining those first moments, and building a foundation of lies. Why can’t humans be genuine anymore? Are our feelings so distorted we can’t even function in honest relationships? It’s acceptable to stalk someone’s social media sixty-seven times a day to see what they’re doing, but sending them a text before they’ve texted back is social faux pas.
There is a part of me that wants to take all those who propagated these rules out back and shoot them, but since I don’t look good in orange, maybe a different solution is going to have to be reached. Can we quarantine them to only deal with each other while those of us who are hopeless romantics find each other? Those of us who want to have open and honest conversations, who don’t want to wait the acceptable amount of time to text back, or receive a text back in a timely manner, because hot people never text back quickly. This is a thing I assure you.
Maybe there are so many of us obsessed with love how it’s told in romance, because it’s more like real life than real life has become. And I’m not talking about creepy stalking vampires. I’m talking about the things in the back of your mind you wish would come to life from the books you read. The rules are different in books. There are declarations of love, grand gestures, soul mates, and insta love, a favorite of mine. Because I can’t be the only one who’s looked into someone’s eyes for the first time and knew I’d spend a good long time with that person stuck in my head and possibly my heart.
Obviously, if I could enact great change there are a number of things I’d do first, but if this reaches you, maybe when you stop yourself from sending that message, or when the person you want to be with enters your mind send the message. Reach out. Show it. And if more of us took life by the balls so to speak, real life would start to resemble the romance we crave so adamantly.
And I thought I loved you but it’s just how you looked in the light.
You can find J.R. Gray’s writing here and more blog post he’s written here.