The difficulty of believing in the ideal of love, after having been scorned by it.
The torment which I have experienced, in the wake of breaking up with someone whom I loved deeply, will not be lost on anyone who has followed this blog. I carry the pain with me, as deeply as I used to carry that love.
Pain and regret are ugly burdens to carry. There is little to be gained by dwelling on them, yet it is such an easy trap to fall into. Worse, that grief can cause one to be resentful of ideals that they used to carry. In particular, the experiences which led to my pain and resentment had, at a point, almost totally embittered me against the concepts of love and romance. This soured perception was only exacerbated by sexual frustration, and sexual as well as romantic, inexperience. In the death throes of the increasingly caustic long term relationship, I had been made to feel like some sort of pervert for wanting to be intimate more than… twice, a month. I carried that ugly self-loathing with me for a long while.
Not only was my sense of self-worth eroded, both physically and emotionally, but I, for a time, found that I couldn’t stand thinking about the concepts of love, romance, soulmates, and everything that goes with it. It has taken almost two years to come to the point where I am now, where I am allowing myself to even dare think about striving toward my ideal situation.
What is that ideal situation, exactly? Well, though I am not a religious person, and do not subscribe to the notion that sex and love outside of marriage is some form of sin, I still prefer the path of monogamy and long-term commitment. I have no issue with those who prefer other paths, as long as they are open about it. But my brief forays into such things have only found me longing for the kind of simple, perhaps “old-fashioned” romantic ideal that I had spent years striving for, and for what now seems like a brief period of time, actually had. I’ve mentioned something to that effect before, but I find it relevant to bring up again.
I spent many years as a teenager and as an early twenty-something just waiting for the day when I could experience the kind of complimentary, ideal yin-and-yang, monogamous match, or in simpler terms, my soulmate. I used to, and I guess still do to an extent, latch onto ladies in my favorite media as my “ideal” mates, that is, if a girl like “this” came along, I’d be all about it. I was most strongly drawn to Rinoa from Final Fantasy VIII, whose sweet, outgoing personality provided a great compliment and contrast to that game’s stoic, introverted protagonist, Squall, who is a guy very much like myself. So much like me, in fact, that the similarities, especially to me as a teenager, are staggering.
The gist of what I am trying to say, is that I have finally returned to a point where I’ve allowed myself to be, at least to an extent, hopeful that my “dream woman” is out there somewhere, and that “true love” can still exist in the way which I have spent most of my life only fantasizing about. Even with the bitterness that I have been carrying around, there still exists within me, a hopeless romantic. Maybe someday I can nurture that part of my personality, a part of me which seems to be permanently hard-wired.
I still hold out hope for romance… barely. But by a thread is better than not at all.