People often ask me why I‘ve never been in a relationship. Why I’ve never committed myself into a lasting romantic engagement. Why I’ve never had a “boyfriend”. Let me attempt to encompass in this short narrative the answer I’ve waited 24 years to tell. In a lot of ways, I don’t necessarily think that the answer is complete just yet, but let me share with you what I have so far. Before anything else, let me hazard a disclaimer. My thoughts are mine, share in them as you wish; but if you choose otherwise, no offense will be taken. And vice versa.
A wise person told me once that a person could grow a week in a year or a year in a week. It was always awkward for me being a kid. I always felt that I was older than I really was. I got a long with the older kids; I listened to older music and generally felt I was older than my “body”. Oftentimes I’d wish that I’d sleep at night and then wake up an adult. Kids from broken homes can probably relate. It’s that pressure to “catch up” or to “deal” and adapt to things that make us grow up faster. Meaning to say, that even if I had gone through the normal “kid” stuff like XMEN, Batman, Voltron and The Visionaries, I still felt out of place. Its strange really, because while I enjoyed these “kid” things as a kid, I was conscious that they were for “kids”. Did I loose you yet? I thought so. Basically, I grew up all too fast and was exposed to a lot of things at too early a time in my life…too early. It’s a well-known fact that people reach a point in their lives where they are “awakened” to reality; it’s just a matter of when. Now some would easily translate this to the time they found out that Santa Clause was fake or that the Tooth Fairy was actually mom. Mine was when I found out that not all moms and dads stayed together.
My turning point was when I saw that Love didn’t work out the way the books or the movies said it would. The prince didn’t always rescue the princess, and sometimes the evil witch did win. I realized that Love was actually just a word that people use, it wasn’t magical, it wasn’t special, it was just a word. I realized that some people didn’t even say it all that often. I realized that some people said it a little too often. Love had become a Hallmark card, a popcorn movie, a story and a song. Love was reduced to a commodity. But as the theory says: “for every action, there exists an equal and opposite reaction.” Instead of losing hope in the whole Love thing, I figured that Love must’ve had an unadulterated version of it before we people screwed things up. Love isn’t just Romeo and Juliet, Tom and Katie, Brad and Angelina, Pgie and Regine; I realized that if my picture was limited to Shakespeare, Neruda or even Wong Kar Wai, much less to the most recent love team, then my doubting “love” would turn out true. I didn’t want that to happen. As much as I wanted my doubts about love to be true, I knew in my heart that there was much more to the word than the feelings you get when he looked back. Love was more than the text messages of sweet nothings. Love was more than holding hands or even kissing. Love was more than sex. Love was more than a trial and error effort to find a “match”. I knew that there was more to Love, but still I doubted. I was jaded by the experience of this so-called Love falling short. But I was out to prove my cynicism wrong.
So I made I vow to myself not to drop the L word unless I lived up to its original definition. Reading a lot of things, you more or less get a picture of what different people say about love. I read a lot, but no poet, novelist or even blogger pictured love clearer than this author: “No greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for a friend”. I was never one to spoonfeed so you’ll have to look for the author up yourself. Call me unreal or even preachy…but I couldn’t find a more perfect definition or picture of what Love really is. Then we go to my story. I realized that being in a relationship is no joke. Dealing with your own life, soul and heart is hard enough, bringing another heart into the picture is almost dangerous. Fun, but dangerous. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m all for taking risks, trying adventures and even making mistakes; but I’d want to do that on my own first before I bring another person into the picture. I’ve had my own slew of “things” (not flings), that always almost ended up in a relationship, but as I look back I’m glad it didn’t. Why? Because looking back, my motivation wasn’t Love, it was loins. I wasn’t out to love someone, I was out to satisfy myself. To fill my need. Like a parasite that clings on a nother to feed its own cravings. That wasn’t love, that was just selfish. I could’ve easily fallen into that trap for the sole reason that it was that…easy. Like a game to be played. Except, I almost didn’t realize that this “game” was played with hearts not tokens, with emotions, not toys. Love was, is and will never be a game.
The reason for not being in a relationship is my choice, because I feel that the only time I can actually be in one is when I’m ready to say “I love you”. The only time I’ll be ready is when I’m willing to put my life on the line. The only time I’ll put my life on the line, is when I know that he’s the one for sure. The easiest thing to do nowadays is to commit to something half-heartedly, the hardest thing to do is to withdraw when you realized that it was a mistake. I’m a big fan of Love and Relationships, in fact, I talk about it a lot (too much actually) with my friends, but at the same time I take it seriously. Heart issues are serious issues. If I’m not ready to be in a serious relationship, then why be in one at all? To get the benefits but not work for it? To eat an expensive steak dinner and not pay for it? To get a degree but not study for it? To take the easy way out? I’m not that kind of man. When I love someone, its full throttle. It may take time, and a lot of effort, but I’m willing to take THAT risk. I’d want to be the man that my man deserves; ready to commit, ready to fight and ready to die for him.
Until I’m at that point, I must focus on the fine tuning. When you love someone you want to offer him the best that you have, it may not be perfect, but it’s the best that you have. That’s what I’m working on now. I wouldn’t want to offer him anything half baked. There’s a lot of room to grow, in fact the growing never stops, it wasn’t until now, that I felt grown enough to even begin looking. But recent events have accelerated certain courses. I can’t fully say that I’m ready to drop the L word just yet, but I know that I can begin my real quest. A search that may or may not lead me to “Him” but it’s a search. Dating someone will NOT tell you if you’re ready to Love that person, it will just open up a possibility…but the bottom line is you guard your heart.