‘It’s a funny world out there!’- I thought to myself while sipping on my passion fruit ice tea at my favourite café. The couple sitting across from my table seemed unusually imbalanced – romantically I mean. The guy seemed like he was in love with the miss who constantly kept asking him about the next expensive gift he’d buy her or the next restaurant where they should be going on their next date. I could literally feel the guy’s pain and disappointment as he tried to make some genuine conversations, only to be shut down. I wondered why he was with her. I wondered what made him stick around. She wasn’t the prettiest of girls to be honest, and her dressing sense pretty much sucked (who wears full- flared calf length skirts to cafes?). To add to that, she seemed barely interested in him or what he had to say.
Thinking of them brought me back to my own self. What was I doing? I’ve been forever hung over this one guy who probably doesn’t even think of me like once a month. But in my mind, he’s this perfect guy who I’m convinced is ‘the one’. How many perfectly nice, decent guys have I passed on over the past few months because of this guy who can’t find a fuck to spare, you ask? Let’s say it’s a number I can’t count on my fingers.
Discussing the same subject with my friend Alice the other day, I realized she was in a similar situation too. She too was waiting on a guy, as she thought things were going in a good direction- but it was probably all in her head. He apparently responded to her texts in monosyllables and almost always turned down Alice’s attempts at hanging out. And on the other end, Alice had a long queue of men, waiting to hang out with her, asking her out, vying for her attention and showing immense interest in her. But who was Alice interested in? The guy who couldn’t respond to her texts in complete sentences.
Why does this happen to the best of us? Why do we set our hearts on this one person out there, irrespective of what they feel for us? Why do we choose to live in this self- created fantasy land instead of the real world where love and relationships are a two way street? Why does unrequited love exist at all? Has practicality died? Perhaps it has.
Maybe the answer is that we don't wanna walk the two way street, we don't wanna be in the real world because the fantasy one is safer. It is yours and only yours, nobody can take it away from you. This brings up to mind the theme of Karan Johar's latest film, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, where incomplete love is complete in itself. In one of the dialogues of the film it said that this love is not divided between two people so only one person owns it, and that's what makes it beautiful. Hopelessly romantic? Perhaps. But if love is not that of the person, and hence not of one's interactions with that person, but that of the beauty as Plato famously puts it in his Symposium, then surely there is more beauty to be found in the fantasy land than in practical approach to love that is so much needed in the cold reality of today's world.
Reminds me of another friend, who fell for this girl, who would make him run errands all day, but would laugh it off if he asked her out on a date. Horrible- if I think of it. What must the guy be going through?
The truth is, when we like someone, or we have a crush on them, or fall for them- we can’t differentiate between what’s right and what’s wrong. And we somehow happen to celebrate the smallest things or gestures associated to the object of our affection. When my supposed Mr. Right texts me, it makes my day! Hell it makes my week! I lose the ability to decipher and understand that he just texted me, and it’s not a big deal. 10 other guys text me on an everyday basis.
But is it sane? Is it the right thing to do? Are me, Alice and the guy at the Café on the right path? I’m afraid the answer is No. It might seem like it’s fancy and very movie-ish to live in this fantasy land where you and your crush come together one day and sing love songs and dance around trees; but the truth is far from it. Because it holds us from moving on, from finding someone better, someone we deserve and someone who deserves us. It also hinders our personal growth.
Having said that, facts and figures aside, love is not a game of rights and wrongs. It’s above truth and lies and what lies in between. It’s above monosyllable texting and way above running errands for someone we like. So if you know, it’s love, don’t give up. Because as Chuck Bass once said- “you don’t give up in the face of true love, even if the object of your affection is begging you to!”
And of course, The heart wants what it wants. And my heart wants to wait till Mr. Right comes around.