I have always stopped myself from love.
Call me a hopeless romantic, but I have always chased down a perfect love that will never end. Because I fear the confrontation, I fear the breakup. I fear I will lose a friendship with someone who would otherwise safely remain as close friends. I fear the scene that we awkwardly nod for greetings and quickly walk away. I fear the prospect that we can never smile with each other. And it is so daunting I have always stopped myself from love. In the past many years.
I myself do not believe in love at first sight. I believe love must be gradually developed and defined through time, through understanding and mutual trust. And love is entirely different from lust and infatuation. So, I have spent so much time establishing our friendship, and that happens before I realize I have had feelings for you. And when I am at the verge of confession, at the moment when I win it all or lose it all, I tell myself everything should stay the status quo. Thus I halt. Thus I stop. Thus I let myself hang by that verge in vain. Thus I am scared.
I am so scared I cannot look past the statistically probable endings and look forward to the happy moments meanwhile. Though I know the happy moments meanwhile will be worth all the risks, the drama, the exhilaration, the anticipation, the disappointment, and the possible happily-ever-after. And all that literature comes to me through media and through the stories of my friends. I myself have never experienced that.
Unfortunately as it is, I have quite a strong willpower. Unfortunately I am able to override my emotions with my logic. Unfortunately I always enter the safe mode whenever a relationship opportunity surfaces. Many a time I have postponed a date, or changed the entire nature of a date into a social outing with more than two people. Many a time I let my sociable personality outshines my sentimental pensive side. Many a time I let myself become a person of a crowd, and by default I think I am entitled to no personal relationship. Many a time I see the time left for us to be physically together is too short, so I don’t even try to get us to be together. Many a time I sense the feeling is mutual, but I don’t know for sure and I dare not find out once for all.
Although I know, no pain and no risk means no gain.
The silly but factual thing is, if I never break up with somebody, my one and only girlfriend must be my wife. And how many people can achieve that fairy-tale-ish ending? I have a friend who put it this way: you must experience many relationships to learn many lessons, so as to put everything you know and feel into one relationship, and that will be your partner for life. Every other relationships meanwhile will be experiences and memories you take with you forever. Your lovers will become a part of who you are, and help you know who you are. What matters the most is to whom you confess “I do” at the altar. The rest, as they say, will have been history.
Another friend of mind put it more bluntly: it is a matter of trial and error. For that The One. “Do you want to lose a friend or the love of your life?” he asked. But I was silent.
I once came across a saying like this: “Never think of the ending for a relationship the moment you begin it.” That would mean I have done everything wrong from square 1. Silly me.
The prospect of love invites me in, but before that stands a gate. For a lack of better words, I shall call it The Leap of Faith. Should I take the leap and land safely on the other side with who I am meant to be, or even fall down into the abyss but at least knowing for sure it does not work, or stop at the verge, and just be safe?
I gotta try some day. I gotta look past the risks some day. I gotta do it some day.
I gotta take the leap some day.
“we could have had it all…”
p/s: My days in the past few months have been the theme of How I Met Your Mother season 7. I have been revisiting my past relationships. I achieve some closure, but some remain open. And some widely open. But I will not leave them that way…