(image credits to Levitated Art)
on being a teenager experiencing unrequited (romantic) love.
we’ve all definitely been there before. if someone says they’ve never experienced unrequited love, they’re either aromantic, pretty damn lucky, or lying. (my money’s on lying, really)
I can’t say that I’ve experienced unrequited romantic love countless times, because I can’t be too sure that what I experienced was love. however, I am as sure as the sun rises that whatever I experienced drove me to go above and beyond the call of friendship just to make my special friend happy; if said friend asked for the moon and stars I’d break my back in trying to get it for them; if they told me that they didn’t like my friends or the way I did things I’d make a change or compromise for them; I’d do whatever they asked if and when they showed me the littlest bit of affection. I can’t even begin to count the number of times I did something completely out of my character simply because the person of my affections asked me to.
looking back, I don’t regret the things I felt or did with regards to each person, each time it happened because every single experience has proven to become a real lesson learnt— like how it’s said that “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, my heart is strengthened and prepared for new challenges, and if it wasn’t the newer challenges would do the trick. it’s a never ending cycle, just like the lessons we learn in life. and it is with this mindset that I thought I’d be able to completely guard my heart against unwanted emotions, to completely manipulate my heartstrings until I am able to channel all my energy into the things that really matter. it is with this mindset that I thought I could completely get by without love…
I’d spent the past two years of pre-university talking with a new acquaintance I’d met via a mutual friend. I thought I’d never let things get past that, but the twenty four arduous months proved otherwise. in my two years of junior college I’ve experienced some of my highest highs, but more of my lowest lows, and this friend has seen me through them all.
I don’t know what it is about the human (or, more specifically, female) psyche that drives us to be attracted to the bad boys— those who we know are bad news for us get we persist in our affections. in being distracted by my affections for the ‘bad boy’ type I’d found a really, really good friend who would be there for me. and somehow my feelings have evolved from that point, from platonic affections to remotely romantic affections.
I wasn’t looking for love; it’s a terrible time for me to fall in love (five months to leaving, and hopefully for good) and I’d really like nothing more than absolutely platonic friendships at this point in time (I’ve learnt from my mistakes two years ago) but this special friend of mine has unwittingly managed to worm his way into my mind, my thoughts, and my actions with no apparent intention of leaving. the worst part? he doesn’t even know. the little bouts of harmless flirting here and there suddenly becomes a lot more grave and severe when actual feelings come into play. everyone is teetering on the border of the friend zone and the more-than-friend zone. it is very confusing and distracting.
the timing could not be any worse— I want to leave this very country for college in five months (that’s less than half a year!) and the conscription laws of this country demand that all able-bodied males serve the country’s armed forces for two years. two long, bleak years. it’s as if the fates simply know that the timing could not be more inopportune and yet my emotions wish to differ. oh my emotions, how you’ve really screwed me over this time.
the pains of experiencing unrequited love stems from knowing that some things simply cannot be; the realization of feelings being unreciprocated; the fact that many sleepless nights will be spent imagining a highly idealized and romanticized future together despite knowing that it would not come into fruition. the pain comes from knowing that it will never become reality and yet one cannot control the intensity of emotions. I will spend only so long waiting for
the that one to return my affections; spend that time thinking of all the things we could do when finally together.
I know I’m already out of high school, and should be experiencing life as an adult, but I can’t seem to get out of this I’m-an-adult-with-the-emotional-capacity-and-drama-of-a-teenager rut. I’m not looking for love or for ways to appease my raging hormones— I’m simply looking for ways to get by while waiting to achieve the milestones in life. getting overly attached has really fucked things over for me this time.
“Because what’s worse than knowing you want something, besides knowing you can never have it?”
— The Angel Experiment, James Patterson