rants

The Heart Wants What It Wants, and It Wants to Listen to My Head

the short storyI may be a little too practical for romance.the long storyThere’s a reason that forbidden love is one of my least favourite tropes. It’s never made sense to me that love follows specific rules. It’s a ridiculous notion that we can dictate who and when we love based on age and race and gender and religion and politics. Sure, these shape who and why we love someone, but it’s not like there’s a way to sort people into bins based on these factors and simply point at one and say, “I will fall in love with only these people.”

That’s just dumb.

That being said, I’ve never been in love. I’ve never been on a date, never kissed a boy, never had butterflies in my stomach over someone.

I was set up on a really bad “blind date” that I don’t count because it didn’t like him and it wasn’t really a date, we just walked around and had halting conversation. Afterwards, the person who set me up asked if I liked him and at the time, I didn’t want to offend her and simply said, “I wasn’t sure about him.”

When she probed me for more information, I simply shrugged it off. She asked if we held hands, I said no. When I told her we hugged, she asked, “Did you feel butterflies or anything?”

My immediate answer?

“I don’t believe in that sort of thing.”

I didn’t even think about it. It was automatic. And to me, that means that it’s unutterably true.

It was also around this time that someone else asked if I was aro/ace or a lesbian because I hadn’t shown any interest in guys. I noted handsome faces and nice personalities but never really felt attracted to either. All of my observations felt clinical.

But that expectation that by now I should have at least developed a crush on someone really bugged me.

This was a while ago, and I’ve been thinking about it a lot since then. About what I think about love and how I see it in my life. About expectations and stomach butterflies and actively searching for “my other half” and “soul mate”.

I thought about what models for love I’ve had in my life, and they aren’t, for lack of a better term, encouraging. In fact, until my sister started dating her boyfriend two years ago, my best models came from books and movies. And those are fiction.

I’ve known people who don’t know how to be happy anymore if they aren’t in a relationship, which seemed depressing. I don’t want to succumb to a state where my happiness depended on my relationship status.

I knew I didn’t have time for a relationship, with school taking all waking hours and sleep being a rare commodity.

And that way of thinking, the kind where I could reason out love, is just as ridiculous as forbidden love because of religion or race or gender. If I can’t reason it out, there’s no point in trying to direct it my way. It simply can’t be done.

I sometimes wonder if I’m too rational for love. If, because of the refusals of stomach butterflies and availability that I won’t allow myself to fall.

But I don’t think that I don’t want to fall. If it comes, I won’t hang onto the edge. I won’t resist gravity.

I’m simply not in the business of actively looking for romance.

And if that’s what my heart has decided, then I’ll listen to it.

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4 thoughts on “The Heart Wants What It Wants, and It Wants to Listen to My Head”

  1. Thanks for sharing your experiences. I’ve been thinking recently about how I only tend to fall in love once every couple years, and how I feel like I am missing out on something that other people seem to experience all the time. What I decided was: I’m not going to force myself into feeling something I don’t. If/when it comes, cool. But there’s a lot of other living to do in the meantime.

    I know my experience is not quite like yours, but I was really encouraged by your honesty! Not a lot of people open up about things like this, so thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think what worries me the most is the idea that I could accidentally force myself into thinking I want something because of social convention. Sometimes that’s harmless (like pop culture) but other times it can be dangerous–in this case, the social push to fall in love. And maybe that’s why I approach it so cautiously and rationally. I’ve never thought of sharing my experiences as brave, but I appreciate that you think they are.

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    2. You’re totally right. I hate the idea of societal pressures “tricking” me into something that could ultimately be unhealthy or unhelpful. On top of that, one of the things that I hate about falling in love (both when I do and when I see other people doing it) is how DUMB they get about the other person’s faults. I’m definitely scared that I’ll fall in love with someone bad for me but be unable to see it until our lives are so enmeshed that separating becomes very painful.

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  2. I think that society has degrade the meaning of love just as physical attraction. I have been in love with my work, my family and friends since forever and I don’t feel awkward about it.

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