June 16, 2016

Love, feelings, and all that stuff

So, a few years back, I met this girl who is incredibly kind, loves people, is intelligent and funny, and to top it all off, is a sort of classically gorgeous which is usually lost under all manner of superficial facades or deep character flaws these days.

I obsessed and I pined and, to the best of my ability, spent my time being around her, talking to her, engaging with her, learning more about her, but, until about two years later, never overtly insinuating or indicating that I had any interest in her.

There's a part of me which still contends that this is the best way to approach things. A guy and a girl should know each other reasonably well before they start dating, right? Right?

I'm not so sure anymore.

Part of my hesitance to accept that approach is that I have little or no success engaging with people in group settings. I'm not a very talkative guy, and I know it. I further know that it's not an issue. There are situations where I need to talk or I should talk, and I'm willing and able to do so. However, to engage in highly social settings with people I barely know with the ulterior motive of romance?

About that I have serious reservations. I don't easily engage and commit to people without similar or greater commitment on their part. I guess this is probably part of the problem, but being an introvert, I find it much more easy to engage with a single person and avoid, ignore, or block out the rest of the world.

That's kind of how I ended up asking out this same girl; it was just after church, with dozens of friends, acquaintances, fellow church goers, and a few family members nearby. People were conversing energetically as they always do. I noticed she had some buffer between her and surrounding people, so I saw my opportunity, walked up to her, and asked her out on a date in plain English with a normal tone of voice.

I remember that she told me she admired my boldness, which I guess I appreciate. To me, it felt marginally safe; in my mind, the rest of the room had sort of ceased to exist for a time. It wasn't that much of a distance between us and everyone else; perhaps some of them realized even what was happening.

She said no. It's been a year or two since then, and I haven't completely stopped feeling like I did.

But the fact is, if my only standard is that of being rejected by one girl; that is, that's the highest, the furthest I've gotten when it comes to advancing my affection into reality as word and action...then I have as much gotten over her as I will until the moment I ask someone else out.

My feelings are equally strong for girls I've met since then. Does this mean that I've forgotten her character and beauty, and have moved on? Why should I still feel, then? Why aren't I still numb? Well, why shouldn't I feel? I didn't commit to her in any way, shape, or form, except by my own design and in my own mind. Yes, the feelings still remain; I still wish, wonder, and hope with the determination of a fool and utter inaction to match.

But, why should I act? Why should I care? She said no. I believe that to second-guess her choice or motives would be to consider her either a flighty and fickle human (like myself), or a liar. I choose to believe she is neither.

"But," quoth the self-same fool, "I like her so much!"

So what? If you love her, (that is, if you functionally care more about her than you do about yourself) it doesn't matter how you feel, you will still do what's best for her, regardless of the consequences to you or your feelings.

Get over it. Forget her. Move on.

"How can you be so heartless," the fool whimpers.

There is no heart in feeling. The heart chooses another's peace, happiness, and well-being over their own...or it chooses to serve itself and its own desires. The heart is what chooses to suffocate mere feelings and keep walking. Heart is what makes the world work instead of merely wishing it did.

A principle I've adopted as my own (from where, I can't exactly remember) is that one's emotions should either match one's actions in equal measure, or be abandoned in favor of emotions which do drive you to love; to love truly; to place your own desires and well-being second to someone else's.

Do your feelings drive you to love her? Then do so.
Do your feelings drive you to hate her? Cast them far from you.


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