Is love really that complicated?
We've all played the game of love, or some form of it, knowingly or unknowingly, at one point in our lives. This is the culmination of questioning and too much overthinking, where we wonder why the other person isn't texting back, or whether asking for lunch is a little too forward and coffee would be the better option. Make the game complicated, people would say, to throw off any palpable scent of desperation.
I guess it's easy to chalk all this up to high school play, until we realize it's just as prevalent if we're part of the melancholic group of single people in their 20's. So while I typed away on a message I was about to send to a friend, completely unashamed of the fragmented messages she was about to receive, I had to wonder if I would be doing the same to some girl I had just met.
Probably not was my answer, and I decided shortly afterwards I hated myself for admitting that. Did I not, for all intents and purposes, just admit to changing how I act as a person in order to present myself as someone I'm really not? Just thinking about the process of crafting an "adequate" text message to someone is cringe-worthy enough. Being ourselves seems so difficult, impossible almost towards someone you want to make an impression on.
Yet, comfort and normality is exactly what we try so hard to achieve. Our desire to be accepted, or perhaps better put as our fear of rejection, drives our natural instincts towards conforming to a personality void of all our quirks. Love is complex in the way it brings out intricate nuances between what should be rudimentary social interactions; more simply, why on earth do we debate about the appropriate time between each text message and if recommending a good restaurant actually screams "let's go together." In the most ironic of ways, the complexity of love actually simplifies us.
Even being aware of this conundrum doesn't really help. Ask my friend Joanne or Kristy, for instance, and the mindless way I can speak to them, be it a simplistic message or a grunt of acknowledgement to a passionate rant they might be giving me. It's not that I don't care, because I do, but kind of, sure, I don't care about what they think of me. And if they could predict what I'm thinking or my tendencies anyways, what's the point of hiding.
Most of the times I don't even know how Kevin, yes me, actually talks like. The meticulously crafted words I say to someone could very well much be exactly what I'd say to a friend of ten years, or perhaps something I would never mutter. In some ways, is that some form of an identity crisis I have discovered? The idea is to act natural and reflect some sort of individuality, but maybe I just have none.
Maybe what I'm actually pleading with everyone is some sort of PSA telling the world to follow the wise words of Nike and just do it. Love really isn't all that complicated, as much as it would seem so. What I've found to be true, almost undeniably so, is that mutual attraction is hopelessly obvious, and I say that, regretfully, with prior experience. All the love cliches exist out of some tinge of truth and we should use that to our advantage.
Recognizing whether someone likes you is merely a matter of embracing emotions. The nervousness and anxiety of wondering whether feelings are mutual shouldn't possibly be coupled with a jubilant disposition of knowing you'll see the person tomorrow. Rather, it should be one or the other, but our self doubting nature serves both to hinder and present a false sense of hope. What you would do to show affection is likely the same as anyone else.
What I really mean to say is this: if you like someone, then go for it. That's not to advocate for hyper aggressive advances on someone, but a text message or two doesn't hurt. Love really shouldn't be filled with estimation and guesswork. The less it is about X and Os, and the more it's about the relationship, creates a love that's genuine.
But I fully admit much of what I've said is for naught, and I understand why. In a way, surviving in the world requires people to account for the worst possible scenario, and assuming someone doesn't like you is the safest avenue. I guess if I could even nudge one person to forget about the systematic nature behind many relationships, that might just be worth the effort for people to realize their intrinsic value for being the person they are.
Okay but seriously, though, what does it mean if she waited 5 hours to text back?