Of Love & Other Demons*

How can people seek something yet be so afraid of it at the same time?

How can something beautiful and sought-after be that intimidating?

Why shun yourself from the sensation that poets and authors write about since the beginning of time?

Have you guessed what I’m talking about yet? Yes, it’s love, amour, aşk, liebe, amore: all these words lead up to one sensation. But what is it about this evocative feeling that leaves us all stumbling?…or me at least? From what we see in movies, read in novels, and witness in real life, love indeed seems like a magical thing. It can be the main drive to many people’s actions in real life and along plot lines. We always want the two lovers to unite at the end. We burn with anticipation when the man is about to confess his love. We melt with joy when we see the sparkle in the woman’s eyes upon her lover’s confession. This all seems captivating from afar.But what if all this is happening to you? Would it still seem so glamorous?

Would it, Hermione?

I’ve always been the kind of girl who doesn’t believe in getting into many relationships in search for Mr. Right, but rather for Mr. Right to be my one and only. Getting into too many relationships makes the person more likely to set unrealistic expectations about a potential partner because he/she has been with many different people that they want a perfect spouse. And of course comparing and contrasting all the time. Plus, too many relationships exhaust the heart and extinguish all the sweet feelings by time, so nothing would really be that special anymore. But that’s just my personal opinion.

It would be indeed confusing!
It would be indeed confusing!

Now that I have made myself clear regarding my stances in this issue, we come to the big thing…love. It has taken me a while before I finally realized that I am afraid of love, or afraid of being in love, or afraid of how I will be like when I’m in love…yeah I’m finding ways to distinctly comprehend it myself. The strange thing is that I have never been in love before, so it’s not like I have a bad experience or something. When I think about one of my friends being in love or getting married, my heart dances with joy and I keep on imagining and talking about every detail with them. However, when I put myself in their shoes or when one of the “Tants” says ‘3o2balk’, my heart clenches with fear and anxiety. But why?

We, girls, hear this '3o2balek' word in almost every family gathering.Ugh!
We, girls, hear this ‘3o2balek’ word in almost every family gathering.Ugh!

I have been trying to find answers to this question for quite sometime because for a moment, it seemed illogical to me. Love is supposedly something that everyone wants. Love is equated with security, acceptance, happiness, comfort, and so many other things that makes being in love so sought-after. But again, why am I intimidated?

This is how I look like when I think about love? Almost.
This is how I look like when I think about love? Almost.

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far, which I think might be behind my intimidation of l’amour.

1) Part of what love entails is not being in control of such things as the surge of emotions, some of the circumstances of the relationship, how the other person will react sometimes, stuff like that. Love is about giving in to the other person and trusting that he will make me happy. For me, I like taking things in my own hands. I have always been so in control of my emotions that some people accuse me of being too practical. I like to throw myself wholeheartedly at work and studying because I know I’m in control of them and I know that the effort I give will yield the results I aspire to. Perhaps I’m afraid of vagueness, of something that I won’t be sure of, of how things will turn out, of whether he’ll accept all of me. Perhaps…

Perhaps I'm afraid of vagueness.
Perhaps I’m afraid of vagueness.

2) True and real love means exposure, revealing myself with its insecurities and incompetence, giving my all to someone and trusting him, unleashing my emotions, being vulnerable to someone, showing all aspects of my personality. For me, I don’t like telling everything about me to everyone, only to a very few people whom I can trust. I prefer to give off inspiring and happy vibes to those who know me and even those who don’t, so that’s why only so few people have seen me angry, crying, or upset. Because these emotions put the person in a vulnerable state. Perhaps I’m afraid of emotional nakedness, of the act of yielding in and trusting that he will strengthen me, of how he will accept me in my moments of weakness and need. Perhaps…

Model: Devonny Sandrick Set Design & Lighting: Me Lighting Setup: Key umbrella left of camera fill right of camera
Physical nakedness is just a small part of it.

3) True and real love means sharing my body, mind, soul, and heart, getting to share and appreciate his previously mentioned attributes, trusting that he will engage with my dreams and aspirations, having the mental and emotional capabilities to share his own and empowering him along the way, showing my unpolished self without fear, and being ready to accept his unpolished self as well. For me, I like sharing my ideas and thoughts with someone with whom I can have an enlightening and constructive conversation. I like to talk with someone who can further enrich my knowledge and mind. I like to love a person wholeheartedly without wishing to consider the possibility of him giving up on me. Perhaps I’m afraid of whether he will acknowledge and cherish all of me, of whether he will encourage me to grow and develop, of whether he will actually contribute to my growth and prosperity. Perhaps…

This really sums the previous point up!
This really sums the previous point up!

4) True and real love is all about change, growth, and development. No relationship takes the same form in each stage, or else it will be a stagnant one. It is about both of us changing, the circumstances changing, and the way we express our love changing. We all like stability and permanence. So would he be able to provide this sense of security despite the inevitable change? For me, I am not a person who particularly likes routines. I like to experience new things. I accept the fact that change is the only constant in this life. Perhaps I’m afraid of the changes in my character and mind when I’m in love, of things changing and losing their unique essence. Perhaps…

See? Told you it was complicated. Maybe I’m over thinking, maybe not. But this is what comes to my mind when I think about love and it took me lots of thinking and courage to finally put them into words. I feel quite relieved after writing this, having known some of the reasons behind my anxiety when it comes to love. But then again, how do I overcome it? Will a person who can make me forget about all these worries exist? Perhaps…

*Sorry Mr. Márquez, but your title really fits what I’m talking about, so I borrowed it. I hope that’s okay!

  • All images are hyperlinked to their original sources.

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