If there’s one thing that I’m almost sure I’m good at, it’s probably listening. I swear, I spend at least 20/24 hour of my day just listening to people’s stories, struggles, problems, tears, anger, and sometimes their very personal lives. I believe it’s not surprising if I say that most of them are related to their romantic and sexual relationships. It’s almost like this type of relationship plays the biggest role when it comes to someone’s emotion.
I like to consider this whole listening sessions as my own personal research, learning, and understanding. It’s weird because I became knowledgeable with this topic despite the fact that I’ve never been involved in any kind of relationships. The last time I told my friend that I’ve never been in a relationship, she shrugged, and said “I’m not surprised, you look like you’re into casualties more than commitments”. Wrong. Not even casualties. Again, I’ve never been in any kind of relationships, even casualties. I’ve never even been close to someone. Maybe I sound like a prude because I’m 24, and I’ve never even held hands with anyone, but trust me when I say I know my shit. I read, learn, and listen a lot to the point where I became my friends’ go to guy to ask for advice.
So, I decided to write down my friends’ problems in my little journal and revisit them every now and then as a reference and inputs for my next listening sessions with other people. Based on what I’ve listened from my friends; I’d like to divide romantic relationship into four parts: Falling, Longing, Loving, Losing. I’m not saying that everyone goes through these phases (since I’ve never been in a relationship before and I’ve never fell for someone before, so I don’t know how a real relationship works), but here’s my two cents.
It’s the first time you saw them. The glimmer of his eyes, the cheeky smiles on her face, the scent of their perfume. You probably would feel that weird feeling in your stomach like what Mathilda said to Leon, or maybe you would just feel at ease with everything; as if the whole world felt right for the first time. At first, you wouldn’t want to admit that you’ve fell into the rabbit hole even after your friend (in my case, it’s me) teased you million times a day. You would shrug and say “No, I don’t like them. It’s nothing. Trust me.” Complete denial. You would even question yourself just to deny it again and shut that voice in your head down. No, you don’t like them. Not even a bit. Why? Because it’s impossible to like this person! First, they’re not your type (nod to my friend, A). Second, they’re probably out of your league (nod to my other friend, B). Third, it was an accident! You accidentally swiped right on that infamous dating app (nod to my best friend in Bali, L). And so on, and so forth.
Well, you’re Alice in Wonderland. It would take you some time to digest the fact that you’re inside another world. Soon enough you’d take those pills and move along to another stage of this whirlwind part of life. Falling, because according to the myth, hell belongs down there, not up there in the sky. It’s all downhill from here.
So you can drag me through Hell / If it meant I could hold your hand /
I will follow you
You would find yourself waking up at 3.17 in the morning and missing their jokes, and you would try to sleep it off but you could still hear their voice echoing inside your head. It’s almost like they have planted their presence deep in your brain. Then, without you realising it, you would constantly check your phone to see if he replies in that group chat or if she sends you something personally. You would unconsciously be looking for their face in the crowd. You would find yourself missing them. At some point, you would avoid anything that is related to this person, but at the end of the day it’s almost impossible. You would effortlessly insert their name in your affirmation or your prayer. You long for their presence. Top 40 songs suddenly make sense to you, and you would start reading that Pablo Neruda collected works book (even though you don’t like literature) that you stole from your friend’s desk at lunchtime instead of your master’s preparation books (another nod to my buddy) because you fucking miss this person. You finally came to terms that you like this person and you want them to be by your side like that night when both of you were having drinks with a group of friends, but this person was standing too close to you and you felt safe around the curl of her lips when she smiles or when he mindlessly made an inside joke about your favourite band. It’s obvious that you vibrate in the same spectrum now.
Don’t waste your time on me. You’re already the voice inside my head.
(I miss you, miss you)
It’s hard for me to write this part because I’ve never been in love before. However, according to my informal research, you started to care for each other in this part. I actually have asked most of my friends this question: “How do you know that you love someone in a romantic way?” I mean, I obviously know how it feels to love someone or something in a non-romantic way. I love my mother, my best friends, and my pets, and I’m sure I know how that feels. But loving someone in a romantic way must be different, no? Their response was varied. One of them told me “You just know it, Fien. It’s really hard to explain.” But at this point, whether you’re in your honeymoon phase of relationship or you’re in your stable, mature phase, you care for each other. You give a shit about this person. You want to be there for them. Maybe, maybe, maybe, if you’re depressed or somewhat suicidal like me, you might find yourself not wanting to die because finally you have found more reasons to stay alive. You would want to be there for them and make them happy and proud. You would probably sacrifice your ‘me’ time for them, you would plan things with this person, you would want to move in, you would want to live in the moment and enjoy the time of your life. Probably. I’m on the edge when it comes to love.
I’ll hear your song / If you want me to / I’ll sing along / And it’s a chance I’ll have to take / And it’s a chance I’ll have to break / I’m in love with you
Here comes my favourite part of this little biased, messy, and informal research. Losing. This is probably the only thing I know for sure will happen to anyone. I’m a master when it comes to letting go. You will lose everyone in your life. Even after both of you (if you believe in marriage) tied the knot. ‘Til death do y’all part. Yup, ‘til death. What about after death? Nobody knows about that right? I know someone who fell apart after she ended her 10 years relationship. I know someone who refused to get married after his girlfriend died, and adopted a child instead, and live his life as if he was married to this woman and the child is their own biological child. I know someone who weeps every day because of her unrequited love. I know someone who became an alcoholic after his fiancé left him. Losing. It’s certain. We are all going through this part of life. You would find a big chunk of your heart taken forcefully from you (or not). You would have this void inside you that couldn’t be filled with anything for some period. Losing. You would cry yourself to sleep. You would start listening to The Smiths again. Losing. I can only hope that everyone would find people that they love in their next life again. Yeah. Losing. Let go. Let go. Let go.
I want you and I always will. I wish I was worth. But I know what you deserve
Enough examples from my friends. I, too, have my own problems. I’m carrying a heavy weight on my shoulders. I just don’t talk too much about it. A friend just pointed out that I’m a very private person even though I often share pictures and opinions on the internet. I just realised that, nobody knows anything about me. None of you knows anything about my relationship history, my family, what keeps me up all night, etc, because I don’t tell that to anyone. Even my closest friend doesn’t know my full-on history. Interesting. Maybe one day, after my friends find happiness, I will start talking about my issues, my story. Maybe. For now, I don’t want to burden anyone with my boring life since there is nothing romantic about the life that I’m leading. Unless there’s someone out there who would want to spend hours listening to me musing about Salvador Dali.
It’s New Moon again. I hope everyone find their peace.
(It took me weeks to finish this because I had a lot of works to do and Jambi happened. Cheesy song quotes from Follow You – Bring Me The Horizon, I Miss You – Blink 182, Oceans – Seafret, Luna – Smashing Pumpkins)