Friends who I talk to/chat with regularly must know one thing about me: if we are discussing about a particular topic and there is a sentence, phrase, or even a word that struck me and made me think, chances are I would write an entire blog post about it. I may not discuss it with them further, but if it stayed with me long enough, there will be a consequent post. It’s nothing personal, really. I think it has just become a habit to construct arguments around certain general topics. Others call it overanalyzing. I call it brain exercise.
So I was talking to a high school friend earlier and we were just goofing around talking about how to declare your love to someone. I showed him an awful Tagalog story I wrote in college entitled Kung Bakit Mahirap Bumasted, and he told me jokingly that I should write something like Kung Bakit Mahirap Mabasted. I replied in jest that, never having wooed anyone, I wouldn’t know what to write because I don’t know how it feels. He told me to try it sometimes and I told him, hell no. I would never be the first to tell someone I like him. It just seems weird. I told him that I will probably do it only if I’m like 99% sure that the guy likes me too. He told me, “That’s not love.” Maybe not, I said.
Yeah, maybe not. Maybe, most of the time, I just don’t care enough to make a big deal of how I feel. Or maybe it’s just the traditionalist in me. I still believe in courtship—and I mean proper courtship. Not the i-like-you-i-like-you-too phase, then, BAM! You’re officially together. I want someone to convince me that we should be together; that it’s worth taking a risk. Not because we both know we like each other. Mutual affection doesn’t necessarily translate into a successful relationship. And it’s not wooing when the guy already knows the girl likes him. It’s less effort for him and he gets cocky because he knows it’s a sure win. I mean, seriously, no.
Or maybe it’s because I don’t have a purpose for letting that person know. To take it to the next level? No, thanks. I don’t necessarily want anything out of it. Liking a person and wanting to be in a relationship with that person are two different things. Others may argue that, yes, nothing necessarily has to come out of it—just the relief that you’ve finally admitted it. Well, I don’t think it’s a relief so much as major awkwardness waiting to happen. Once you say it, it’s out there hovering around you like a big metaphorical question mark. I just can’t find the logic behind admitting someone you like them if you don’t want anything to happen. It defies the very sense of the act.
But, let’s look at the other side of the coin. If, hypothetically, Guy tells Girl that he likes her, does his courage equal to love? Is it the same thing as risking to get his heart broken? Is it love when he saunters blindly through a maze of emotions, not knowing when or how he will get out of it? Is the relationship less likely to fail?
Honestly, I’m confused. Maybe he’s right that it’s not love when you can’t risk rejection, when you always have to be sure first. Or maybe it’s Occam’s Razor once again—that it’s not anything complicated at all and you’re just not that into it. But at the same time, I don’t think love can be reduced to something as trite as boldly declaring your affection out of the blue and expecting nothing in return. Because you always expect something—even when you don’t tell that person. And anyway, talk is cheap and people change their minds all the time.
But hey, who am I to tell others what counts as love and what doesn’t?