The love we yearn for – you all know what kind of love I’m talking about. It’s in every romantic movie you’ve seen, every pop song you’ve heard and every romantic novel you’ve ever read. It’s the kind of love that brings you to tears, the kind of love that makes you feel whole, the kind of love where you surrender your soul to your lover.
But before I get into that, let me go over what I feel is an inevitable series of events that we all go through in the hopes of finding that kind of love.
So, you’ve met someone at a bar, nightclub, or heck, even a library and you chat away. You’ll talk about anything and everything, and most likely go through a bulletpoint-like conversation of all the things you share in common. By the end of the night, and given that everything went well, you’ll get to exchange numbers in the hope of continuing this at a later date. Being a guy, there seems to be this kind of unspoken agreement with the opposite sex that we’ll be the ones who instigate the – for lack of a better word – “scheduling” of the first date to show them that we’re interested.
Now begins this long process where we frantically try to figure out our opening line and how to approach you without sounding like the lonely men that we are! And after half the day has gone by, we end up saying something along the lines of, “Hey” – how we ever got to the conclusion that this was the best line, I will never know! But in any case, the texting will continue and hopefully a date will be set up.
The hard part is done now, right? Wrong! Now comes the wait until date night. Do you play it cool, and text her on occasion? Or do you keep her constantly entertained to let her know you’re interested?
Date night has finally arrived and you try not to get too excited. You also double check that the date is still on. The initial meet up is always going to be awkward; do you hug her, give her a kiss on the cheek or go for a handshake. It’ll probably end in a weird combination of all three! Once you get passed that kiss-hug-shake combo you start your small talk and the conversation goes well for the most part, and of course, you’ll get a good dose of that dreaded silence, but hey, it’s the first date! First dates are like a gambling game; how much are you willing to reveal and how soon do you reveal yourself. Like, how long do you have to play the part of the person of who you think they want you to be, and when do you finally settle into playing the part of the person who you really are?
As the night comes to an end and it’s time for your goodbyes, you’ll inevitably go through that weird kiss-hug-shake combo all over again – unless you’re overly confident with how well the date went and you make the move for her lips, or more realistically, you’re both relatively intoxicated.
You now find yourself in the make-or-break phase, and without going into too much detail, this is where your one date could be your last together, or this is where the magic happens; the first date leads to a second, the second to a third and before you know it, you’re a loved up couple.
Now don’t get me wrong, this whole process can be a lot fun and quite exciting! It will also spark up those butterflies that have laid dormant in your stomach for so long, but up to this point, you can pretty much bank on the fact that you’ve shared this exact experience with hundreds of thousands of other people.
You will strive to build on your relationship to find that love we all yearn for. The kind where love and sadness coexist, where we become overwhelmed with emotions and moments filled with ecstasy, yet we are already mourning the fact that these moments will end. It’s what makes this kind of love so unique and yet so tragic.
This is where your journey begins. This is where you split from the generic pursuit for love and enter your own personal quest to find the so-called true love. This is where your quest to unlock the secrets to long term desire begins; the holy grail. Let’s face it; falling in love can be easy, and everyone is easily infatuated with the honeymoon period, but what happens when routine becomes part of your reality? How do you keep hold of that passion, that desire, that spark?
As psychologist Esther Perel said,
“If there is a verb that comes with love, it is to have. And if there is a verb that comes with desire, it is to want. In love we want to have. We want to minimise the distance, we want to contract that gap, we want to neutralise the tensions, we want closeness. But in desire, we tend to not go back to the places we’ve already gone. A foregone conclusion does not keep our interest. In desire we want another; somebody on the other side that we can go visit.”
But can’t we just want what we already have?
– F. Ifram