Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Other Guys

Sometimes, the only way you can go after things is when you're certain that failure will not destroy you. In fact, the "chase" is interesting because somewhere at the back of your mind, your exit routes that bypass heartache have been mapped out. It is the nonchalance that springs from not being particularly invested in the outcome that often gets misunderstood to be confidence. And that confidence can be a potent aphrodisiac.

Lately, I find myself struggling to separate interest from indifference when it comes to relationships. They are both dressed alike - in witty repartee and friendly and affectionate hugs. Enough movies and shows have been watched and How to Win Friends and Date Hotties books have been read to give everyone out there a blueprint of sorts to "get the one." And yet, amidst this barrage of information, more and more people are single.

If I look back at my life, at the various relationships I've had, there are a few things that strike a common chord. All the men were extremely bright, talented writer-directors, they kissed marvelously, and loved me in their unique often dysfunctional ways. And of course, none of them lasted in my life beyond the first year of intense all-consuming passion.

But here's where it gets interesting (For me, in any case). If I extend the same kind of scrutiny to my almost-relationships, the 'flings' if you will, I have to admit they lasted a lot longer (Hmm.. weird. Had not noticed that until I wrote it down). Again, the men were bright, talented, very tuned in to music (Again, had not noticed) and did not treat me like a porcelain doll in need of a passion fix. Since there were no words of 'love' bandied about, it turns out we could be nonchalantly confident about each other.

And that's what happened.

For someone who has often been accused of losing herself in relationships, I have to say that over the last 7 years, I have been in "flings" that have allowed me to be my own person. With neither of us ever being obligated or even desirous of being 'everything' for the other, it freed us to be who we are without judgement - independent adults. I have grown with my friends and increased my circle, focused on my work without distractions or pesky "take the day off na, baby!", had plenty of company for dinners and movies for two, and had some incredible cuddles along the way.

All this really happened without my knowledge. When I think of my professed romantic relationships, I remember extremes of sheer ecstacy and suffocating depression. But when it comes to the almost-relationships, I remember being... calm. Not the most romantic thing one can say but here's the clicher - I remain happy friends with all the flings but have barely spoken to any of the other category.

And I have to wonder - are my almost-relationships more normal and... functional? Because if that's true, then does it mean that relationships work only if peppered with a healthy dose of nonchalant confidence and not the all-consuming passion like Shakespeare and Enrique Iglesias would have us believe?

I'm confused.


Anonymous said...

been a while since i was here. intriguing realisations. particularly the feverishly passionate writer/director v/s the easy-strumming musician. and flings lasting longer than romances.

here's a thought. writer/directors have to to pretty much burn out over a project. they give it their all, and when they're done they're exhausted, with nothing more to give. they are done 'tis done.

musicians, they're never done with their songs. been hanging with some recently. see, they keep playing the same music over years, adding new stuff to their repertoire as they go along. but their songs are never 'old' or 'archived'. just 'earlier', often enjoying greater affection even if the new ones get more attention for a while. there are favourites and there are ones they're not that happy with, but they're all songs they still play.

meanwhile, shouldn't that be mark antony? or are you referring to the singer?

Searcher said...

Thanks for the revisit, Anonymous. Changed the example after I realized the obvious confusion particularly after referencing the Bard. But yes, it was the singer.

And.. interesting insight on writer/directors vs musicians... I could buy it :)