Wednesday, April 24, 2013

They say rebound relationships are a bad idea

My last blog post did a good job of trivializing the hurt that accompanied the break-up narrated therein. This appears to be my coping mechanism for hard or scary situations: joke until something happens. Never works. Sad jokes don't do the joker nor the hearer any good. Here's a sober retake, if I can manage it.

Heartache was easier in the past, in my days of inexperience and naiveté, when everything to do with romance could be intellectualized away with clipped maxims. Times past, I literally used to dwell in the library, perhaps partly to trick myself that loneliness was not my problem. Those days came and went in an endless circuit of reading, swimming, reading, soccer, studying, and more reading. Thus I cultivated a hard exoskeleton of supposed indifference towards all the people I inwardly fancied but couldn't afford to risk being rejected by.

Things went according to plan - until the instant I met (let's call her) Dee for the first time along a quiet path one evening. The Arcadian environment receded into oblivion as I said hi to her; the touch of her hand in greeting obliterated whatever traces of the universe had survived her enchanting presence. It was just me and her alone full-stop. I gazed with some intensity into her eyes until something flickered in hers. A starting gun fired in my head. Only literal fireworks were missing. Having thus spectacularly inaugurated things, we dived into it headlong.

Having bagged quite the catch (I have praised her beauty elsewhere), and certain that we constituted a cute couple, I indulged recurrent moments of exultation: "The Ex should see me now!" But cracks in the narrative appeared too soon, which quickly became serious gaping holes as the structure crumbled. In the middle of our conversational adventures I often trod upon certain discordant and inconvenient truths. As a fuller picture of Dee replaced the ideal I held, a brusque maxim of time bygone rudely sprang to memory: "Gilded tombs do worms infold." Recalling my past, I regretted all that time I had spent in the library instead of out in the field learning to sniff out frauds and fiends from a mile away. Fortunately I initiated a break-up quick, only to find myself in the peculiar situation of mourning the living.

I was a wreck. Hard lessons awaited learning. But I set them aside to critically examine the possibility of salvaging the relationship. Sundry encouragements availed themselves: "Hope ever springs anew," "People change," "All is not lost." But my eyes were opened by force through incontrovertible proof of infidelity. Then did I sit down to wolf the hard lessons.

The 21st century "dating scene" is a gallery of ugly. I could have never learnt this from Pearl or Ailis or The Ex. It took playing with fire to burn my fingers and learn. Many men in search of suitable partners will utterly bypass marriage material, only to settle for a figment of their own imagination which a total stranger conjures up for them. How great the fall, when initial excitement decays into eventual disillusionment!

One trusted friend presents the prospect of a truly wholesome positive relationship based on mutual love and understanding. So rich with promise, so virtuous the standard, that I dare not dream of it idly.

Besides, they say rebound relationships are a bad idea.

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