A not so helpless romantic

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Photo illustration: Brooke Morrill, Photo Director, @brookemorrill


For as long as I can remember, I have been hardwired to be in love. It is my default setting. Try as I might, I can’t shake this unbearable desire to have a passionate, emotional bond with some special woman. Yet all this time, it’s as if I have some sort of mental block against obtaining long-term relationships.

That’s not to say I’ve lived a life devoid of romance. Oh my, there has been romance, a decent amount of shared experiences and learning moments that I wouldn’t trade for the world. But as of yet, I’ve not had the intuition to navigate the emotional minefield that lies between myself and a relationship that lasts longer than a month.

I used to believe that this made me some kind of anomaly, a “not-boyfriend-material” kind of guy, who the female world had decided to keep at arm’s length. I would see happy couples, people I didn’t even know, and find myself very jealous of them. I would think things like, “Well, that’s one less person that I could be with.” (Translation: “Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, guess I’ll go eat worms.”)

But after much soul searching, I finally realized something important. I’m 22 freaking years old. Who on earth has everything together in their early twenties? I’ve accomplished some pretty cool things in my
life already. But because I haven’t obtained this one thing I really want, I’m considering myself a failure?
I don’t have the time or emotional energy to sustain such adolescent angst over something like this.

Those thought-patterns are less than worthless, they’re deadweight. Of what use is it to act like the male equivalent of some Jane Austen character who’s worried of becoming an old maid?

Many of the dreams we have in life are works in progress. Some dreams are more easily realized than others, but some dreams take a bit more work. How counterproductive would it be to climb a mountain, and halfway up you get discouraged because, “Other people have been to the top of this mountain, why not me?!”

I have already climbed many smaller hills and even other mountains before this trek, but none of that means squat because I haven’t scaled this one yet? Some of the people who have summited Mt. Relationship couldn’t even conceive of some of the mountains I’ve been on, the views I’ve seen. And after climbing this one, there’ll will be many more conquer. It’s great goal to have, and I’m going to keep moving towards it, but climbing this one mountain in and of itself doesn’t end my journey. I’m not Frodo, even if I brought a ring to the mountain.

It’s of no use bemoan the lack of a relationship. Obsessing over why you haven’t got there yet is self-fulfilling prophecy that will lead you to nothing but unnecessary pain. Don’t waste your time wallowing in your own insecurities and feeling sorry for yourself. Get up and move.