Love is hard enough as it is right? I mean, for your average Joe or Mary. It may only serve the biological purpose of reproduction but we humans twist it into something far more complicated and meaningful than that.
Now. Throw into the mix social anxiety. Introversion. Painful shyness. An idealism that floats up towards the heavens (unattainable? Pfft, I can dream, can I not?)
I don’t whether it is because of my personality type (INFP, check out the Myer Briggs Test if you are unaware what these four letters mean) but love is pretty damn hard to deal with. I don’t know why it has to be such a big deal, I could just blame the media the way most people do, but the truth is I don’t know. All I know is that when I see someone and my heart flutters, I know I am involuntarily signing up myself for torture.
See, I’m not an outgoing person, if you have not already realized that. So when I see someone from across the room and my eyes light up and a grin plasters itself upon my face, the last thing I want to do is go up to them and say hello. I know what you’re thinking. It’s just a greeting. Nothing to be afraid of. But I find it to be absolutely terrifying to even make eye contact with the men I like, let alone hold a conversation with them. Pathetic? Yes. Abnormal? I sure hope not.
Yes, I am literally physically and mentally unable to communicate with men that I am attracted to. In fact, you can tell when I like someone, because I avoid them like plague. And if I do have the off chance of talking to them (could you please pass the pepper?), the event and the words spoken are indelibly printed upon my mind. I replay them over and over again, trying to glean a fragment of attraction on his side (usually non-existent).
Due to my reticence, I have had many extroverted friends try and pressure me into talking to men. They bombard me with sayings such as ‘what have you got to lose’ or ‘you might as well try, maybe he will like you.’ No, although I love my friends, many of them do not understand what it is like to be a Highly Sensitive Person. People like me literally cannot weather rejection or humiliation without it feeling as painful as having a limb amputated. Imagine someone digging a knife into your chest and twisting it around in there for a few seconds. And, while you are bleeding to death, they put a little strip of Band-Aid on the wound. That, ladies and gentleman, is what I have got to lose and the kind of comfort I receive after the gut-wrenching ordeal.
I was in love with a boy for four years in highschool. And do you know the worst part? By the time graduation came, I had built up such an idealistic image of him in my mind through lack of personal contact that when I finally did face the music and talk to him, he turned out to be an arrogant, careless person who desired riches, fame, status and pretty girls to parade upon his arm.
And that is when I came to the realization that the thing holding me back from talking with men wasn’t simply social anxiety. It wasn’t only fear of rejection or humiliation. It wasn’t only that I was a very sensitive person or that I was shy. It was also my unbridled idealism. My idealism is what allows me to imagine the wondrous and fantastical stories I write. Yet, it clouds reality in my every-day life.
Because in my mind, I have constructed a perfect man. And I am far too scared to talk to men I am ostensibly attracted to because coming into contact with them breaks the illusion. Humans are imperfect. I know that, we all know that. Yet I can’t help but carry this idealism around with me, like a photograph which I pull out to make comparisons. My idealism may preserve me from the harshness of reality but it also prevents me from finding happiness in love.
Will this realization change anything? I sincerely hope so. I hope to make steps towards curtailing my idealistic views, to embrace the reality of human nature. And one day, I hope to find true love. No, wait. Just love, just affection. After all, true love is too idealistic for the real world, is it not?
What about you guys? Do any of you harbor idealistic views about love? Ah, such is life. C’est la vie.