Idealistic Love

Hi.

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.

 

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6 thoughts on “Idealistic Love

  1. Sometimes I wish I were gay. Its really easy for me to talk to guys (strangely most of my close friends are women) but extremely hard to talk to girls I don’t know.
    I just found out i’m an INFP (hence how I found your blog) and one website said “Second highest of all types to report marital dissatisfaction”. Kind of disappointing but more reason for me to stay happily single.

    • I know how it feels. Except I’m the opposite, I can get along with girls but I can barely talk to guys. I know, I’ve been a voracious web surfer on the topic of being an INFP and I’ve seen the marital dissatisfaction crop up many times. Yeah, there’s nothing wrong with being single. 🙂 I suppose we just have high ideals and expectations and if our partners don’t end up living up to those standards, we are dissatisfied. It may not be the same for you but that’s kind of the way I see it.

      • Hey, we cant help it that we’re awesome. All i’m saying is I have my shit together, why cant I meet someone that has theirs? Apparently its too much to ask.

      • I’m sure you soul mate is out there somewhere. It can’t be easy being an INFP guy but if other people don’t appreciate you for who you are, it’s their loss. At least, that’s how I try to think about it.

  2. Hey, I’d just like to say that you are basically me. I liked a guy for eight (count ’em, EIGHT) years in middle school/high school, and (practically) never talked to him. For the one 2-3 month period we were “friends”-ish, (mostly just teased each other and flirted a lot. actually it was heaven <3) I stopped idealizing him so much we actually got along like magic. Then when I realized "Wait, I'm supposed to be LIKING this guy (romantically)" in high school, I lost that friendship, and everything went downhill again.

    I find now, in college, that I will avoid, CONSTANTLY, every single guy I am remotely attracted to, or in whom I think I've found some "sign" that he's "the one"; without fail, while stealing glances at him that (I seem to think) he can't see. And whenever he DOES talk to me, I'll answer in some hurt/snide/super dramatic fashion, because I can't help feeling so dang hurt by his lack of interest.

    There is now a boy whom.. and this feels like a living nightmare, to be perfectly honest..

    I think I've completely alienated him. Somehow I feel you'll understand me, so I'm just going to lay it all out there:

    All summer, I was hoping I would get a particular role in a play we're doing this fall, which was a romantic one (Did I MENTION I go freakin' nuts over romantic roles/stuff in plays? Makes perfect sense, right? Playground for idealism?) and hopin' the dude playing opposite me would be "the one". Silly, idealistic.. Shitake mushrooms. I have no idea why I do things sometimes. I know they're wrong, I know they're idealistic, and stupid, and will never happen the way I want them to, and I STILL HOPE and I STILL CONVINCE MYSELF they're going to turn out the way I want them to.

    *sigh* *whimpers forlornly*

    Long story short, didn't get role. However, Boy (in question) and I get cast as romantic leads in this OTHER show that I hadn't anticipated having any part in. Actually, I get the lead. And he gets my "love interest".

    This is boy I have not looked twice at in 2 years of going to the same school with; heck, we're even in the same MAJOR, AND he's "interested" in theatre (I'm a double major; music and theatre) and hilarious, and not.. terribly bad-looking..

    I just–.. He always seemed really FAKE, y'know? And that was so off-putting I just never considered him. Also he's like.. he's sort of.. girly? Like, he gets mistaken for being gay all the time, and he's not. Also he's super popular and I'm scared of him and secretly resent him for having so many friends, and all his friends are the popular/cool people and I'm not the popular/cool people. Never will be. Have already decided. Have justified it numerous times in my mind. At one point it made sense; something about being "authentic" or "kind" or something like that, idk..

    Anyway, … Have friggin' convinced HIM that I'm in love with him, apparently, because Boy has made it clear through tone of voice, subtle little looks behind the eyes.. you know what I'm talking about–that he DOES NOT like me, like that. I wasn't even aware I was sending the message that I LIKED him; much less did I intend to ASK if he reciprocated..!

    Like, honestly, imagine this happening to you. Because we're basically the same person.

    And now, I've gotta play opposite him in this play, lovin' and kissin' and stuff, and he friggin' hates me/is disgusted–I mean that, DISGUSTED–by the idea of 'le romance' with me, and has made it perfectly clear; but of course we gotta, for the play. And the worst part of it is…

    I actually kind of like him now.

    Or at least I like the IDEA of ending up with him a LOT. Like, ALL the idealistic expectations have been dumped on him now (poor dear) and I don't know how to get rid of them and I don't know how to get him to like me if he is already DISGUSTED with the idea of any sort of romantic entanglement and I'm already (imagining that) I'm into him, and now we've gotta work in close proximity for the next month-ish. I just have this horrid fear I'm going to end up alienating him forever AND embarrassing myself in front of my entire circle of acquaintances (because all his friends are [sort-of-ish? it's hard to explain] my friends, but they're not REALLY my friends–he's sort of like.. the King Bee of social things in le music/theatre departments) and just.. ruining my life forever, essentially.

    And, on top of all this, I know I tend to rush headlong into doing very bad things very badly when I'm this stressed and worried. So I'm thinkin' the best course of action at this point would just be.. to lie low until it all blows over.

    And miss the best love story of my life, in essence. It reminds me a lot of P&P right now. I feel like Darcy after the initial rejection. *whimpers pitifully*

    Anyway.. if you have any words of wisdom/sympathy/advice, it would be so greatly appreciated.. I cannot tell you. I've been crying, like.. every day for an hour or more. For a week. Whenever harsh reality sets back in and I stop believing he will ever like me back.

    • I understand your agony ENTIRELY. However–and whether this is because I have gone through similar humiliations in the past, from which I recovered, or because I have started to develop a thicker skin by reminding myself of my own insignificance and the inevitability of death, is up to interpretation–I would not be reacting to the situation in questions with tears and great black puddles of despair (not trying to sound harsh; I know and understand what it is like to be sensitive, so I always try to use careful wording, as I myself tend to view constructive criticism as outright insults). But, back to your problem. The reason acting in this play with this certain someone causes you so great a degree of emotional agony is because you are attached to him–or at least, the idea of him. If you get rid of the attachments, you get rid of the pain, because then he would be just another person in a sea of people, who does not matter to you, and never will, which is, I know, as always, easier said than done. First of all, ask yourself why, exactly, you like this boy. Frankly, based on what you have told me about him, in particular his overt disgust (which is just plain rude) he does not sound like the sort of creature worthy of your romantic attentions. To love someone who denigrates you is not love at all; it’s self-punishment. And why are you punishing yourself in this way, placing his opinion of you in such high regard? Because you do not love and cherish yourself enough. The boy only exists in your head; your despair in reaction to his disgust, your longing for him and his approval, is not romantic love of any kind, but simply a subconscious manifestation of your desire for self-love. As your self-love is absent, you are trying to seek love and approval from external sources, when the only person you should be turning to for approval is yourself. If you build up your self-esteem, and keep in mind that these problems, and in many ways you yourself, are quite insignificant in the larger scheme of things, and most likely irrelevant in regards to your goals in life (after all, I am certain getting married to a man who is rejecting of you isn’t exactly your dream), then all tears, despair and humiliation will vanish–and I speak all of this from experience, as someone who has walked through the fire of self-hatred and come out the other side slightly singed, but full of self-love. Cultivating self-love is another business entirely, a topic on which you’ll find many articles on the Internet detailing how to gradually build up your self-esteem (and it is a gradual process; in fact, a lifelong and ongoing task). What you must realise is that all your suffering is self- manufactured, both the causes and effects existing entirely in your own mind–and you can CHANGE the way you think, you have complete control over your own thoughts, which then go on to determine your feelings. I’ll be writing an article on how sensitive creatures like you and me can cultivate self-love for you later on this week, as it would be too long to write in a comment (I’ve been meaning to do a proper one for a while, so thanks for the reminder). In regards to your current situation, withdraw from the play if you find it unbearable, though I don’t recommend this, for why should his disgusting behaviour dictate how you live your life? Stay in the play for the joy of acting, and IGNORE him, something which will be much easier once you gain self-confidence. I know what it’s like, and I know I can help you. Email me on updates! Take care. It’s hard, being excruciatingly sensitive and idealistic, but even dreamers can mature and grow strong by employing techniques drawn from psychology, and some good common sense. The boy–or man–sounds like a jerk, and is not worth your time or tears. Let him be disgusted, let him scorn you, scorn him back if you want, just to show him just how unfazed you are by him (by looking hurt, you are handing him the power; in this case, because love is not involved, to care is to put yourself at a disadvantage) but don’t let him stop you from acting and doing something that you love. I hope my future article helps you. HUGS.

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