A mixer – or as I like to call it, Singles Anonymous. In a large hall, dozens of people fill the empty seats awaiting conversation and a connection. Attending this mixer with Char, I attempted to go in with an open mind…an open mind and a hidden sense of judgement and concealed resentment. This room is a mosaic of broken hearts, an amalgamation of varying interests and personalities, all looking for one thing: Love. While the search for love is not an easy journey, I would say that it is quite an admirable search. While everyone wants to find love and to experience the feeling, it is quite hard to reach that point. The problem with romantic culture is not the relationships themselves, but the exhausting feat that is modern dating. While I make it point to never say no whenever someone offers to pay for my food, I genuinely loathe the initial stages of dating. The awkward silences, the continuous questioning that makes the date feel like more of an interview than a romantic encounter. “What’s your favourite movie?”, “If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?”, “Would you mind stabbing me with that fork to put me out of my misery?”
Speaking broadly, the topic of love can correspond to thousands of circumstances; in fact, the topic of love can be used simply to describe a strong admiration of something. In literature and poetry alike, love can be analyzed through a series of varying definitions and circumstantial elements. Through a short definition, the grand topic of love has been diluted and bottled down into simplistic boxes that allow the term to be used as a noun, verb, and adjective (romantic and platonic). Distorted and often whimsical, the word is used to describe the most painful yet ultimately wonderful feeling that humans are capable of understanding.
I am 100% guilty of doing this, but I generalize all types of love to the point where the word loses its value. Being active participants in consumer culture, we are victims of tailored advertisements and marketing strategies that appeal to our varying wants and desires to the point where products provide us with a feeling of fulfillment. When going shopping, I will frequently hold up an article of clothing and babble on about how much “I love this sweater”, or “love this shoe”. When looking at the word through this understanding, how is it possible that I can even understand what actualized love is? I can use the word love to describe my feelings towards a product, but what does it mean when I use the term for romantic counterparts. While the dictionary definition of love speaks towards a feeling, it is clear that the term does not have a set definition. Love can be used to describe a variety of circumstances and emotions, for it acts as an umbrella term to provide a better understanding of a deep connection. Romantic love can be identified through a strengthened understanding of one’s emotional connection towards another individual. With that statement in mind, it would be incorrect to value a consumer driven affection towards a product or object to a romantic connection towards another being.
I pull out that old plaid shirt and begin wearing it once more. The memories of that summer flash before my eyes. Cobblestone walks, laying on our backs watching the stars. That’s not who I am anymore, I am strengthened by pain and determined by the desire to achieve more.
There is a part of me that looks at old photos and misses the old me, but then I think about where I am now and where you are, and how while I have moved forward, you moved back into my past.
In an environment where the word love is actively incorporated into my vocabulary, I feel as if I have lost sight of what the word actually means. I ask myself, how does love develop? I think back to past relationships, and I do not recall a pivotal moment of a flood of affection or an extreme burst of emotion…I just seemed to know.
Owen and I have been dreaming about the months to come, we will find ourselves connected both physically and emotionally and this will be nothing short of a blessing. It is one thing to continue on knowing that feelings are not reciprocated, but to know that we are on the same page makes each day all that much easier. I find myself attracted to this mysterious dutch boy – his piercing eyes and way with words seem to have a strong effect on me. Pulling me in with every metaphor, and taking me with him on every dream he creates, I have fallen for someone that is impossible to know. How? How is this possible that I have fallen for someone so physically unattainable? I can question and ponder and analyze the situation until I lose my remaining marbles, but sometimes the best things, no, the most wonderful things are left unquestioned.
I can quote the Haddaway song and ask “What is Love”, but in retrospect, what is the point? In my opinion, love is not something that is said. Love is a four letter word that cannot reasonably represent the emotion felt between two people. Four letters that hold such power within our society and in our hearts. Despite the consumer based product consumption and the overuse of this word, love still remains an anomaly that is unexplained. Love still remains because without it, what else would we have?
Sitting along in a singles mixer, I sip my cocktail. I am stuck living in Singles Anonymous.