Saturday, March 14, 2009

Finding the Balance

I couldn't quite verbalize my dilemma but I finally figured it out.

When it comes to crushes, there are people who are paralyzed by their fears. Rather than doing something, they do nothing and let it slide. That's not my problem.

In the past, my problem has been the opposite: I act too forcefully. For example, I love to give gifts and I tend to go overboard when it comes to my crushes. And when they decline it, I used to figure a way to give it to them nonetheless. (i.e. leaving it in their bag, in their car, etc.) I've been learning to more restrained and less possessive (that's what it is).

Of course in the same scenario, I've also learned to keep my affections hidden. It's been my experience that once they think you have a crush on them, that's when they start rejecting you. But keeping it hidden doesn't work either. I tried to show affection to everyone equally and that only resulted in people thinking I had a crush on the wrong person. As for the person I was actually interested in, didn't really make a bleep in their radar since how are they supposed to know I liked them?

It's also too easy to make generalizations. One thing I have to remember that each person is different and unique. What might not have worked (or worked as the case may be) on one person may not apply to a different person. It leaves me just as clueless, but that's somehow more consoling than simply saying "I don't understand this entire courtship thing."

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Positive Feedback

Here's a confession: I want to impress my crush. It's not just about looking good in front of her but rather hoping she'll take an interest in me. Right now I don't stand out. I'm an acquaintance at best, someone insignificant and uninteresting. The fantasy is that she'll fall in love with me but that's an unrealistic expectation. I simply want to increase my chances of me possibly asking her out on a date some day.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


For the past few days, I've been depressed. Perhaps not in the way when I first experienced my first heartbreak which led me to subsist on one meal a day and wrecked my passion for anime/manga (and is responsible for me splurging on four dozen Dragonlance novels...) but there's that gloominess and dissatisfaction.

Now the dissonance is that while I occasionally make declarations that "Hey, I'm depressed!" over at Twitter, for the most part I don't like it. Being depressed doesn't stop me from using childish expressions like "yay!" or "huzzah!" And there's little to no trace of it that can be found in my regular blog, which is designed to be formal and informative.

This is an example of the roles of people. We can act one way and perceived in another. And there's several other things running in the background. When I'm at work, I'm all professional and serious (no time to whine and mope!). When I'm with family, I put on a different face. Sometimes, other roles surface (such as depressive me) despite the fact that another one is currently active.

This also brings me to the question of how well you know other people. Despite all your encounters with them, there's that aspect that you're not aware, the side that they don't show you. And when it comes to your crush-who-you-know-little-about, there's a bigger dissonance as you project your preferences rather than evaluate them for who they truly are (which is an enigma at this point).

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Secret Journal

As much as it's tempting to blurt out to the world "read this journal!" there's something liberating about the fact that I haven't publicized this blog. I can spill my guts without asking whether this blog entry is useful content or not.

The truth however is that this is a public blog. It can be searched via Google and I've referenced this blog in the past. Its only defense is the fact that there's so much going on elsewhere in the Internet that why else would you read this journal?

So blogging here is this interesting dynamic between secrecy and the lack of it. I'm certainly more open here compared to my regular blog. My bleeding heart is in front of everyone to see. But on the other hand, when writing, I find that I'm censoring myself, or rather choosing different words and names than what first comes to mind. I re-read my previous post and there's an awkward moment where I try to be subtle instead of stating blatantly what I meant to say. And of course there's the name of my crush.

Not that I haven't divulged personal stories here before. If you look at my blog entries from a few years past, I've more than mentioned specific names and people. The difference is that what I'm currently writing is the present as opposed to the past which I've developed a certain aloofness. I've named my previous crushes before and in fact I saw my old crush just last month. But we've both changed and while there's a tendency to approach her and talk to her, there was no temptation. In fact, she was at the other end of the room blocked by too many people that I never got to talk to her (and didn't regret it).

In this instance though, there's some cloak and dagger involved. It might be something as simple as substituting Facebook for Friendster. Haha, I'm the unreliable narrator.


I have this feeling that all will not end well. The adage "expect the worst, hope for the best," doesn't really apply to romance. Most courtships, in my opinion, start out with the suitor thinking he or she has a good chance to begin with--or even the hubris that they're the exception that breaks the rule. I, on the other hand, work with a different paradigm.

One can call it an inferiority complex, or that previous failures have caught up to me, but rejection looms in my mind. Perhaps that's why the atmosphere of depression is pervasive around me, an energy-sapping void that drains my interests and passions. What doesn't make it debilitating is that while a part of me has accepted that this entire endeavor will most likely end up in failure, I won't detract from my course. If I were to suddenly have a vision of the future showing me how my actions will be futile, I'll still be going through the motions, not because I expect I'll defy fate, but because there's a minuscule chance that events will turn out differently.

The question I want to ask is whether this is predetermination of a sort or not. You know the future yet you continue to tread that path. There's some masochism involved here and a part of me revels in the injustice and the opportunity to portray a tragic figure. But I'm not here to find an excuse to lash out at the world. That's too easy. The end goal isn't to find sympathy. What keeps me going is the fact that nothing's set in stone and even if such a vision actually occured, there's always that unlikely chance that events will turn out for the better.

It's not false optimism or the idea that I'll be the one to upset the status quo. For me, it's the philosophy that ninety-nine heartbreaks is worth the experience of finding that one success. And you won't know unless you try. There are people who think that they can "game" the system, that they should hedge their bets towards someone they have a good chance of ending up with. Maybe I'm doing that unconsciously but as far as the conscious part of my brain is concerned, I'm not yet at that point where I should be compromising.

Having said that, the next few days, weeks, months, is going to be quite anxious.

Monday, March 09, 2009


For all my attempts at keeping this blog a quasi-secret (I don't publicize it), there's as part of me that wants to divulge the URL and garner everyone's sympathy. If I'll be honest with you (just because I'm honest with myself doesn't necessarily mean I'll be honest with my readers), the biggest temptation is this fantasy of winning my crush over by simply allowing her to read this journal. "Oh, how romantic!" or "I love your metaphor!" are statements that I imagine. Yet the fantasy and reality are seldom synchronized (remember the best-laid plans?) and what'll likely happen is something unforeseen. (If you're a pessimist, you'd imagine it'll scare her away.)

Here's another confession: I'm hungry for attention that I secretly wish she'll ask me why I'm depressed and it's the perfection excuse to reveal to her this blog.

I'm not proud of these emotions but they come naturally. You can call it the selfishness of being human. Admitting them to you already takes great effort on my part. Forget about reading between the lines (there'll always be space for that), let's call a spade a spade.

If there's any redeeming quality to me writing all of this, it's that it acts like a mirror. This is me, this is what I'm thinking and feeling. And at the back of my head, I'm deliberating "How can I use this material for my own stories?"

Secretly, I'm also thinking, don't these blog entries form a story of their own?

Escaping Shadows

There's only one way to free yourself from heartbreak and that's to cut them loose. It's as painful as setting a dislocated shoulder but from that point onwards, the healing process begins and you can get on with the rest of your life.

The dilemma of the suitor is when to keep on persisting and when to quit? If you're too stubborn, you might simply be wasting your time with someone you never had a chance with. If you give up too easily, you might simply be an attempt away from winning her heart. There's no objective answer to this question and the real solution is a case-to-case basis. Ultimately though, it's not a question of their temperament but yours. Do you still want to keep on doing this or is it time to stop?

Romantic obsession is like a shadow. It follows you around wherever you go and often preoccupies your thoughts when you're not busy. You might try to flee from it but it's perpetually one pace behind you and you can never outrun it.

Sometimes, you fall in love with the pain of being a tragic figure. Sure, it's weary on the heart, but you develop an excuse for whining. Mine was "I courted her for four years to no avail!" and in retrospect, if I was just going to use that as my reason for self-pity, the relationship ceased to be about her.

There's also an element of trapping the proverbial lightning in a bottle. When you're in love, your senses are altered. You perceive the world in a different light, even if it's from a heartbroken perspective. In the case of someone like me, an aspiring writer (I still can't manage to call myself an author), this is the closest I'll get to conjuring a muse. It's usually the extremes of emotions which fuels inspiration. And while ecstasy is preferred, you'd settle for depression over the mundane. The phobia of the artist isn't that they'll feel pain, but that they'll stop feeling anything. And when you're in love, falling out of it is akin to dulling your senses.

What needs to be done is to cut free from your shadow and fly away like Peter Pan. The problem is that the shadow takes on the form of a beautiful illusion and you're not quite sure whether you want to be free of it.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Chasing Phantom Constructs

It's quite a temptation to fall in love with the phantoms you create rather than the actual person. It requires little effort and you can pretend you're not lonely.

But the problem with phantom crushes is that they soon evolve into phantom girlfriends. You stalk their blogs, Friendster accounts, and Facebook status. You even expect them to immediately respond to your emails or text messages when they might otherwise be busy. And when they respond to someone who's not you, you wonder: who is he or she? Are they close friends? Or perhaps he's really her boyfriend? Rather than shattering the illusion of a relationship, such jealousies only reinforces the deception.

In the pre-courtship phase, you justify this obsession as "research." True, you're finding out more and more about your crush, but is all this time and anxiety really necessary? And there's a certain point where you cross the line as far as privacy goes and you're involving too much of yourself into their lives--even when your relationship with them at this point is just a casual acquaintance.

But just when you're about to give up, the phantom whispers into your ear and tempts you with something more. You know it's an illusion but you don't want to give up on the hope that she might be right. Thus the cycle is perpetuated.

This is all impotent action though. What use is research if you don't act on them? You justify that you're waiting for the perfect time to breach the subject but the perfect moment will never arrive. You'll always have an excuse why today is not a good day to confess or propose.

In my scenario, my fear is that whatever friendship I've gained at this point will be easily lost by my initiative. In this sense, I've become a ghost, trapped in a self-imposed stasis.