Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Not so Anti-Romance

"Anti-Romance Logo" by timaclaren at deviantART
I know this is not popular opinion. I’m not this way not because I want to be unique, either. I can’t bring myself to relate to romance. My status: not interested. I am not likable. I don’t have the traits that one finds lovable. If I didn’t really care, you might say, why’d I have to tell people about it? Hear me out.

Romance and love stories are everywhere. Disney princesses have lived with their Prince Charmings ever after, teleseryes have love as the central theme, even the evening news no matter how sad or gruesome will be punctuated by a lively showbiz section prying on a celebrity’s love life. Pop music is really about getting banged. If not for romance, or love, the human species would stop existing.

In family gatherings, one can’t escape the question from doting aunts about the status of your love life. I smile, even if I’m sick of the question and have nothing to answer. I can’t answer, “I guess I’m aromantic and asexual,” because I’ve never heard people use those terms or identify themselves as that outside the internet. It is normal to me, but say that in reality outside the web (forums I participate in), and all you get is weird looks, or people might think I’m trying to be special. Or that I’m thinking up pretty words for ‘unattractive loser’.

I’ve always never been this way. The apathy must have been caused by my own funny experiences with young love and crushes. There was also a time I could think of nothing else but a boy, wanted a person to love me back and reciprocate what I feel about them. The attempts led to the most embarrassing experiences of my teen years. Soon, the subject of love and romance became associated with shame: That attention-seeking, desperate girl who stalked that guy? In other words, who I used to be.

At that age, I was ignorant that I would do anything for a person’s approval, where my entire world revolved around one person. I learned the hard way that isn’t a healthy way to be at all. When I realized that, I stopped feeling anything about it except embarrassment. I also realized my own value to myself. I focused too much on the outside: how others approve of me, or specifically, how someone would like me. I felt sad when I first realized that I haven’t even thought to accept myself as I am, that I don't have to change for the validation of others, my happiness doesn't have to rely on feeling good because I'm loved.

See, this is not really about love life. Love for self, more like. It’s something I’m still learning.

I’m open to possibilities, but that shame is slow to subside. I’m sick of the cliché when I speak about this, they’ll say, “You’ll find the right person.” No, I accept that there might be none. I always preferred my own company, anyway. I also believe that to be secure in any kind of relationship, be it involving friendship or business, one must have a stable relationship with one’s self first.

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