“According to Greek Mythology, humans were originally created with four arms, four legs and a head with two faces. Fearing their power, Zeus split them into two separate beings, condemning them to spend their lives in search of their other halves.”
― Plato, “The Symposium”
When I checked my Facebook account yesterday, lo and behold, one of my more casual friends has been engaged to her boyfriend. Although I wanted to leave a congratulatory message of sorts, I did not feel that we were close enough for me to do so; therefore, I left the page without doing anything. A few minutes later, I found myself contemplating on the fact that I have never been in a romantic relationship before. I’ve kissed people and have lost most of my virginity (not going into details here, hahaha!), but a boyfriend/girlfriend? What the hell are those things?
In high school, I almost had a girlfriend. As cheesy as it sounds, she was my first love. We became friends because we were two out of four students in class who failed to find other people to form a group with. She was an artist with a jaw-dropping amount of talent and was comfortable conversing about anything and everything under the sun. During our retreat that year (we were in a private Catholic school), I refused to let her go back to her bed so we talked in hushed voices until everyone was asleep and, as expected, we were teased about it in class the following week. At that time, it felt really strange for me to be thought of liking her as more than a friend just because I enjoyed her company so much. She, on the other hand, did not give a rat’s ass about it. Eventually, the teasing died down along with my awkwardness. However, one night, she told me that she liked me. As in liked me liked me. How did I take it?
I freaked the fuck out.
The next day, I couldn’t look at her. I sat beside her during lunch and she shared her food with me but all the while my heart was about to explode in my chest. It was the first time that anyone had ever confessed to me, and it was someone who was nice and funny and smart and awesome and open-minded and cool. In other words, she was the type of person who I thought would never be attracted to me in any way. To say that I was overwhelmed is an understatement. I did not feel that I deserved her affection and attention, so I ruined everything by allowing my extremely low self-esteem to get the best of me and ended up avoiding her. We have been awkward ever since, or at least I have. She asked for my help during college in her desire to transfer to my university, and even then I couldn’t hold a proper conversation with her. She was the glowing comet I chose to sleep through, the warm embrace I stepped away from, the beautiful poem I never read. She was my biggest loss.
Until now, I regret the decision I made back then, and sadly, until now, I believe that I cannot be loved by anyone in a romantic way. I don’t long for it nor am I looking for it, but it’s something that I don’t expect to come for me anytime soon. Or ever. Whenever I think about what my future will be like, I do not and cannot see myself with anyone. I envision myself being single forever, travelling alone or with some friends sometimes, and living with and taking care of my parents until their old age. Meanwhile, when I go to Facebook or Twitter, I’ll keep encountering posts and tweets of everyone else getting engaged, married, having kids, and eventually retiring with their better half. To be perfectly honest, being alone scares me a little bit simply because I do not find very attractive the idea of dying in my sleep with no one knowing about it until several days later when my corpse starts rotting. My fear of that, though, is no match for my fear of being liked by someone as more than a friend. I know that no one’s perfect but I can’t help thinking that because of my flaws and inadequacies, I will be one day thrown away and forgotten, leaving me back to where I started. To me, engaging in a relationship is allowing the other enough access to all the facets of your being that they can destroy them in one fell swoop without so much as a warning, and that is simply an amount of invulnerability that I refuse to have.
Perhaps we really are all just halves. We are social beings because other people are able to fill the holes in our imperfect facades with their love and compassion, making us feel complete and relevant to the bigger scheme of things. It should not mean, though, that all of us are meant to be a whole being with someone else. A half is a fraction but it exists. It is not a zero. So no, Plato and Greek mythology, I am not going to spend my life looking for my other half, if there even is such a thing for me. If he/she comes, then he/she comes. If not, then I will just let it be. Perhaps my other half was my first love, or perhaps not because it didn’t work out. However I may react to the next person who confesses to me I cannot predict right now, but I will try not screw it up. Hopefully.
Oh, and I found a quote that I find better and more agreeable.
“Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.”
— Veronica A. Shoffstall, “After a While”