I heard a song yesterday about romance. “Why are lonely people so obsessed with breaking each other’s hearts?” the singer inquired, while a gentle guitar ushered his Mick Jagger sounding voice through the speakers. I avoid romance related topics because of my confessed incompetence on the subject. But if I was forced to venture an opinion, I would say that lonely people are like impoverished third world countries engaged in civil war, arms dealers only need supply them the weapons, they will do the rest.
Think about it, lonely hearts know exactly what is missing. That paramour, the person who opens the metaphoric blinds of life and bathes them in warm morning sunlight and that person who has taken up permanent residence in their mind with no intention of departure or eviction. Everyone has that someone they imagine building future blah blah blahs with. More often than not, that person is just as unattached and lonely as the initial person but they won’t make it easy, or make it at all. Not because of disinterest, or difference in ideologies. Simply out of societal influenced intelligence.
Enter the influence peddlers. Books on love, romance advice blogs, weekly advice columnists, friends, family and even coworkers all with something to say. A little bit of input to throw into the romantic stew. “Ladies, if you want a man to want you, you can’t be too easy, make him chase you. You are a catch and he has to earn it”. “Boys, if you want her to like you, you have to be a challenge. Play it cool. You are a busy man and she has to earn your attention”. Both of them are good advice and highly functional but in my opinion heavily destructive in the arms of people who don’t know how to use them and OH BOY do we have NO IDEA what we are doing.
Treating someone you supposedly care about in the above format has consequences. Sure, it puts them under a spell of mystery which keeps them interested. But what happens when that spell breaks? Like all good mystery movies that big twist you are using to string them along had better be worth it. If not, then Game Over with spectacularly bad critic reviews. Then there are those relationships that last years without people actually knowing anything about each other. They were too busy “playing it cool”. This is where questions like “What did I ever see in you?” come in. The answer is usually “Absolutely Nothing”. There is nothing to be said because there was never anything “real” shared. The “expert” advice peddlers are usually as single as their students. No, not “advice peddlers”… Arms dealers!
It’s called empathy. That thing that separates us from the animals, that’s what it is called. The ability to share emotions is the reason loneliness is such a powerful motivator. We all want someone to share smiles with or dry tears for and vice versa. Without that other half of the emotional circle it’s like playing racket ball alone (the wall could care less). Sounds soppy and I will catch a lot of heat from the boys about it, but that doesn’t make it any less true. I’m no expert, but I continue to maintain that romantic games of Command and Conquer are not my thing. Life’s too much fun to spend it standing still.