November 6, 2006 6:42am CST
Ever got the feeling that you love someone and yet don’t love him? Countless songs, books, theories have been spewed out on this contrariness. Some call it the battle of the two opposing forces inside each of us, and some call it plain and simple Confusion with a capital C. Like most of you I have two little guys…oops Gals…. who sit on my shoulders and manipulate my thoughts, feelings and behaviour. When I experience two forces pulling me in opposite directions, it’s usually cuz these two – I shall call them Cara and Rosa from hereon – are having the ‘battle royale’! So Cara and Rosa were going through this ‘do I love him, or do I not love him’ phenomenon (so much better than the ‘He loves me – He loves me not’ chant, don’t you think) when I suddenly felt the light bulb go on: It wasn’t me who was into torn into two opposing halves – love itself was composed of two, mostly contrary parts!! The way I saw it, Love was composed of rational love and emotional love. These two formed the two ends of a continuum. It is very rare – if not downright impossible – that someone only experiences love at a rational level with no emotional anguish (yeah, that was Rosa’s smirk at my naiveté) or that someone only ‘feels’ love without any shade of rationality. (Cara: “Booo!”) Most people go through both kinds of love, though the degree of each tends to differ. Put in another way, my pal Meg can put herself on any point on the love continuum depending on how she feels about Rex. Let’s look at my own relationship with my dude. When I think of the utterly cute things he’s done for me or the totally surprising things he’s said about how he feels about me…. I am bowled over. I can’t do much more than smile all the time for no obvious reason and hug myself in pure delight. Rosa is ruling the roost at such times. She is the matador waving the red (color of passion) cloth and I am charging towards the emotional end of the continuum. I am overwhelmed by the feel-good factor. I am… jus my feelings. But when it’s been a regular run of the 9-6 routine and all my sensible batteries are showing the ‘fully charged’ sign, I try to visualize me and him together. And I can hear the glass cracking. The image doesn’t fly. I think of our personalities and how utterly incompatible we would be. And there are umpteen practical reasons why this would NOT work out. Cara bobs around in her black robe with, “I rest my case, your Honour.” She has captured the charging bull and put it in a pen with a huge sign on the gate: “Think!” In a traditional Indian arranged-marriage setting, the potential couple are expected to start at the Rational end and then slowly move into the Emotional Zone and settle down. It sounds totally whacky but our parents and grand parents have proved that the idea works. In an ideal situation a couple will start at the Emotional end but they should trek upwards to Mount Rational. The love continuum extends infinitely from this end. A relationship has more chances of surviving when the couple has figured what they LIKE about each other and whether those character traits and attitudes are enough to carry the burden of the relationship for ever after….. till death do us part!