There are those inexplicable moments of vulnerability in our twenties which invade our invincible façade and make us start questioning if there was something inherently wrong with us which prevented us from finding love.
Yes, I’ve been through that.
“Being single is a choice. I refuse to compromise. I’m living the life that I want to live and making myself the best that I can be. I just have not met the right person.”
I’ve heard all that. Not the least from my inner self to my vulnerable self in the middle of the night. It can all be true. But there are moments when the truth is not the answer to the yearning in your heart.
And then I started, “Project Getting Attached”. It’s a posthumous name to the Project by the way. I wouldn’t be so cheesy. Or that frank with myself then. It seemed to me then that the endeavour smacks of desperation.
The rationale behind it was very simple. There is a saying that life is very fair. You get back in results what you put your time into developing. Love, attraction, seduction and developing a romantic relationship was just something I never spent time on. Unfortunately, I discovered that I had no natural or innate talent that flared into existence just because one day I decided to pick up the endeavour. So, I decided on a plan of action.
Making an effort to meet new people was the easy part. I’m a natural introvert, but my EQ was at least above average. It helped that I’m not shy to speak to people. I just didn’t want to most of the time. If I make an effort, my natural curiosity about things serves me well when I make conversation. And I’m on the whole a pleasant and polite person. Every person, relationship and the human interactions surrounding it became an object of study. The problem was, I remain detached and dispassionate almost in the underlying emotional experience. Until I pick up a logical incoherence, or a reasoning fallacy, and then I guess some people may find my persistence at picking apart your story slightly annoying. I try not to do that to strangers unless they are starting to irritate me.
The thing about conversation is that most strangers find you a better conversationalist when they got to tell their story to a rapt audience. They just didn’t realise I hadn’t spoken much about myself. All I had to do was to look into their eyes and go, “Oh really!” and “That’s amazing”. And then my inner self yawned and my brain switched off and my mind went on cruise control. I do that sometimes, not because I wanted to impress them, but because they were really that boring and it was impolite to want to leave within 2 minutes of saying hello. Getting attached was never a problem. Staying in and enjoying a relationship was.
Then, I found a few guys that I might want to impress. Gradually, I grew to empathise the guys whom I had secretly rolled my eyes at. I was no charming conversationalist myself. I was never lacking in confidence in how I looked, but I was also realistic enough to know that I wasn’t the kind of stunning that led guys to hang around you. With time, and from my many dispassionate examination of human interactions I also realised that I didn’t want that many guys hanging out around me. I wanted a good partner in crime to share my experiences with – the person in whose presence I can be honest in all ways and comfortable in my skin. And that person needs to be someone I trusted, respected, was attracted to and which would make me a better person.
That, my dear, was the lesson growing up had for me. I’m still learning, but Life has never been so great, nor have I ever been so comfortable in my skin or so honest with myself. Project Getting Attached didn’t work in the way I anticipated. But it taught me what was the kind of “Love” that I wanted. If any thing, it also made me kinder in judging people, because having lived the lives of the average mortals (*wink) rather than being a dispassionate observer from my pedestal, I realised many of us are just imperfect beings in search of a better us.