“Hey, hot stranger, do you want to jump off of this massive cliff with me? There’s no real reason either of us needs to jump. We aren’t in any immediate danger that would be resolved by jumping or anything. It would just be for kicks, really. There’s also a good chance one or both of us will crash into those violently sharp rocks at the bottom and carry the scars with us until we die. So, what do you say? Feel like falling? *insufferable wink*”
“You know what, good looking? That sounds swell.”
Relationships. That’s how I feel about relationships.
If you’re currently thinking, “Wow, this girl is way more emotionally damaged than I thought, I happen to think dating is great. I couldn’t live without (insert dreamy, eyelash-fluttering, pupil-dilating description of significant other here,)” first of all, thanks for buying into my facade of emotional stability, you a homie. Secondly, you are equal parts inspiring and entirely incomprehensible, my friend. Let me tell you why:
You, one happy half of an enviable pair, are in the kind of stable relationship I struggle to believe sincerely exists. Part of me thinks you’re all participants in an elaborate government hoax so people like me will single-handedly keep Ben and Jerry’s in business, one pint and one spoon at a time, no bowl necessary. That, or the people at the NSA really enjoy reading my sad iphone poetry (how about that heartbreaking final stanza in the last one, officers?)
I consider the chances of obtaining your joyful, loving, long-term relationships for myself the in the same way I look at, say, marrying any number of handsome Hollywood Chris’s in an intimate ceremony on the moon.
Is that scenario possible? Okay technically yes? In some crazy parallel universe where everything is happy and nothing hurts and zero gravity bridal wear is a thing? But this is real life, and despite my standards being out of this world, I’m not an astronaut. Dammit all if I’m not here to provide the unwelcome dose of rain-on-your-relationship-parade cynicism.
(Is your relationship actually a parade? In that case I take it all back and I’d like to join you as a Ferris Bueller style addition: entirely adored with zero commitment and an upbeat Beatles soundtrack. Get back to me on that.)
I’m happy for you, couples. I am. I’m the first person to cry tears of “aw they love each other” at even the smallest display of a heartfelt exchange. He saved her the last m&m’s. She abandoned her career aspirations to be with him. Ya know, the usual.
Like a baby goat, I kid. I mean it, I love love. I cry at the proposals of complete strangers. I actively empathize with love stories that don’t even count as love stories. For example, “That tiny kitten and that giant dog are frieeennndss. They love each other, that’s beautiful” and suddenly I’m emotionally compromised by nothing at all. I happen to be a rare and unfortunate case of hopeless romantic meets raging cynic. How did I get this way? How do I fix it? Who hurt me? (ha.)
What’s scary about this emotional cliff-jump is the assumption that the gravity of love affects all people at the same rate. Unfortunate realization? The laws of physics apply to the rational world and love is the farthest thing from that. Say you jump off of this dating cliff at the same time. If the world was kind and hearts made any sense at all, both people would “fall in love” at the same rate and either, continue to fall together forever or, both stop falling at the same time and carry on their merry ways.
It doesn’t always work like that.
Sometimes one person crashes and burns (heartbreak), while the other is R. Kelly I Believe I Can Fly-ing straight on through to better days. Either way, both parties end up with a little R&B, (Rock Bottom/Rhythm & Blues)
I digress. One extended metaphor later and I can say this:
For the emotional cliff jumpers out there: congratulations. I admire your love from my single kayak in the distance. May you fall together indefinitely into the blissful, love-laden unknown. Like 16 year old Olympians or the continued fame of the Kardashians, you baffle me. Cliff jump and carry on.