Longing

by Alexandru Ciobanu

“Are you one of those people who says on a first date, ‘I’m really not in a hurry to meet somebody, I figure if it happens, it happens’? Because those are the most desperate people of all. I’m just saying this so that if you are this person, you aren’t hiding it from anybody.
There is no shame in being hungry for another person. There is no shame in wanting very much to share your life with somebody.”  – Augusten Burroughs

No, you are definitely not hiding it from anyone. They say clinginess is a very unattractive feature  in a person. If that is the case, I may just be the ugliest mutt you ever laid eyes on. It is certainly not a voluntary decision. Ever since I was a teenager, I would go through all of these relationships, few as they may have been, out of mere neediness for another human being. Hardly a revolutionary fact that loneliness is difficult to endure. In this premature and persistent search for a relationship, I denied myself the idea of going through a promiscuous phase out of sheer pride and dignity. Was it too much to need the comfort of a relationship for my very first sexual relations to occur? An ex-boyfriend from a few years ago, who I was severely infatuated with, was reluctant in going forward with the aforementioned sexual relations because he believed it would have triggered a promiscuous phase in me. As if once I popped my cherry, I would suddenly feel the need to screw every other guy from here to Hanoi. Little did he know, that little foray into fornication would have had less to do with pleasure and more to do with an ill-fated necessity to cement the relationship.

But maybe I should have used the past tense. While my particular brand of clinginess carried itself right into my very first serious relationship, which lasted for a little over a year and a half, I believe it may be a matter of the past. When this need of clinging on to him so tightly faded, so did the love, albeit a reductive statement, that I was able to offer at the time. To give you an idea of just how awful of a human being I was in the first few months, I would like to say that I question my own loving behavior in that time. That particular cloying behavior was excessively affectionate, so that whenever he wouldn’t reciprocate with the same amount of treacle and sentimentality, I would have something over him. I’m finding it hard to vindicate myself for it, and for how the relationship ended, but the only comfort I can give myself in regards to this is that it wasn’t intentional. And also, that I’ve changed. I am still very much hungry, as Augusten says, for another person. However, I’ve come to understand that it is not in my control. Love is not in my control. I should give myself over to circumstances, the ones regarding other people. As Viktor E. Frankl said, “Happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself.” I believe the same about love. Most of the times the circumstances won’t work in my favor. Sometimes they will devastate me. One should try, though, on the off chance that they do.

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