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Romance for Masochists

Submitted by Casey on August 24, 2010 – 2:10 amComments

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William Shakespeare

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“Journeys end in lovers meeting”
Shakespeare said that, so I believe it to be true. Because I’m pretty sure all truth (at least, all truth in writing) stems from Shakespeare.

“They” say that you have to love yourself and be happy with yourself to fully love another. So I see how this can be true. Upon the completion of some form of self-discovery, you often are in a better place to be open to new things. Maybe you’ve just broken up with someone, and you have to go on a journey (metaphorically) to get over that person; once you feel better, once you’ve undergone enough new experiences and been enlightened to a better way to be, you’re in the right place to start something new. Or maybe you’re slowly breaking out of your shell, and dating a new person wouldn’t have been possible before a certain transformation took place.
This is not very romantic, though. I’d like to think that the relationship itself could be your journey. And I guess it is. But most stable relationships don’t really have that up and down…the ones that work out are the quietly content ones, right? That’s why young marriages rarely work out, and why older singles are always just waiting “to meet a nice guy/girl”. Young people are confused people (and confused people, really, are just people who have yet to take that journey), people who don’t know what they want. They don’t have those stable, give-and-take relationships where each person is satisfied with who they are as a person and just wants someone who can love and appreciate them. They have intense connections that they lean on regardless of surrounding drama. They have little moments that are impossible to overcome, that become things they remember til old age. They have tragic fights where small problems become the bane of one’s existence.
This is probably a sad way to live, but I hope one day I can have a relationship that stupid and passionate and mindless, something so dependent on a little connection that might exist elsewhere but that seems special between myself and my partner — because we found it.
I can find a nice guy to raise a family with when I’m 30. By that time every stable 30-35 year-old single guy with a decent income and a cute smile on will be looking for their mirror image (with boobs) on Match.com so I don’t really care about the future and stability. I want to find someone I’m crazy in love with and go on a crazy ridiculous painful journey with them.
I am a masochist for sure. Before the pain, I always say “bring it on”. During the pain, I am miserable and depressed. After enough time has passed, I’m glad for it and wanting more.
Maybe one day I will want a nice man with a nice smile who can father my 1.9 children. But I doubt it. I would much rather have a whirlwind romantic rollercoaster, push-and-pull, love-and-hate thing and feel the high-high-highs of being so madly in love, even if that means the occasional can’t-feel-your-face lows.

I guess maybe I feel like I’ve never had a journey that ended with my meeting someone great. Though, I guess I have had small journeys of self-discovery that ended in encounters with someone new. And while those encounters were usually purely physical, they were often the catalyst for the journey’s completion — like, I was 99% there and then meeting someone just put me over the edge.
But I guess that’s what Shakespeare meant. That once you’ve discovered part of yourself — once you’ve been on a journey and really learned something new — you’re ready to start a new journey.
I just wish most of my journeys lasted longer than the walk of shame home in the morning.

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  • Cat

    I couldn't agree more. I, myself am most surely a romance masochist. I have experienced the bleeding, voiding, emotionally staggering ebs and flows of a push-pull, burning and totally impassioned relationship. It hurt and it still hurts sometimes. I have had stable relationships as well and have seen that they create and leave in their wake much less devastation and destruction than the impassioned romance-thrillers. When I look at life, I see that striving to be being content is more practical than striving to be "happy". I guess us romantic masochists ascribe happiness to the chemical release of the most roller-coaster highs of an unstable romance. And when it comes to love, it seems we all want to be hopeful and just wait to cash our chips in for the high stakes of a-not-stable-but passion-infused romance.

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