Yesterday, a friend was sharing her feelings about a person that voiced personal interest in her. She explained that this person wasn’t “her usual type,” and that she was trying to find a sense of attraction because she felt that this person was very genuine and nice and wanted to give them a chance. However, for the meantime, she felt no emotional spark or connection towards the person, and hoped that it would grow over time.
I remember the first time a man sought interest in me; rather, I should mention, the first man that wasn’t a “creep,” nor someone way out of my box of interest. I wasn’t originally into him, but because he was interested in me, I figured I should explore the opportunity and see how things turned out. In the end, I ended up not feeling an emotional attraction to him.
My friend also shared that her only exposure to relationships was through more discreet ways, where the person was not fully committed and open but nevertheless gave in to some account. Similarly, I shared that I am generally always attracted to people that are either unavailable, or not mutually interested.
It reminded me of a scene in the show Scandal; the main character, Olivia Pope, is a woman who has a messy, deceitful relationship with the President and her feelings for him overpowered the other relationships she tried having with other men. When confronted by another character that proposed to her, she expressed that she wanted her love to be painful, complicated, and other harsh words. At the time, this was disturbing to me – who wants love like this? Shouldn’t love be happy?
However, during this conversation, it hit me – I’m only attracted to people in situations of confusion, of complication. I’ve never been into a man, or person, who has showed open and honest interest in me. Why is this? What do I really want, or expect?
About two years ago, I watched a documentary in an anthropology course on the experiences of couples who had arranged marriages. They expressed that, indefinitely, they had no feelings towards one another at the start, but over time they worked to create that connection, they worked to love each other. At the time, this confused me but looking back, I think it is a very valid concept.
When I think about this, I look back at that one relationship I had, and think – should I have worked to have feelings for him? Of course, this was never a serious relationship, but nevertheless I believe part of me was scared that someone could be so open and honest with me. Perhaps part of me was overwhelmed, and wanted to escape the intensity.
Also, it makes me look at future relationships – should I forget having “a type,” and just try anything with anyone? All relationships require work, however the work is also in personal attraction; that once you love someone’s character, the physical flaws disappear. Perhaps the way I love needs to be shifted to a certain degree; I need to better balance initial attraction and personal effort.
by ZAIN AHMED