Can you be firm about the unconditional nature of your love for someone?
Can it be a comfortable state of mind to love without expecting a certain return?
Can interest be maintained when one takes the role of the actor and the other of the reactor?
Isn’t a reactor really the chosen part of an actor or just a delay in alternating roles?
Is secretly watching from a distance a perversion or is it the only way to gain insight?
Is romantic love an addiction and a mere obsession?
Is romantic love a struggle for an unattainable ideal?
Is commitment to the unattainable confirmation of one’s persistent commitment-phobia?
Is commitment-phobia, a phobia of one’s own emotional intensity or selfishness?
Can someone grow by refusing to face criticism in a commitment induced dialogue?
I fear not. When I broke up with my ex-boyfriend I bought a book called “Emotional Intelligence in Couples Therapy”. I know it was a strange thing to do, as I had absolutely no intention of being involved in another relationship, but that was exactly the reason I felt I needed the book. Even though our relationship ended with a sigh of relief, I was aware that I was growing and learning a great deal, mainly of my faults. At break-up point I was relieved to the point of no regret to be free and as I stood breathing the air of freedom I realised there was no criticism, no dialogue, no round view, no insight, just me, my son and my eternally uninvolved party-animal friends. When I did something wrong there was no one there to correct me, no one really cared, so how was I going to match up to the other hard-working parents who worked everyday their brains and asses off to deliver on a multi-level emotional universe.
I watched Linklater’s “After midnight” the other day. I didn’t go there just to watch a film, I actually had questions. I’ve never watched a more realistic representation of married 40 something life (well maybe with the exception of Farhadi’s “A Separation”). I could very clearly recognise the behavioural patterns of the two main characters. My friend said “aw I just realised how annoying and stuck-up us women get sometimes” and yeah that is a relevant comment, but really not what I saw… Did you know that women’s IQs drop when they get pregnant due to hormonal take-over and then slowly return? Have I told you that I’ve never met a father who willingly would wake up in the middle of the night to change a diaper? That stuff is hardcore when encountered without any warning, but nowadays in my mind they are universal realities. Love costs and life degrades, but we’re just walking through it all doing our thing, as they all seem to agree on in the film.