The following are approximately the first 1000 words from Chapter 8 of Jonar Nader’s book,
How to Lose Friends and Infuriate Lovers.
One of us going to get hurt
You’ve heard the expression, ‘Not waving, but drowning’. When it comes to love, many people are ‘Not flying, but falling’. It would seem that we are taken more seriously when we admit to falling in love. The uncontrolled adventure offers excitement and the promise of surprise. Danger generates adrenalin. However, what do we mean by ‘falling’ in love? How do we cope with partners who prefer to fly? What about those who clutch onto a parachute? Are they committed, or are we ill-prepared? Are they well organised, or do we have a lot to learn?
As you can appreciate, there are all sorts of people, doing all manner of things. This chapter explores two types of people: those who are prone to fall, and those who prefer to fly. Strangely enough, they are attracted to each other. After the embrace, one of them will undoubtedly suffer a greater injury. No prizes for guessing.
It is not the done-thing to ‘fly down’ to greet love. We do not ‘meander’ towards love. There is nothing passionate about going for a ‘brisk walk’ to meet love. It would be unromantic to tip-toe through a cautious reconnaissance mission to spy on love. Nay, it’s full-steam ahead, or it’s no go at all. Run, run, run, and keep running every which way, and flap about with all your might, no matter the dangers ahead. Crash through the barriers. Go, go, go, and keep going at full pelt. A brave heart heeds no warnings. Walk through the fire. Show your determination. Prove your dedication. Test your resolve.
In fact, if you do not put your entire life at risk, then it can’t be a worthwhile rendezvous because real love knows no bounds. Come, come, come towards me and stop for nothing. Should you happen to fall, you will be rewarded for your bravery. You see, no matter how fast you run, you cannot run faster than you can fall. Falling is preferred, because it is expeditious and furious; but more importantly, it will free you from the need to exert so much energy. It takes the exertion out of your hands. Free-falling requires no effort. But you must keep your eyes open, so as not to get yourself into a dither.
The dilemma is that ‘romantic love’ is a doomed sort of love whose characteristics are somewhat chain-reactive, in that two similar, but different, types of people are drawn to each other. And yet, ironically, these two are incompatible. Although they are attracted to each other, eventually they will repel each other. How strange. How bizarre. How unfair. How sad.
Imagine two metallic marbles — one red and one blue. They can survive on their own for ages. If placed in a bucket filled with hundreds of different-coloured marbles, the red and the blue will eventually work their way towards each other, simply because they are attracted to one another. They snap together like strong magnets. Although they enjoy a sensational glow when they eventually unite, their union triggers a destructive corrosion. And so it is with red and blue humans who glow in each other’s presence. Such red and blue people are better described as ‘Too’ people (who love too much and care too much) and ‘Very’ people (who love very much and care very much, but not as much as someone who is in too deep). In the good old days, this was evident when GI Joes swept their GI Brides off their feet. One of them cared very much, while the other cared too much.
Show me red and blue lovebirds, and I would confidently predict their demise. In fact, it is almost a certainty that Too people will be the ones to suffer the broken heart. Too people are those who love more and care more. Consequently, they will hurt more, more often. That is the way of things.
A light-bulb, once switched off, does not die. The moment that the power passes through it once again, it can illuminate the room. Unfortunately, love can never be switched off. When entangled in a relationship, love is one of the few human emotions that requires constant energy because love cannot stand still. If it does not continue on a path of unabated growth, love will diminish and die. Mind you, unrequited love rarely dies, because it is fuelled by perception, not by reality. Unrequited love cannot falter because it is ‘imagined bliss’. Nothing bad can ever happen to a relationship that lives in hyperspace.
In love, stagnation and hibernation are impossible. Love must go up or down. It must grow or die. It cannot hover. This phenomenon even applies to unrequited love that is fuelled by endless thoughts and daily pain. Lovesick pups would never reach for the pause switch. They prefer agony over surrender. They value anguish over defeat. It all comes down to hope: maybe, one day; maybe, some how; maybe, this time…
The Too people are attracted to the Very people, and vice versa. Unfortunately, when they collide, they wither and die, simply because Too people spin out of control. They enter an involuntary hyper-drive when they detect that the Very people are not catching up to them. Too people misconstrue this as disinterest on the part of the Very people, so they accelerate the frantic activity in the hope of pleasing more and doing more.
Before we delve into this, allow me to admit to you that I have never understood what is meant by the adage, ‘Opposites attract’. I understand that blondes often choose partners with dark hair. Notwithstanding these types of physical attractions, I am not sure how opposites attract at the mental and intrinsic levels. Are we saying that highly energetic people are attracted to lethargic layabouts? Are we to believe that morally upright citizens are drawn towards criminals? Are intelligent people more comfortable around dull non-thinkers?