I was recently introduced to the Forty Days of Dating experiment. It involves a boy and a girl who are great friends trying out forty days of constant contact and the emotional attachment of being in a relationship.
They each have their own issues to iron out, so it becomes incredibly (or at least seemingly) honest and vulnerable, which is what I loved about it.
It clung on to me, and evoked feelings of the past as I compared the past and present and realized how different everything is now.
I jumped into things wholeheartedly, like my life depended on it. And then I retreat. When I felt that I was needed, I dived further. When I didn’t, I took two steps back.
My defence mechanism worked in full swing. I was afraid to fall; I was afraid of being at the losing end. Whenever I felt like I was at the losing end, I felt the need to spite the other, to evoke jealousy, to ‘accidentally’ reveal things, to incite an argument, to guilt-trip them (this is the worst!), to make the other want to fight for me while I appeared to be giving up.
I needed the drama whenever I couldn’t feel the sort of feelings I needed from the other party. I needed them to knock me off my feet. I needed them to think it’s their loss (not mine) if they didn’t cherish me, even though it was me who feared losing them more. I thought no one would love me like that again. No one. The fear was big enough to be irrational and demanding. It was the downfall of the relationships.
After the first one failed, I dived into the second one almost straight away. After the second one failed, I almost ruined a friendship I held so dear with a rebound. Thankfully, I went away.
Afterwards, something changed. I embarked on a journey of self-discovery. I challenged my comfort zones and learnt to grow and develop into the person I am today, curious with wonder. Then I met someone who made me both stronger and weaker. We took forever to start, but when we did, I spent the first few months questioning what the hell we were doing.
Thereafter, we just leapt blindly with full faith. He is S. He makes me feel infinite. Of course, there are moments I still get jealous and I still (but rarely) question my self-worth (I’m a girl after all) but he almost always put it back in place immediately. I never feel the need to make him jealous, neither do I ever wish to pick a fight, just because.
Our relationship is built on two separate lives apart – it definitely seems like one big drama. So when we’re together, we keep it as drama-free as possible. I think he has made me want to be an amazing girlfriend, and I try to be. And I realized that all this is only possible because the boy loves fiercely and fearlessly. He doesn’t question. He just does. Unabashedly and unafraid.
And I think it’s this: Love makes you want to be the best for the other person. Especially when the other person is being absolutely amazing for you.