Years back, I promised myself that I would never, ever chase after another woman again. I understand that in our society, it’s customary for the man to seek out and court the woman. Likewise, it’s customary for the man to be persistent while the woman is expected to play it cool and brush the man off for a period of time -- playing the lady card, or hard-to-get card. Sure, we don’t see much of this these days, thanks to all the twerking Mileys of our generation, but nevertheless, when a man is really interested in a woman, the fact remains that he will chase after her.
Real men know what they want and will go after it until they get it. The problem with this is that most men don’t actually know what they want and if they do, falling for a woman turns the majority of them into lovesick puppies -- very hungry, lovesick puppies. If a man doesn’t get what he wants, he’ll only want it more. This turns into an obsession and all such obsessions end badly.
Back when I was still a teenager, I met a girl -- so begins every hopeless love story. The more I got to know her, the more I liked her. The more I liked her, the more I wanted to spend time with her. Unfortunately, she didn’t feel the same way about me. She was going through a rough patch in her life, and because I have a thing for damaged goods (they make me feel less crazy), the rough patch was especially rough.
She didn’t want me in her life; she wanted her independence. She had her heart broken once again, and this time around, the last thing she wanted in her life was another man. The problem was, the sex was incredible. It was so good that although she didn’t want to date me, she couldn’t let me go, either. In the meantime, I had managed to fall for her. And so began my obsession and a chase that lasted nearly two years.
I am going to save all the gloriously awful and painful details -- "emotional roller-coaster" is an understatement -- but my unhealthy obsession, and unwillingness not to get what I want, eventually broke down the barriers she had put up. She fell for me and I had won my prize. Now, here’s the thing: While love isn’t always felt intensely, obsession is.
Obsession, once it grabs onto you, won’t let you go. It’s filled with elongated moments of intense feeling and emotion. Thoughts of what or whom you’re obsessing over fill your mind like a dark cloud and you’re unable to distract yourself for long periods of time. You wake up thinking of her, you think of her the whole day, you go to bed thinking of her and you dream of her. But once you actually "get" her, your mind no longer has a need to think of her constantly; you have her and are now fulfilling that mental stimulation by spending much more time with her.
The intense feelings inevitably subside and you are left feeling… normal. Let me tell you, after obsessing for a long period of time, normal no longer feels normal. You begin to miss those intense emotions brought on obsession once they subside. Even worse, if you’re inexperienced, as I was, you mistake your obsession for love.
What makes regular obsessions profoundly intense obsessions is love itself; it underlies the obsession and fuels it. Not all obsessions are this soul-wrenching, but if they’re combined with love, they’re nearly unbearable. When the obsession is removed, you fall into a sort of withdrawal. Obsessions like these really are a sort of addiction. When the obsession leaves you, you’re left feeling incomplete.
Here comes the sad part. Although you know that you love her, you don’t feel that you love her. Because the beginning of your relationship was so intense, it set the bar ridiculously high. Now, everything that you feel falls short and you can’t seem to convince yourself that you are, for certain, with the right person. As human beings, we experience things comparatively: Great experiences are only great if they seem great in comparison to other experiences.
You’re still convinced that the way love is supposed to feel is the way you felt during all that time you were chasing the girl. You masked your obsession as being true love and are now unable to redefine true love -- at least in regards to this specific person. The relationship is ruined. You’ll never be able to build the relationship you need because your obsession rotted away at the foundation.
Chasing love never works unless it is for a very short period of time. The problem is, once you start chasing, you begin to enjoy the chase, so you chase for a bit longer. Then, it turns into an even longer lasting chase, which inevitably turns into an obsession. If you want to turn your whole world upside down, go ahead and obsess; it’s sure to change you at a deep level. The only upside of all the pain and stress is that you will come out of it as a better person. You might come out wiser and better off than when you first started chasing, but it isn’t guaranteed that you’ll come out at of the dark tunnel at all.
The disillusionment of such obsession more often than not leaves victims depressed. Falling into a depression is much easier than climbing out of one and not all of us are able to manage the task. Obsessions are the leading cause of suicides. Clearly they aren’t all related to the chasing of women, but they are obsessions that fade and disappear, leaving the person lost and confused.
Obsessions substitute our purpose. When the obsession is lost, our purpose in life is lost with it. The only solution is finding a better purpose.
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