{53} The Art and Agony of Pining

I am demi-romantic so usually I fall in love with someone only after knowing them well, for an extended period of time. This, as you can imagine, results in a situation where I end up pining for someone who is a close friend, who views me as a friend, and has zero idea (and usually zero interest) in me as a romantic option.

I enjoy reading romance stories mostly because they are about people overcoming obstacles in life and finding happiness, more than because they are about romance. My every day is about overcoming obstacles, and I’d surely love to find some happiness along the way. Romance just seems like it would be a nice add-on? But not really required.

Then again, I’m not much of a romantic to begin with. I find it a strange, uneven terrain to navigate (one reason I’m so bad at pining). Ironic, because the three times I reckon I’ve actually, legitimately fallen in love, it’s been with boys who are hopeless romantics. Maybe I savor observing love-in-action due to my own hesitancy to feel it.

So of course one of my favorite fiction tropes is “friends to lovers” because as unlikely as that is, it’s my experience of romance. What I don’t quite understand as well is why it is such a popular trope for other people.

The pining? It is not fun. There is a reason that this trope falls under the umbrella of “angsty” stories in fanfiction circles: it’s painful. It’s got a big payoff in that true love wins in the end, but it’s still kind of a shitty thing to go through.

Whoops I just described 99.9% of romantic fiction…

I guess the question is: Why do we desire pain with our love? To ensure it’s worth it? I know that relationships can be hard, because we are all merely human, but is love supposed to be hard? I don’t believe so.

The upshot here is that the whole “fight for your love!!!!” thing just strikes me as incredibly counter-productive. I’m not going to make demands of a friend in the hopes that doing so will make them love me. Friendship is to be treasured and if romantic love doesn’t live inside of that friendship, then so be it; the cost is only what could have been, not the precious friendship that exists.

Doesn’t mean pining doesn’t suck, tho’. I guess love might be easy but that doesn’t mean anything else is.

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