The thing about love

Pre-proloque - the nescafé situation

I’m pretty sure, dear reader, you are no stranger to love, you know the rules and so do I. Thinking of full commitments if that’s what you’re looking for and believe me, you wouldn’t get this from any other guy.

just want to tell you how I’m feeling.
Gotta make you understand.
Never gonna give you up,
Never gonna let you down.
 
Ok enough rick rolling. Honestly I have to tell you the one thing I tell everybody when they ask me about relationship advices and that is that „I’m single for four years now and the last person who should giving advices, because obviously, I kinda suck at relationships“.
I’m not single because I enjoy the endless partying, wild sex and freedom which comes with it – because that was never how it worked for me. From my experience, being single means partying is more pressuring (because you are a single), „wild“ sex is mostly pretty disappointing because it lacks real emotional depth and true knowledge of what the other person truly wants and when it comes to freedom:
 
At a certain point it became more relevant, at least for me, to find the things in life, that I would gladly sacrifice my freedom for. Being „free“ completely lost its magic for me, since I rather give my free time for something I truly believe in.
In case you still don’t get my point, here is a more hands on approach: I stripped myself from the free choice of drinks in the supermarket, since I don’t approve with nestlés goal to privatize water resources all over the world.
The freedom, to drink my ice cold volvic-water means shit, it’s meaningless. At the time I decided to limit my freedom of drinking-choices, I actually made a point and stopped being a hedonistic child, the things you give your freedom for are the stuff that defines who and what you are.
 
Don’t get me wrong, singles are not hedonistic children, it’s just that for me, being single is kind of a nescafé situation but instead I rather find that ONE drink that I gladly cast aside every other choice and never again, I shall walk past the supermarket fridge a third time because I don’t know what to choose.

Prologue - love is no calculation

So you can imagine how I felt when I finally thought i found my holy grail of refreshments after a three years journey through various late night corner supermarkets (if you don’t get the metaphor you obviously skipped the pre-prologue).

And I suddenly felt like Eminem:

Look
If you had
One shot
Or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted
In one moment
Would you capture it
Or just let it slip?
 
And I was sure to slip that drink of pure happiness, ready to use all the experience I’ve had gathered from failure, past relationships and countless conversations with friends – this time, I’ll get it right!
And I did, for around five weeks.
To be fair, I thought I’m being honest with myself but I wasn’t, I was in retrospective chasing something I wasn’t truly ready for but I pretended I’m – so much that I actually started to believe it myself: But she didn’t.

So all that was needed to let that bubble burst was a full-blown drama within my closer circle of friends, whom I had to be sucked into. At this moment while I was completely overwhelmed, that devastating conversation happened.

Have you ever seen a movie where a protagonist is approached by a car or something but instead of dodging he’s just staring at the light bluntly with eyes wide open? Yeah, that was pretty much how that conversation was going. But the car was an honest question and the dodging would have meant to tell a lie.

But wait, didn’t I get my brilliant calculation right?
((no pressure) + (direct communication) + (interesting dates)) x (weeks spend) = never ending grail of ice-cold, healthy and refreshing beverage called love

So completely confused about what just happened, I did what every sane person would do: I called one of my oldest and closest friends, asked if I could come over for a few days, hopped in the late night bus for a few hours and got smash drunk while complaining about life.

What is love

Usually, when someone gets rejected they have a very important decision to make: Who do they blame?
Well, I couldn’t really blame anyone at this point, in my calculation I did everything right but on the other hand she didn’t do anything wrong, it just didn’t work out and I had no idea why. Which finally brings me to this whole project, because (being the analytic type) I wanted to find out why it didn’t work, find the mechanism behind it; what makes love, what is it and how does it work?

What began as the notes of a rejected guy trying to figure out what went wrong, became a serious attempt to understand what love is and is still yet to be completed. Which brings us to:

The thing about love Part one: Interpersonal values

Lets get one very important thing straight right of the bat: This is meant as a fun thought experiment, a joint brainstorming if you decide to add something to my thoughts. This is not science and most importantly those are not facts and should not be treated as such.

That out of the way let me explain to you about a little something I call interpersonal weighting.
I think we all agree that people regardless of gender are pretty social, some more than others of course. Social contacts can range from talking to your mother on the phone every second evening, to chatting with strangers in a video game about how getting a phone call from your mother every second evening is annoying you. No one I know is an exception – everyone needs some peers in their lifes, one way or another.

There are differences though, for example considering how much social interaction a person needs. Some people get bored extremely fast on their own, others can enjoy isolation for days, playing video games, reading books or binge-watching through Netflix.
Or another example, for my case more important, with whom they spend their social time with. Let’s say for the sake of argument, that there are three major players in a social circle a person has: Friends, lovers and family, Now imagine someone has this perfect balance between spending time with their family, their partner and friends, it would look a little like that:

Naturally, people with similar interpersonal values and weighting are more likely to fit together – they understand each other easier and just get it, why it’s important for their significant other to meet their family and friends occasionally. But what if that’s not the case?

Love clash: The besty and the seeker

„Perfectly balanced, as all things should be“ is mostly a myth and especially individuals are everything but harmonious. Let’s take someone who has been single for years and is not interested in dating whatsoever, someone who is perfectly fine with their family and friends in their lives. Let’s call her the „Besty„-type because you can be sure that she wouldn’t be the one who lets you stranded alone and drunk in a bar during saturday night, just to get to know prince charming with a receding hairline but the new BMW eco-edition (not sponsored by the way).

Lets compare our Besty with someone else. Someone who has lots and lots of friends but no contact to his family because at some point those Christmas dinners just escalated way too much. Let’s say he’s the type who kinda has everything, good-looking, stable income but for some reason he can’t get to find a girlfriend, and he’s suffering about that. Every time you meet him he’s asking about advice how he should break the ice with this new tinder match, he’s complaining why no one set him up with someone and how everyone is to laid back to go out on a Saturday night. He’s probably the prince charming with a receding eco-edition. Let’s call him the „seeker„.

Now if you compare those two:

High risk - high reward

You know what would be a terrible idea? Trying to couple those two, unless you want some prime-time drama in your circle of friends. Don’t get me wrong, it can work but it would cause both of them a lot of pain and would require loads of commitment. From my personal experience, those two types are rarely bonding and if they do it’s very short-lived, due to the seeker desperately trying to fill  that void in between relationship and family and the besty not being slightly interested in abandoning their friends and family, just to avert a confrontation with a jealous adult child – or at least that’s what our besty tries to pretend, while its actually about being pretty afraid to get too intimate with a single person and hurt in the process.

Those two kinda deserve each other on a very destructive level, one always cries for more intimacy as if that’s the solution to finally find eternal happiness, while the other one is terrified of truly committing to a single person, thinking they are not able to, or even worse; not worth it.
If they somehow manage though, if they survive the clash of those extreme different interpersonal values – they can learn so, so much from each other. Just fingers crossed they don’t scare away all of the people around them with their explosive quarrels during a „should have been a nice evening with friends„-event.

Ironically it happens rather often that if one of those two learns their lesson and finally finds a healthier balance within their social weighting for themselves and the passionate struggle, that kept the relationship going, kinda disappears for them. If that’s a mutual realization on both parts – Amazing!
If not, well that sucks for the one left behind, still trying to figure out what went wrong after all that time and drama invested in the relationship. This is why those kinds of relationships are high risk – high reward bets. And there many people who are searching for exactly those counterparts, to finally get their values sorted, no matter how many relationships it takes.

Aah right, there's still Polyamory

Well just for the sake of it, lets bring Polyamory into the whole theory.
First, I’m not polyamory and I wasn’t in the past, so I can only assume how it would look like, compared to the other types I talked about:

From an outsider perspective and after talking to several people who claim to be polyamory, I imagine it would somehow blur the borders between close and intimate friendships and exclusive relationships – resulting in some kind of combination.
I would love to know the opinion of someone who identifies as polyamory about that.

Well that’s it for my first entry about my notes „researching“ love. I hoped you had fun reading and be sure to share your opinion, corrections or thoughts on the subject in the comments. Oh and by the way I do couple-shoots, so here is a link to another page, because that’s how you do network-linking. But jokes aside, this link will take you to the second part of: About love.

Thank you and have a great day
Daniel

Fotograf, München, Photographer, Munich, Portrait, Porträt, Portfolio. Streetphotography, Streetphotographer, Streetphotography,
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