Just as a disclaimer (in case the title wasn't enough), this post is sort've going to be a rant. About something that has frustrated me for a while, and so I'm finally going to just write a post about it and perhaps get it out of my system.
It has to do with "love". What it really is, peoples' notions about it, etc.
I'm going to start out with a very specific scenario. When there are two people, and one of them is in love with the other, and the other is not in love, and makes such clear. And so the one that is in love says something like, "Well, if you would just give me a chance!" or, "But I love you!" or, "I think it would work if we both just tried!".
All of these I have either been told, or heard used on someone else. Also, they all annoy me, whether they're being used on me or not. Why? Because none of them are valid arguments to get someone to love you.
Saying that a person would be in love with you "if you would just give me a chance"? There are two instances where this is used:
1) Between friends, when one of them wants to be more than friends. All I have to say to this is, "If you two are friends, what is going to change if you two have the label of 'dating' tagged on you? If a friend doesn't think a romantic relationship will work with another friend, telling that friend to give you a chance is... well, it doesn't really mean anything. If you're friends, you already know each other to some degree, you've already been hanging out, so how has the person not been giving you a "chance"? Just because the two of you haven't been labeled a dating couple doesn't mean you haven't been "given a chance". People are "given chances" just getting to know another person as a friend. And much of the time, you can learn enough about another person as a friend to get a fairly good idea of whether or not the two of you would be a good romantic match.
The other instance this is used in is between people who hardly know each other. And I'm not sure which of these frustrate me more, because with the friend-to-friend thing, it suggests that the other person is closed off completely, and therefore belittles the relationship they have allowed to be built up.
This second one suggests that one person is entitled to a relationship, whether friend or more, and therefore belittles the one being addressed. I don't understand why people who barely know the other would say, "Well, if you would just give me a chance," as if they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they know best, despite neither of them knowing the other very well at all.
Anyway, both of these suggest that the other person's opinion and feelings toward the subject don't matter.
Then there's the "But I love you!" argument. Probably the weakest one.. I mean, really, why would you try to convince someone to love you with that? Just because you consider yourself in love with someone doesn't mean that they are bound to return those feelings, or that you should try to guilt trip them with, "But I love you, so if you don't return those feelings, I'll be so, so sad...". If anything, it just sounds beyond selfish and manipulative.
Finally, the, "Well, I think it would work if we both just tried". Sure, this could be true in some instances, but if the other person doesn't want it to "work", then why are you trying to convince them with this? If someone isn't in love with you, then where do you have the grounds to tell them that they should try to make it work anyway?
All of these suggest that the other person's feelings on the subject don't matter. All of these arguments have to do with, "Well, but I..." They have to do with what makes the one apparently in love happy. Anyway, since when is trying to convince someone to love you a good idea? Or a fulfilling one? If someone doesn't decide to love you on their own, without a bunch of argument and persuading... doesn't that sort've defeat the idea?
If you're really in love with someone, doesn't that mean you want the best for them? Doesn't that mean that you should, oh I don't know, listen to their concerns? And by listen I don't mean, "Oh that's what you think? Well you're wrong.". I mean actually listen and take seriously what they think. It means that if they have specific concerns, you don't just brush them off and say that it doesn't matter because you're convinced things will work out, as if you have all the answers and can tell the future or something.
And it also means that even if they don't have a specific reason, and it's simply that they don't feel the same way toward you, then you don't keep probing around for a specific reason. Newsflash: Some people just aren't going to be attracted to certain other people. It doesn't mean there is something wrong with either of them, it doesn't mean that the person is harboring some horrible secret reason, so if you really care about the person, you won't drive them insane asking, "But whyyyyyyyyyyy?" like a disgruntled three-year-old who just got told, "No" in the toy aisle.
Finally, lastly, if you really do love someone, your wanting the best for them will run over into not causing a huge scene and drama. It means that if the other person clearly says that they aren't interested in you that way, you back off. You don't moon after them, go stalker (because really, that's not even cute in movies), emote on Facebook (passive-aggressive or not), or otherwise refuse to let go of your feelings.
That's right, I said "let go of your feelings". This might come as a shock to people, but you actually can control a lot of your emotions. Yes, sometimes life happens and stress is stress and depression is depression, but when it comes to love, you can, and if you care about someone enough, you will, reign it in.
I've actually had more than one shocked, "That's just impossible!" reaction when I give this opinion, but I would submit that yes, it is very possible, you just actually have to decide to look beyond yourself. That may sound unfeeling, but it's true. I'm not saying it's an easy thing, or that it happens overnight, it's something you have to intentionally work toward consistently. You have to intentionally not think about someone a certain way, you have to intentionally tell yourself, "No, that is not happening". Yes, it means a lot of self-control, mixed up emotions, even tears, but if you decide a friendship is worth the struggle, in the end it is worth it, because then you'll be freeing both yourself and the other person in a way.
Erk. This is super long, and I didn't mean it to be. Anyhow, there's my three cents on the matter. And I didn't even cover every topic I meant to. Ah well...
Kudos to those who actually read all that! (and more kudos to everyone who read all that and didn't come away with the impression I'm an unfeeling hermit who has never fallen in love and kills little animals in her free time)