18 September 2007

Nostalgia means "I love you"

  • Sep 18, 2007

Nostalgia means "I love you"

A few minutes ago my iPod, randomly shuffling between a 605 track playlist, played "Everyday" by Dave Matthews Band.
I was putting up window tint, and not thinking about you at all at the time.
It immediately made me think of - not of you exactly, but of the feeling of you, the general thought of you.
Within the next second, it reminded me of Stanford and then El Cerrito. Then again, not really the places, but the feelings that go along with them, a memory not of any particular site or sound, but of the feeling I had when I was there
And of course, the places themselves were of no significance, it was the person I was with who made those places interesting, something to look forward to.

I have the feeling of "nostalgia" now and then, from different things, about different things. In one way it is a good feeling, but usually it is more just interesting than it is pleasant. The good component is usually balanced by an unpleasant part, which is much too subtle to explain, almost too subtle to even notice, but it is there none-the-less.

I can't remember a feeling of nostalgia which was as filled with warmth. Warmth is precisely it. It was all pleasant feeling, even with what has been going on recently. It made me realize something:

I think I really was in love with you, long before I was aware of it, long before I told you, long before I admitted it. Not just "love" in the sense that I have loved you all along and continue to, not just care and positive regard, but "in" love, with that extra little special something which is indefinable.

-A digression:
I have updated my theories of love. I used to belittle the feeling of "in" love as either being "just" a crush or infatuation, or lust, in any case, not real, not sustainable.
These certainly can be factors, and the three can be impossible to distinguish sometimes. But, when accompanied by "real" love (you know what I mean), the distinction comes in the indefinable element.
You can list the factors which make a person someone you would love, but there are always other things, subtle, indefinable, unplaceable things, which are still very real despite being incommunicable, which are the extra element, which make it "in" love.
Sometimes I would say I loved you, and you would ask why, and I might say I wasn't sure. Which you took to mean it was either untrue or meaningless. But really, it was very true, and very meaningful. Probably more so than the list of qualities could ever be. You do fulfill the 'list', but another person who filled the list might not be the same to me as you are.
I had always assumed that when people used the term "chemistry" they were essentially talking about lust. But, this morning I was thinking about all this; you said something to the effect that if certain others had specific qualities, (and maybe they will turn out to) I would really like her - but I don't feel for anyone, now, ever, quite the way I did (and still do) for you, even back when I didn't admit it. Perhaps it could be called "chemistry"; whatever it is, it's missing with others.

I was also thinking about commitment. I used to think that if any two people are together, and a 3rd comes along who is better (by the standards of the 'list') for one, they should, logically, split, and be with the new person.
I disagree with that now.
There is an activation energy, a minimum threshold, which must be overcome for that formula to be valid.
The up hill which must be passed consists of many things:
The difficulty and unpleasantness of breaking up, the giving up of an acquired closeness, risk in replacing someone you know is good for you with someone you merely suspect to be better, and the lack of the stability, comfort, and reassurance which comes with commitment - whether or not it is ever acted upon.
The person has to be not only better in an absolute sense, but so much better as to be worth all of those negative aspects of both the transition and the mind set. For, even if the long term benefit of a new person outweighed the difficulties of the transition, just having that mindset means both people would have to live forever with the constant threat of the loss of their partner. This in and of itself would cause problems, jealousy, unhappiness, stress, fear, discomfort. For, no two people could ever be 100% perfect for each other 100% of the time, and the possibility of someone "better" is always present.
But when the drawbacks of a transition to a "better" are taken into account, the amount of "betterness" required grows considerably.
And when I think about it, you, for me, are too close to ideal for someone else, no matter how much "better" to ever overcome that threshold energy. You, plus the threshold, equals an unimaginably unrealistic vision of perfection - a perfection plus; it makes as much sense as sentencing 10 consecutive life sentences, its simply meaningless.

Given that, I know now that I would be willing to commit to you.
Not just "getting married" in the legal sense, or buying a house together, or even having a child together.
But as a decision inside myself.

I know that you don't feel that way. Which is unfortunate and sad, but its ok. It doesn't change my feeling, nor my willingness. If someday in the future you were interested, you should know where I stand. I realize that you probably feel completely different than me on the subject, and definitely at least somewhat differently, and also that even if you did see it the same way, you have doubts as to whether or not I could be that person for you. I suspect you will come around after going through what ever you have to in the mean time, but maybe I'll turn out to be wrong, and then that's just the way things go.

If we can not be together in the long run, I think I will want to know you again, be friends with you... eventually.
That would be hard for me, very, especially at first. I will still love you, and I will probably still be in love with you too. (Right, "still". As in, I'm beginning to suspect that I have been all along, but since its constant, I don't notice, like the hum on an airplane, except when it is unusually strong.) And, since we have already separated, most of the elements of that threshold are irrelevant, I am still confident you will remain my first choice for life partners. But a little of you is better than none at all, (once I get used to it), just like it is now. Another thing I think you should know.

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