It wasn’t long after I became intimate with my first love that the scales began to fall off my eyes and the magic dulled. There I was, a bare cape cod wriggling about, longing for the safe waters I’d just leapt out of for my man. Boy did that cocky confidence I had had in my indestructible feelings for my boyfriend come tumbling down.
Suddenly, things that had never been a factor began to matter. I began to mule over things that bore no circumstance to my life up till then, began to ask questions that were unwarranted because, let’s be honest, the bad had happened in my childhood but not in isolation of the good. I asked myself what if I couldn’t measure up and he left to fight for someone else instead? What if I’d one day wake up to find I was no longer new, to him or even myself? Those questions were steeped in experiences straight out the book of my own life but blown out of proportion because of my vulnerabilities of the time and their familiarity.
In the typical love story, the male lead wakes up ten years after his romantic wedding to find that the woman he was so keen to marry once is fat, stressed, wrought and probably hates or disrespects him. Or both. Then a flirty, single, independent woman who has trouble bagging her own future unhappy husband, suddenly drops into his life and ignites that ravishing inferno that was quenched on his wedding night. Yes, I suppose the symbolism and narrative is quite brutal but the reality is just that for many in long term committed relationships. Once the magician shares or shows all his tricks, he becomes a mere mortal once more and inspires no weird displays of affection.
When we become fragile and face situations that feel slightly familiar, the temptation to become what we once were or what once was, grows exponentially. What was new becomes old because of what is old in the new.