Becoming Jaded

One night many years ago, I remember being on the phone with the love of my life a dear friend of mine during one of our many deep and long conversations, when the topic somehow drifted to love. I remember saying that I couldn’t understand how boys like myself ( I was about 15 then ) could go around using the phrase ‘I love you’ so easily. I had seen love – true love – in my parents, in my grand-parents, and in my extended family, and just by observation I knew that it wasn’t as simple as all that. Yet every other second my guys would vomit this phrase to one girl or another and she would be head over heels. Knowing what true love was, I just couldn’t bring myself to do that – even in the greater interest of my libido.

Now I have always had more female friends than male. Both older and younger than myself, and it has been my great fascination to observe and study them. Women intrigue me, and from them I have learnt many things. Still, there is this one thing I have learnt that I feel is such a shame and I wish there was something I could do; and that is about how passionate girls… become jaded women.

You see when we’re younger, the fastest way to get a girl to take you seriously is to tell her you love her. It is guaranteed that doing so will make her fixate on you. In fact to drive the point home, all girls fixate on love much in the same way that guys fixate on sex – and therein lies the problem. Because in all likelihood, it is a guys fixation on the sexual that will motivate him to chat up a girl in the first place. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to then understand why any self respecting guy would use an ‘I love you’ in the process.

And for the entirety of a man’s life, he remains strongly motivated by sex and the intimately sexual. Such that by the time a woman is of an age like mine (23), she has heard all the ‘I love you’s and its various variations that she can stand – and none of them have worked out like the fairy tales she used to read as a child. No happily ever after, no forever and ever, not even a tragic double suicide; and so she has learnt (quite regrettably), not to believe in love – or at least, not to count on it.

She has learnt that if you love with all your heart, there is a 99% chance it will be shattered to pieces. That love at first sight is a myth, that men are not to be trusted, and most depressing of all, she has begun to disassociate love from good relationships. And the longer she goes without finding true love, the more all these disastrous lessons become ingrained into the very fibre of her being.

That soon turns to bitterness and that’s when you start hearing phrases like ‘I don’t need a man’ and ‘We must learn to love ourselves first’ and ‘Men ain’t shit’ and it gets worse. Things are further accelerated by beauty and sexual appeal. The more beautiful a woman, the more men that will be attracted to her, the more variations of empty ‘I love you’s she will get to experience.

So what all this means is that by the time a woman is 35 and unmarried, she is so bitter that few men will be willing to go through the trouble of re-educating her – and make no mistake, re-education is what it all comes down to. Because whether you find your true love at 23 or at 45, as a man you will have to spend a decent amount of time overcoming the demons of her past. That in my opinion is what courting is all about {and I’ve heard whispers that men have baggage too – shhhh}.

Something needs to be done about this sorry state of affairs:

  1. Women, there is true love. It’s out there, and you will find it – but bitterness and pessimism won’t help you in your search. If you’re 45, already completely jaded, and not even bitter anymore, it’s still there for you. I truly believe so.
  2. And Boys! You scallywags! You scoundrels! Honestly if you’re skilled enough, you can get a girl without an ‘I love you.’ It’s really not that hard. Stop trashing the word so early in life. Trust me, it will serve you better when you actually do fall in love.

Passion is momentary, but love? Love is timeless. So why shouldn’t the phrase we use to communicate it be timeless as well? I would like my ‘I love you’ to be as effective today, as it would have been a decade ago. I would like to marry someone my age, not 10 years younger because she has less demons in her closet. I would like to be able to say ‘I love you’ – and mean it – and be believed.

So let’s all try, to reverse this process of… becoming jaded.

Damola Mabogunje

Software Engineer by day, Blogger, Poet and Author, by night, I spend my days writing everything from the convex comma, to highly complex code.

11 thoughts on “Becoming Jaded

  1. So, a while ago, I was dating this guy who i had thought of as a friend but decided that since he seemed like a nice guy, i would try to get romantic feelings for him. i had started working my way towards it, though my brain was fighting against it, and then, he sprung the capital L word on me. Believe me when I say, the way he said it only made me repulsed and want to throw a shoe at him. I tried to keep these feelings in check and told him several times that he did not love me, seeing as it took him all of 5 minutes to decide that he did. I had hoped that we could fall in love, however, at that moment, i knew that we were not in love. But… we could work towards it. Then he got mad and said that he had never told any other girl this and he was upset by my reaction. He told me that I did not have to tell him that i returned his feelings, that he just wanted me to know. after some days or maybe even weeks, of the awkward revelation, he started reading into everything i did. if i smiled at him, it was because i loved him. if i cooked for him, it was because i loved him. it was frustrating. and then, to make matters worse, i saw something i guess he had forgotten about or never expected me to see. he had told another girl that he loved her towards the ending of their relationship. and he had been acting like a sensitive girl ever since he told me he loved me, and blaming it on his feelings. even worse, he had been expecting me to act like i love him, when i had clearly told him i did not return his false feelings. i broke things off with him because i couldnt stand it anymore. he had started to become a burden. a burden who would never take responsibilities for his actions, was always defensive, nagging, self centered and i could no longer trust his word. he either had a convenient explanation or a convenient memory.
    i saw this article and thought to myself, after this, i do believe in true love, however, i have become jaded about dating friends and worse weak people.
    i really ranted…
    hope u find this interesting at the very least…

    1. Wow! I must say, I did find this very interesting. It gave me flashbacks of my last relationship, and I was even tempted to respond as if talking to my own ex! But lately all relationship stories seem to give me flashbacks. So I’ll spare you the personal response, and give you a generalized one.

      Your rant doesn’t sound at all jaded to me. Though it does sound angry and upset. There’s a lot of labeling, and a lot of frustration, but all of it is directed at this one friend of yours. Although you conclude that you’re jaded about dating friends in general, it seems more like you’re very upset with this friend in particular. You expressly state that you still believe in love, and to top it all off, you call your comment a rant.

      I only rant when something is so wrong, that my dissatisfaction about it is too great to contain. It’s a sign that I’m not at peace. Being jaded on the other hand is a lot worse. It is when your resentment becomes so rooted, as to be your “peaceful” state. Rants about men no longer strike you as ranting, and sentiments about love now ring hollow. I imagine a jaded woman would read my article with incredulity… and you don’t seem incredulous to me.

      That said, you may be becoming jaded. Frustration, anger, resentment, and discontent, are all things we feel for a while after a relationship. In fact for a time, thoughts of that person’s bad behaviour dominate our minds to the point that it is near impossible to forgive them. But it is important to do so, because that’s the only way to find true peace. It’s not easy, and I know it takes time.

      For me, it took half a year to let go of the negative feelings that followed my last relationship. I used to get upset about how things ended, and dwell on my memories of arguments. I was even more upset if I dwelt on the good memories of happier times in the relationship. I wanted to forget everything. Because everything made me either angry, or sad and lonely.

      But once I managed to let go of the negative, life became much easier. I didn’t need to forget about her, or how things turned out. I could accept that she didn’t feel for me what I felt for her, and I could leave it at that. Whether I felt she was self-centered, or defensive, or nagging, (to borrow your words) became unimportant. The important things became:

      1. What I had learnt about myself from the experience.
      2. What I had learnt about her from the experience.
      3. How I felt about her now that I knew these things. AND
      4. What I wanted to do going forward.

      Since I was the one broken up with, unlike you who did the breaking up, our answers may differ. But my answers were as follows:

      1. My introspection revealed some never-before-seen flaws of my character.
      2. My analysis of her left me confused.
      3. My feelings about her came to be positive overall. AND
      4. My list of to-do’s involved a lot of apologizing, explaining, and working to understand her character.

      So once I did all that, the baggage became lighter. Now I’m no longer discontent because I have done everything I can, and I don’t get upset because I can see the experience has taught me a lot. Today, I still think of her quite often. It’s hard not to with Facebook and Skype. But when I do, it’s not always such a miserable thing. I can be genuinely happy when I talk to or see her. And those things she does that perplex me are a lot more bearable: After all, my analysis revealed that she confuses me thoroughly. 😆

      But the biggest difference I have found, is that now I can think about our entire relationship without bitterness. I have lost the need to rant about it, because I am at peace with it even though it ended poorly. So while you still need to rant, and while you still believe in love, I think there is hope for you yet. Don’t become jaded because of one man… or even because of many. Let go of the negative, come to terms with your feelings, and decide where to go from there. You may also want to read Break-Up Policies, if you haven’t already.

      I really hope this helps. 🙂

  2. I think for the most part, I have come to terms with how I feel completely. The problem is that I have never been completely honest with how I feel with him because he is such a weak willed individual and I’d be saying really strong, harsh things. I tried once, and he reacted so poorly to it. It’s so weird how he so completely obvious to these things, and he spins it around every time anyone tries to tell him. Then again, every one kinda steps gingerly around such things with him. Either way, I did the whole burning stuff after break up thing and I feel much better.
    It was very therapeutic. Hahaha.

    1. Oh? Burning stuff. I’m intrigued. I’ve only ever seen that in movies. Although I can’t say turning to destructive behaviour to deal with your feelings is advisable. Still though, that brings us back to square one. Since you’ve come to terms with your feelings, and you’re still feeling resentment, then it is clear that something more needs to be done. From my previous list of suggestions, it looks like:

      1. You have analysed of your friend and concluded that he is weak (1)
      2. You have identified that you now feel negatively about him overall (3)

      So the only things left would be to

      1. Introspect (2), AND
      2. Decide what to do going forward (4)

      Based on what you just said, it looks like the first thing on your to-do list ought to be “being completely honest with him about how you feel.”

      In doing so, you must also realize that the important things are that you fully express what you feel, and that he is made aware of those feelings. How he “reacts” to your feelings is irrelevant. You are not expressing yourself to please him. In fact, having concluded that he is weak, a poor reaction can be expected! So you can even steel yourself for whatever spin he might put on it.

      Good luck! 🙂

  3. This is absolutely beautiful. You say it just like it is, no sugar coating it. It’s so simple and eloquent and I’m comforted to see a man sharing these thoughts. Thank you. Thank you.

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