Yesterday, I spoke briefly to my parents on FaceTime. For the first time in a long time, my father gave me relationship advice. He'd stopped commenting on my relationships for a while now, barely saying anything when I was Singapore and responding to B's efforts to lay some groundwork during the time I was away. I told my mom, who told my dad, things about him, including his offer to pick me up from the airport. Dad said nothing, merely asked about his qualifications. Even when I told my mom about what happened with B on Friday night in my room, my dad kept quiet. And so I was surprised when he had something to say yesterday.
不要急, he said. 慢慢来. 好好找对象.
I gave the issue some thought and I conclude the following. I rush at it not because I feel old, or that I am in a rush to settle down; I rush at it because it has been six months or so since I last had a boyfriend and I am a serial monogamist, and I don't like to be by myself. I can get used to it out of necessity, but I always feel as if there is something incomplete about my life. Sometimes this feeling of incompletion becomes loneliness; but for the most part, I don't feel lonely all that much. I just feel as if there is a piece of the puzzle that is my life which is missing, and so I rush at finding it. But mostly, I rush at finding instant gratification, and if this instant gratification has long-term potential, then that's the cherry on top.
This is the whole reason - the whole reason - I have been stuck in an endless cycle of failed relationships for the past few years. I jump from one relationship to the next, hoping that one would stick, and when it fails, I have the audacity to be surprised when it should have been clear from the start that being wilfully blind to the lack of fit (at least prima facie) between me and the other person is exactly what makes a failed relationship.
Ironically, my fling (whatever one wishes to call it) with B was quite literally the only time in my whole life when I did not go in half-blind, when I knew exactly what I did not like about him and confronted it, thought about it, talked about it. Perhaps I inadvertently rushed at it, but perhaps that is also simply the consequence of being swept away by a powerful tidal wave of new feelings for a new person.
In any event, I think he rushed at it more than I did. This brings to mind Josh's statement about the personalities of people who drive sports cars. I thought it was stupidly reductive at the time (and so did B) but now, I think he has a point. People who drive sports cars, according to Josh, rush at things without first thinking them through. At the time, I said, 'Yeah that's probably true; I like sports cars and I rush at things.' When I told B about this, he dismissed it and said it was one of the dumbest things he'd ever heard from someone at Cambridge.
Well. Is it not true that he didn't really think things through before pursuing this thing with me? Religion wasn't an issue, but oh wait, now it suddenly is because she forced me to think about it (among other reasons); I want a relationship, or I think I want a relationship, but oh wait, I can't, I am not ready, because I don't know where my career is headed (among other reasons). Putting aside the least favourable interpretation of the facts (i.e. he simply wasn't that into me and made up excuses), this shows to me that what Josh said wasn't that reductive, wasn't that off-the-mark, wasn't that ridiculous after all.
Clearly, then, there is a fundamental lack of fit: while I was thinking through my rushing, he was rushing without thinking; and when the thoughts finally caught up, he decided to jam on the brakes. Fair enough. Better now than later that he realised he didn't really know what he wanted. It is just ironic, rather melancholically so, that the first person I used my brain for ultimately couldn't meet me halfway.
I am inclined to give up on dating for the remainder of my PhD, but I know that I will get so bored after a while because the serial monogamist in me cannot sit still. At the same time, dating is so boring after a while; it is like going on multiple job interviews for jobs that you don't really want. But this isn't an issue for the present. I literally cannot stomach the idea right now.
I wanted to go to the law faculty at 10ish but it's now 11.14am and I am still sitting in my room, writing this useless entry. It's time to get off my ass and get a move on.