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  • Writer's pictureAsad Reza Nassur

Reflections on Love, Romcoms, and the Middle Ground

As I pen these words, my surroundings provoke a chuckle, albeit a slight one. The room resonates with a medley of sounds, a romcom playing at a respectable volume, complemented by the gentle whir of the overhead fan, which adds a subtle white noise to the symphony. A fleeting sting lingers on the roof of my mouth, a reminder of the piping hot green tea I hastily sipped just a minute ago. In this dimly lit room, my blanket slowly slipping from my shoulder adds a sense of coziness that's simply irresistible.

You must be pondering a few questions right now – Where's the popcorn? Why am I penning a post after such a long hiatus? And most importantly – Who on earth enjoys green tea while watching a movie? (That would be me, and perhaps the Japanese – I think). To address the reason behind this post – the movie has stirred in me a query about the whereabouts of romance in the circus that is my life.

Before I delve further, let me make it clear that this post isn't a plea for help; it's merely a collection of my current musings, spun into words for the sake of amusement. These are the fleeting opinions and thoughts currently engaged in a lively ping pong match in my mind (no, I'm not high). Therefore, don't expect to find meticulously researched insights here; my noggin has a subconscious of its own. Now, with my rather feeble disclaimer out of the way, let's proceed!

I've been an ardent fan of romcoms for a good decade now. It's not the mushy stuff that captivates me, but rather the slice-of-life element that these films depict – that's what I relish. I won't turn down action movies either; a fantasy-themed flick with action as a sub-genre is a welcome treat any day. Romcoms, to me, offer a beautiful alternate reality neatly packaged in 90 to 120 minutes. It's as if you're living vicariously through the characters for that brief period, basking in their sparkle, only to wake up the next morning to an empty space on the other side of your bed, bursting your overnight happy bubble.

I contend that this can be more detrimental than beneficial in the long run. It becomes a habit, a go-to remedy when you need a pick-me-up, perpetuating a never-ending cycle. What's worse, it fosters unrealistic expectations for oneself, a slightly inflated chip on one's shoulder fueled by a sense of entitlement. The pursuit of a picture-perfect love story becomes a lingering thought in the back of your mind. I might be exaggerating a tad, but I'm sure you catch my drift. I vividly recall how my expectations have evolved over the past five or six years. At present, a living, breathing human being who won't off me in my sleep sounds quite appealing. In the past, I was perhaps a bit presumptuous, thinking I deserved this and that. I can't entirely blame my former self for that perspective; it was all part of my personal evolution.

I used to believe that love was a beautiful thing and finding "the one" was one of my life goals. However, through the colorful incidents that have enriched my journey so far, I've begun to question that notion on multiple occasions. The idea has shifted from actively seeking "the one" to simply doing the best I can for myself, with the hope that someone compatible might magically enter my life. I've come to believe that love is a gradual construction; it's not the spur-of-the-moment sprinkle of fairy dust that media often portrays. I even experimented with a matrimonial site over a year ago because, well, time was passing by, and I probably skimmed through 100+ profiles. I must admit; it was a humbling experience. If you ever want to be brought back down to earth, join a matrimonial website – it's a rather humbling journey. I can't recall ever feeling that inadequate in my entire life. To cut a long story short, I deleted my account after a mere six days. Discussing arranged marriage prospects deserves a post of its own.

I'm not suggesting that having expectations is a bad thing; I'm sure some people have earned the right to expect, and so should you. However, in this world where love is glamorized on one end and practically monetized on the other, I can't help but wish for a middle ground.

Thank you for patiently enduring my ramblings. In case you were curious, the movie I'm currently watching (or listening to) is "Love at First Sight." While I may not have found love at first sight, I'm hopeful that number 362 could be the charm!

Until next time, take care.

P.S. As always, thanks ChatGPT for being my editor in chief.

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