Because he moves me

After getting tons of flattering messages about how my smile (and more) inspire men’s boners, my OKCupid account got suspended because I had “violated” the site’s terms and conditions. I was told to contact the site if this was “an error”.

If violating the site means seeking potential partners when I’m in bed, with my two-day-old unwashed hair, unshaven legs, cookies stuffed in my mouth only in a way that would make someone think I’m participating (not even winning) in an eating competition, then yes, I deserve the suspension.

Maybe I even deserve this suspension because I couldn’t even get those tiny, snackable Chipsmore cookies myself. My sister just got a FitBit so naturally I’m taking advantage of this. “Jasmine, you want to get to 10,000 steps right? If you head to the kitchen and get me lots of cookies, that’s like 20 steps,” I tell her. She hates me but she begrudgingly accepts that I am right. And so I hear each and every one of those 20 steps before the cookies enter my mouth.

Optimal laziness is helping someone else achieve their fitness goals from bed.

The truth is the suspension came at the right time and I’m in no rush to fix it. Any semblance of a search for someone new was a farce and I don’t think I was fully aware until this past Sunday. A good sign that you are not ready to be with anybody is if someone’s touches and kisses feels like a million cockroaches scurrying all across your body.

I so desperately wanted to be far away from him as soon as possible but then he requested I queue up with him for McDonald’s. I tell myself: “Just five more minutes and you will be alone”. I’m not very religious anymore but I felt ashamed for praying that he wouldn’t order some special order burger that would only serve to delay our parting.

Whatever I was feeling at that moment was made even more clear when I cried in front of my sister for the first time (excluding parental reasons) ever that night. A seemingly innocuous answer to an equally innocuous question (“How was your date?” “I don’t think I’m going to see him anymore.” “Why?” “I just felt so *cue ugly crying face* suff…..foooo…ccaaaaated”) resulted in tears that even my sister didn’t quite know how to handle (she ran to Jovita’s room for help and they came back and stared at me helplessly).

Let it be known that I literally had to hide my tears when we were watching Me Before You (I cry easily when watching movies). When we were watching the movie, I let fat blobs of tears hang all along my jaw until they could no longer hold on because I was afraid if I tried to swipe them away, Jasmine would notice. She noticed the fat blobs of tears that later formed white splotches on my faux-leather skirt. Busted.

The problem here is that I am not exactly heartbroken. Yes, I do feel hurt by Dom especially as our contact with each other started dwindling over the past few months. But I quickly learned to stop expecting anything from him (though I’m still waiting on an email reply from him…. ~insert angry face emoji~).

Yet, my heart still feels whole – whole in a way that I’ve never felt before. And it’s like as though there is some kind of shield protecting it, making sure it doesn’t crack just yet, and ensuring that no one else can slide in through those cracks. But how long can this shield last? When will the cracks start to show?

I feel hurt by his actions (or lack of) and detest the complete lack of control I have over the situation. But if anything is broken, it’s my fragmented little mind pulling me in all sorts of directions – desperately trying (and sometimes failing) to move away from that part of my brain that stores all our memories. Meanwhile, my heart remains steadfastly in love with him. Or the idea of him? I’m not quite sure.

Dom told me once about something his mum said. I think it’s his mum. Let’s just assume it’s his mum because she would say wise things. I have never met nor spoken to her before but I assume she is wise because she has her own garden and her own vegetables and she cooks food using her own vegetables and she does his taxes and she is his mum. She told Dom that you can only really know if it’s love six months after meeting someone.

So, is it love that I feel for him?

A friend (who is as clueless as I am) and I were talking about just what it means to love someone. After perusing countless films, literature and music, I still did not quite understand what love was – and more importantly, if my feelings for Dom could be equated to love.

My friend told me that he thinks he loves his girlfriend because she moves him – with her strength and grace. And to me, that made the most sense.

I think Dom moves me in a similar way. Not with his strength and grace. I think he moves me in ways that matter to me more. I wish I had the proper words to describe how I felt. But I feel that his presence in my life (both virtual and then physical over the few months we were together) has changed my life in very minute yet profound ways. He is kind, intelligent, caring, emotional, full of empathy, passionate and just unafraid. Every time I decry the state of humanity, I think of him, and suddenly I’m not as angry anymore. (Although when I think of how horrible dating is, I get angry when I think of him hahahahahaahahaha…. ~crying face emoji~)

It’s his fearlessness and passion that moves me the most. It inspires me to kind of take charge of my life (even though, as of now, I have never felt less in charge of my life). But you know, baby steps. Traveling with him has changed the way I travel too. Wandering around the streets of Hong Kong alone for cheap food, exploring the unfamiliar, treading into territory where I knew language would be a barrier just increased the thrill of it. When someone has so deeply affected even the little things in your life, what else can it be but love?

There are more than a few things I don’t like about him. He can be incredibly self-centered, and I wonder sometimes if he cares about how I’m feeling – about him, about all of this. As much as I love his passion, he is just never satisfied – and I think that’s dangerous. He’s always looking for more. And I guess we have both come to realise (separately – I took a lot longer) that I will just never be enough for him.

He is always in search of that next great story, and unfortunately the chapter of us has come to an end.

Despite all of that, I think being so moved by someone is a beautiful feeling, even if it’s not exactly being reciprocated. Maybe that’s why I don’t want to let go of that shield (wall?) protecting my heart. Because what if no one else moves me again?

I would be lying though if I said I didn’t care that I don’t inspire these feelings for him.

I wish something about me moved him too. I wish I was someone more than the person with the great taste in music (no small feat though…). Who was I to him?

But I’m going to have to ignore that broken mind of mine and appreciate the ways my life has changed because of him and maybe take that much needed break from the hell that is dating.

A couple of months ago, I wrote that I hoped I will never forget anything if he breaks my heart. Back then, I didn’t realise that falling in love with this person would mean these memories become a part of my story, and they will play a small but significant role in how I lead my life from now, and I think I’m fine with that. But that’s just today.

Most of the time, I think about how I seem to have been thrown away, cast aside. Confusion reigns. Could I have been more open? Should I have learned to tell better stories? How could I have been better? Self-doubt rules and that is a dangerous kingdom to live in.

And I get angry because why do I love a person who has exiled me to such a kingdom?

Because he moves me? Because he moves me.