Darling, I think I’m a Mania.

“you,” my boyfriend pointed his finger at me, “are the most irritating person I’ve ever met in my life.”

said by the most irritating man I’ve ever met, don’t you think it was actually a compliment? But I just shrugged and gave him a mischievous smile. We were having dinner and talking about compromise in a relationship. I fully understand that I’m not easy to handle and sometimes, fully aware, I drive him to the edge. While on the subject, we tried to break down what kind of people we were when love was the subject.

Based on John Lee’s theory of love in the book  Psych101 by Paul Kleinman, he broke Love into three basic primary styles:

  1. Eros: Loving the ideal of a person both physically and emotionally
  2. Ludos: A type of love that is played like a game or conquest (and might result in many partners at one time)
  3. Storge: Love that stems from a friendship over time.

I must say our love must be the third style. Although he was a Ludos type and I was a bit of Eros.

Lee’s theory also combined each of the basic styles:

  1. Mania (Eros and Ludos), is a style of love that is obsessive, emotional highs and lows, jealousy, and very possessive feelings.
  2. Pragma (Ludos and Storge), is practical. Lovers go into the situation with the hopes of reaching their final goal. Practical and realistic.
  3. Agape (Eros and Storge) is a love that is all-encompassing and selfless

“you are absolutely a Mania,” he laughed. I ignored him. Deep, deep down I wanted to be an Agape. I wanted to be this girl who loved her partner so deeply and honest, she didn’t think about herself but her loved one. And a practical Pragma sounded even better than a possessive girlfriend, but goal in a relationship just sounded so shallow for me. Why ones needed to have ‘goal’ that had to be connected with other person? I hated the fact that the success of the goal entirely dependent on another human being.

So I need to accept the fact that yes, I’m a Mania and no, I’m not an Agape. Here’s why:

  • I don’t like my possession, my special, one-of-a-kind possession, used by someone else. I see my boyfriend as my possession and therefore, I apply the rule in my relationship. This, I analyze, is different with jealousy. I experience this irritated feeling when my fellow teacher took the overhead projector out of my class without my permission! Can you imagine how irritated I would be if it’s not the projector but my lover?
  • I’m not selfless, I love myself too much I have to be selfish. I don’t like the idea of being selfless. Would you lose yourself, your identity to somebody? My boyfriend never fails to mention how selfish I am, how demanding and how impatient I am. Often these lead to our usual rows. But I think this is where compromise plays part, right?
  • I never set goal in relationship. Think about it: what for? Why bother? If love is based on emotion, what’s the use of laying tactics to score the goal? I hate it when someone said, “so what’s your plan? Wedding next year?”. I find these kind of people sometimes very unrealistic because their life just would go ballistic when the ugly truth hits: “he just doesn’t love you anymore, darling, he’s in love with his secretary.” So yes, I think to set goal in a relationship is just a waste of time.

Well, what do you know..just when you thought buying some psychology book wouldn’t do you any harm..

Through my explanation, he sat and listened (although I suspected his mind wandered to his tamiya) and  I then realized, “oh my God, I’m an awful person.” I love myself more than I love him, I don’t want our relationship to succeed at any rate and I’m a crazy jealous bitch who compared my human boyfriend with a projector.

He laughed so hard and tried to relax me, but I was devastated. Was this the reason why I could never find a boyfriend for quite some times and why men around me kept staying the hell away from me? When I told him that, he laughed harder. It was easy for him (or maybe any men), women mostly will follow the will of their men, they have this high tolerance when it involves relationship. The need of a masculine figure in their life puts relationship in their priority, therefore being selfless, hide the traits of possessiveness and making a scheme on how to  toll the wedding bells come almost naturally. I had that kind of tolerance before, but now unfortunately, I omitted that. Why? Because when I was that kind of person, I just wasted years of my life, and my ex’s – in a relationship I knew just wouldn’t work.

“I’m sorry if I’m a bitch sometimes, it’s just that I made a promise to myself that I would never ever lie to myself again.”

He calmed me down, “it’s okay, be whoever you want to be, I don’t mind.”

“But, I’m difficult. Yes, now I have you but who else would want me?” (see points in Mania? Emotion highs and lows? Check.)

“You see, being with you, one will need a long bowel.” Just when I thought I have misheard him, he explained that  in Javanese there is an idiom that the longer the bowel is, the more patience the person is.

“You have to be with someone who has a lot of patience and a high level of intelligence, because you are right: you are difficult.” I was so touched when he mentioned ‘intelligence’ but then realized he actually complimented himself and rolled my eyes. Still, I was thankful of him. Maybe at some point where we can’t compromise further, we’ll hit bottom, but I feel that I understand myself better now and actually help him to understand me.

Well he must be, because he’s a mania too.


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