The following entries were taken from a rant that I’d posted on Twitter last week. This was in reaction to a social media conversation about romance in the Philippines, and how audiences (and other Filipino writers) tend to romanticize unrequited love. I’m calling this a rant because I don’t usually take these conversations lying down, especially when they hit a nerve. I’ve also decided to type these out instead of embedding the tweets because some of the threads got tangled while I kept posting.
Okay, since I’m still waiting for the drowsiness to kick in: Who the hell told you that unrequited love is the sweetest kind of love?
Because it isn’t. It hurts. It plays with your dignity and drags you down to your lowest level.
I had never been more unhappy than I was when I carried the torch for people who never loved me.
It brought the worst out of me. The stalking, the bitchiness, the hypocrisy, everything.
All because I couldn’t accept the fact that I’d be happier without them.
It isn’t sweet or romantic. But you can’t grow if you don’t take it for what it is: a setback.
The more you romanticize it, the deeper you fall into the abyss, and it gets harder to crawl out.
But when you let go, you open yourself up to the possibility of more love and a happier ending.
Ambiguity in relationships only works in fiction. The rest of us are better off when we’re up front with our expectations.
And maybe this isn’t what you want to hear from an unmarried romance author, but trust me on this.
Right now I’m happy where I am, and maybe I’ll stay this way. But that doesn’t mean I’ve given up on my happy ending.
I know I will fall in love again. I know that I’ll find someone who will return my love.
And it won’t be tortured or twisted, because I am too old for that. I won’t settle for anything less than trust and respect.
Until then, good night!
A few notes, since a series of 140-word mini-rants may not be enough:
First: If you look at the demographics of #romanceclass authors (or at least the little amount of information that we’ve admitted on social media), I can estimate that a good portion of us–including myself–are single and not in a significant romantic relationship. And yet, we otherwise unattached authors (some more than others) have written books that strike people with acuity over romantic relationships. Maybe it’s our powers of observation, or maybe it’s our own experience with unrequited love, but it’s our faith in the Happily Ever After that fuels the heartfelt nature of our books.
And not only that, but we’re realistic as hell with our observations. We don’t condone stalking, even if the guy looks like Piolo Pascual. (Personally, if I had a stalker as handsome as Papa P, I’d take out the restraining order on him, because nothing’s more dangerous than a stalker with charm.) We don’t get our kilig over dysfunctional relationships. We talk about these things because we’ve seen how this works with our family and friends. Not all of us live in a rose-scented love daze 24-7.
That said, I can’t speak for #romanceclass, but I have spoken about my own experiences with love and dating on this blog. Sure, there’s still a touch of pain in some of those war stories, but for the most part I understand now that I was the one who chose my own misery by chasing after the unavailable ones. I don’t know if I could undo the damage that I’d done from all the torture that I’d engaged in during that time, but I’m still learning how not to make the same mistakes again.
There’s more that I can say about this, but I’d like to know more about what you think! Do we Filipinos love unhappy endings because it’s true to who we are? What do we really want out of our relationships? Post in the comments or holla at me on Twitter (@TheStellaTorres) and we’ll talk!