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Fine Lines: A Brief Exploration of Romance and Obsession

Updated on May 24, 2019

Perhaps there is a line between romance and obsession; and perhaps it may even be as fine as many such distinctions tend to be. For I have walked across that beam, and leaned from one side to the other, falling but unrepentant to move forward.

In an age where romance has become a taboo subject in itself, approaches to it have followed suit and turned from commonplace advances of one heart towards the other; to something grandiose that is as volatile as it is exact. And it is possible that romance may have ceased its relevance for exactly those reasons - for its potential to inspire self-destruction.

We are all romantic, in one way or another, but not all of us fall under the same categories of courtship. To some it is an escapade, to another, a benign element of routine. And then there are those to whom it is the paragon of life’s intent - an unattainable artefact, which is as beautiful as it is capricious.

A force that drives and an obsession that destroys, it can be maddening; because we’ve all witnessed its malicious side. But that is the problem. Why should it have that side? How can a thing so pure posses a hurtful character? I must admit it simply flabbergasts me that such an ever-present force can be a forbidden, nay, a repulsive concept to some.

But there, there you have it. The fact that it now makes me seethe with indignation, that some of ones most unadulterated intentions may have a dose of malice, well, that is what it is. The fact that I’m writing this consolidates the argument - and that is where I wobble on that beam.

But this isn’t about me - it is about all of us.

For some obsession is an endearing trait, or at least that’s what I tell myself. This creeping of emotions presents you with the insane perseverance to see beneath the surface, and in romance, that is often the necessary key to uncovering the glow beneath the charred crust, or that soft tissue underneath the scars; it is the key to finding a heart of gold.

Yes, the bells of trouble resonate, the crows sing of darkness as the romantic advance intensifies beyond the palpable - or palatable - and into a territory of shade, where what was once a fantasy, becomes addiction, and what was cherish-able, a source of pain.

Frustration is a feeling of underrated strength, because for all its insolence, it is carries a burden of immense weight; a shameful weight at that. For anger paves the way to lament, and the latter takes its toll. And as that pursuit uncovers a paradise beyond the means, it turns the mirror on yourself, and demonstrates the faults at hand.

Yet it is indeed unfortunate how a large part of these realisations simply impeach the most dear of ones qualities, pointing out their inadequacy (and thus your own) in the most heart-wrenching of inquisitions. Picking on the strings of naked nerves, this is the moment romance rolls on its way beyond the lights.

And when you face that dead end, it is both a release and a devastation - like that feeling after a good cry. It is enlightenment incarnate, a prophecy is that masochistic release of pain. Once that hammer drops, the crack of bone releases light, and marrow drains into resolution. It leaks into a river of possibility for more of such indulgence, for more romantic satisfaction. The well, as you discover, is never dry - or at least that’s what we hope for - and we keep drinking, until drunk with more obsession...and thus more love.


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