So at one point I'm minding my own business, walking past a couple of chit chatting guy friends when one of them, whom I shall call Kenny (coz' that is actually his name. Duh.) stops me in my tracks to ask me a question. Apparently the two guys were in a debate over something and Kenny seemed to want to prove his point, whatever it may be, by getting my opinion on the topic and he was hoping that I would agree with him and therefore prove his point (although soon after he ropes me into the conversation, the other guy he was talking to just kind of moseyed away and left me to deal with Kenny. Which I guess kinda defeats the purpose of roping me in in the first place).
His question was this: Would I rather remain content with my life the way it is, even if I'm not really happy... OR would I give up EVERYTHING for a shot at TRUE HAPPINESS? (Everything in this case, meaning my job, family, house, belongings, whatever...)
First thought that came into my head was.... this is one of those hypothetical scenarios that really has little or no chance of happening in real life, and even if it did, I wouldn't know what I would actually do in such a scenario until I was in it. It's along the line of asking "Would you run into a burning building to save someone you didn't know?"? I consider such questions unanswerable coz' you could give any answer you want but when it comes to the real thing, you could end up doing something completely different. Like how the heck would I know until I am actually IN that situation? I mean, I can say yes I would do so, but there's no credibility to my bold claim since I can't prove it. And if I said no, who knows? I may be overcome with heroism if such a thing actually happened.
So naturally I tried make it such that I didn't have to answer the question directly.
First thing I did was challenge his assumption that being content with life the way it is means I'm not happy. Who's to say that a person who is content is not happy? IMHO, happiness to each person is relative, and a person who is content with a simple life can also be much happier than a person who is continually striving to achieve more. So why give up everything I have if I already AM happy with what I have? Agreeing to my point, my friend then makes it a bit more clear what the question is REALLY about.
The revised question is this: Would I give up everything I have in exchange for TRUE LOVE? (true love, by his definition, meaning someone who totally understands me and no matter what other crappy things may happen, I will be the most important person in his life)
Ah, I should have known. We're not talking any ol' type of true happiness here, we're talking about the 'true love' type of true happiness. Yokay....
To this I just decided to skip the roundabout answer. I just simply said I don't know coz' I've never been in the situation. Of course, that's not enough for Kenny, he just keeps right on probing me to give a definite answer, at which I guess I kinda disappointed and maybe surprised him when I said no, I wouldn't.
As you can guess, I'm not much of a hopeless romantic. But trust me when I say I have reasons for my answer (and I consider these perfectly good reasons, dunno about you). The only situation I can think of where I could possibly ever have to give up EVERYTHING for "true love" would be if some guy with no money, house, car or any of the comforts of life I am used somehow or another totally swept me off my feet and I was adamant on marrying him, but my parents completely disapproved of him and swore to disown me if I married such a guy, in which case we ended up eloping. In such a case, I would have lost my family, house, car, and pretty everything except this poor guy who supposedly truly loves me and can't give me a similar comfortable life. But apparently that's ok, because he loves me and love conquers everything!!! Including a grumbling stomach, and having to deal with the roaches crawling on me coz' we have to live on the street. In which case, I would seriously have to question the level of this guy's love for me, coz' if I were madly in love with someone, and I knew that that person would have a worst-off life with me than where he is now, than I would want that person to stay right where he is rather than live a crummy life with me.
Which leads me to the next point...how would I ever know whether or not a guy TRULY loves me enough that he would be worth giving up everything I have for? After all, a guy can bullshit me with as much romantic mumbo jumbo as he wants, that doesn't necessarily make it all true. If a guy is like Bruno Mars and says he would catch a grenade for me, stand in front of a train for me, in other words, DIE for me, there's really no way I would know he's telling the truth unless it actually happened.... until then it could just all be romantic bullshit he's spouting in an effort to get into my pants.
But THEN, Kenny replies, does that mean the only way a guy can prove his TRUE LOVE for me is by showing that he's actually willing to give up his life for me? Once the poor guy is dead (perhaps trying to catch a grenade for me, heavens know where it came from), wouldn't it be too late??
I wasn't quite sure how to explain it to him at the time, but it was totally not my intention to insinuate that a guy has to get run over by a train to prove his undying love for me. The point was simply that a guy can tell me that he would die for me, or tell me that he'll love me forever, or tell me just about any kind of sweet talk that usually causes a girl to swoon...BUT it would be very difficult for me to believe it. Simply because I HAVE been sweet talked by an ex before who told me that he would love me forever. However, he failed to insert the clause that 'forever' no longer applies if I were decide to break up with him. Even though I did it as amicably as possible, he responded by posting anonymous crude comments on blog and starting a fake Friendster account with my number on it encouraging guys to call or sms me for a 'fun time'. That immature behaviour stopped long ago, of course, and now I think he's with another girl whom I feel very sorry for. But anyhow, my idea of 'true love' is to never stop loving a person, even if that person rejects you. My ex said that he would love me forever (and even at that time, I didn't quite believe him), then I rejected him, and he ended up demonstrating how much he actually did NOT love me by behaving like an arse.
So I think it's quite understandable that I would be very doubtful of any guy who gives me such sweet talk. In fact, I've come to realize that the kind of guys I admire now are the ones I know would never sweet talk me with romantic mumbo jumbo. It doesn't mean that I don't like romance. I just don't like romance when a guy makes claims about the extent of his love for me which he would never be able to positively prove (i.e. claims like I would go to the moon and back for you....corrnyyyy), and more likely than not he'd end up contradicting himself like in the case of my ex.
The debate isn't over yet. Then Kenny throws the next question at me: Does this mean that I don't believe in true love?? Or that I think that I can never find MY true love?
Simple answer from me: No, I do believe in true love. I just think that it's extremely difficult to find it. For me, well, I guess if I find such a guy, then great. If I don't, then I'll get a dog (a nicer one than the bratty mutt I have now).
At one point, I throw a question back at Kenny: What exactly is YOUR definition of true love?
He goes the way of saying that true love is someone who understand you completely, always supports you and puts you as number one, no matter what the circumstance.
I wasn't quite sure if I totally agreed with his answer at the time. But now that I think about it, I would take it one step further. True love is about supporting the other person and putting that person as number one in your life (or 2nd to God, if you're a Christian ;-)) even if you DON'T completely understand that person. Coz' really, I don't think there is any couple that PERFECTLY understands each other. Every person is different and has their point of view, and will disagree with each other at some point. But disagreeing doesn't mean you stop supporting or loving each other. And that kind of love doesn't come in the same package of Cloud 9 lovey dovey feeling. It's the kind of love that develops over time, after getting to know a person really well, including all their bad habits, traits that you can't stand, and knowing which issues they would never agree with you on ...and even after all that, if you can say that you'll support and love this person no matter what, then THAT is TRUE LOVE. And that kind of true love is difficult to find, although not impossible. But the ONLY way to find it, is through getting to know the person you're committed to, over time and having to live with this person... all the time. That's why even though I can be having a crush on the same guy for years and think I can accept behaviours of his which most people would not be able to tolerate, I wouldn't dare to say that I'm in love with such a guy. Coz' I don't have to put up with this person ALL THE TIME, so I can't say for sure that eventually he will end up just driving me insane.
And coming back to the revised version of the original question, about whether or not I would give up everything for true love, I think I may have to revise my answer a bit (although Kenny himself may not read this, but it's just for me and whoever cares to read my long-winded dribble on this blog).
If based on the scenario that some guy comes along claiming to be my 'one true love' with all his romantic sweet talk, then definitely NO, I wouldn't give up everything for such a guy until he can put his money where his mouth is.
But if I've been with a man for years, and he has already done enough to show that he would support and love me no matter what, even through all my shortcomings and our disagreements and my nagging him about throwing his socks on the floor, then probably yes, I would give up everything that that kind of love. So yeah, I guess I still do have a bit of romanticism in me. :)
Sorry again for the long rambling post, but I like questions like these. It really makes you think about what you believe in life, and it's very important to know what you believe in. ^_^
Nevertheless, I still think the Bruno Mars song is pretty awesome.