Apologies for the radio silence. It’s been a busy couple of weeks, and it’s still pretty hectic but I’ve found some down-time to type out my thoughts on something that’s been bothering me for quite a while: the concept of “paasa.”
Too many times, I have had boys’ walling out of girls who like them (and vise versa) chalked up to not wanting to make them “asa.” As someone who has been on the receiving end of this treatment more than a few times, I have to ask: Since when did being friends (or friendly?) automatically imply that you wanted something more?
When did inter-gender relations begin to take on such malice?
On my end, the rationale for why I reach out is the understanding that familiarity breeds contempt. When I’m being friendly, I’m trying to get to know the person beyond the rose-colored filter my feelings have given them. Heck, sometimes it’s my way of removing it–navigating my way to normal, while still being able to keep a person who I see as “valuable” (badly put) in my life. Crushes are confused affections, and it’s not unheard of that they could–do–transform over time into more platonic feelings. Sometimes what begins as a crush blossoms instead into a meaningful, platonic partnership of the kind where you bicker mercilessly on Facebook in pursuit of a common good.
(Hi, C. Or should I say, “Jack.”)
I don’t know if this is hard for people to understand, but sometimes being able to address the elephant in the room–to table it for discussion as if it were something as innocuous as the weather–automatically diffuses whatever time bomb of emotions was ticking away. It absolves the lover from loving, while at the same time building their self esteem because that love which felt so illicit, unwanted, and undesirable is instead being treated with about as much ceremony as you treat a (SMALL) whitehead: annoying, but harmless, and eventually destined to disappear. Turning it into an inside joke sends the message that “Hey, it’s no big deal. Your friendship is valuable to me, and your crush is independent of that value.”
Because, newsflash, crushes are by definition designed to be fleeting. Friendships, on the other hand, are supposed to be long-term.
I know that love can make people crazy and delusional, and the possibility does exist that some people are truly so far gone as to be made “asa” by something as innocuous as polite friendship. Reality check: reality checks don’t always work. I do agree with being direct–“I don’t like you in the same way.”–or even blunt–“You’re not my type.” But once the cards have been laid down, can we not talk about feelings like adults? Can we make them non-issues, instead of being made to feel (as a crush-er) like a non-entity.
Because, you know what, the silent treatment does more harm than good. Love makes masochists of us, so the pain of being shut out can sometimes fuel the crazy. After all, nothing makes a crush last longer than marathoning emo Taylor Swift songs.
(Why, Wildest Dreams? WHY?!)
I don’t actually like writing off my ex-crushes as buttheads (except for the few who are, and who incidentally are still my friends), but how else am I to cope when the door’s slammed so hard in my face I’d break my nose if I had one? Yes, I’m bitter, but not so much because my love has not been returned. I’m bitter because I, not my feelings, have been judged as undesirable.
Unless the person has done something truly creepy–and to some of my crushes who are reading this, I am so sorry and yes you can avoid me forever, or at least until we’re all really old–or is obviously still on the chase (having not taken “no” for an answer), why waste a perfectly good platonic relationship? Feelings are feelings. They happen. Why can’t we just treat them as such, and leave our friendships intact?
I don’t know. I honestly think I’m probably as guilty of this immaturity as the next person, which means that I confuse myself. (But then again, when have I not?) Whatever the answer, the fact remains #ThatThingCalledPaasa hasn’t prevented me from hoping. Instead, in some ways, it’s robbed me of my ability to hope that someone might even consider me remotely likeable.
Anyway, that’s it for my two cents. Stay safe and dry, and until next time, I remain, yours truly,