Asymptotic Love

Our sights entangled, like two dancers who find themselves in the center of the ballroom, dancing to a tune which is familiar to both, enacting a coming and going of subtle gestures like a mime would translate the unspoken words. For an instant, even when we look each other from across the room, the space between us feels minuscule, as if our noses were about to touch. Our eyes reflect themselves, like the moon sinking in its own reflection on the quiet sea. But even when I believe that we are so close that the beating of your heart echoes inside mine, truth is, there is an entire world in between.

Unfortunately, for two persons to find themselves across the world, two wills are needed. Not only one.

Nowadays, the scene of the family reunion where the relatives question you about “why you haven’t married yet?” o “why you don’t have boyfriend/girlfriend?” have become a comic cliché in popular culture—even when it’s no so funny to the person sitting on the defendant’s chair—, but today, I don’t want to delve into the reasons for marrying or having a relationship, but rather, in explore the intrinsic need that we, as humans, have to try to exert a control in the outside world. In other words, why we fight against reality so hard, to achieve the love of that certain “special” person, or to receive the wedding proposal, or simply to change the way we are perceived by people.

In psychology-related slang, Control Freak, refers to “a person who feels an obsessive need to exercise control over themselves and others and to take command of any situation,” and even when we need to underline “obsessive” in the definition, truth is as human beings, we all possess traits of the different pathologies, and it’s only until the moment the condition hinders our capacity to relate with the others, when is considered a mental disease. The term Control Freak is not clinical, so there is no clear definition. This term is widely used in professional environment for those suffering of a controlling boss, or in relationships, when one of the partners attempts to control the life of the other.

But again, I want to focus in the more subtle aspect of the control, the aspect that even is encouraged in our society: fulfilling our heart’s desires.

If we fall in love with a person, or we want a certain job position, or achieve specific goals, we are constantly encouraged to pursue our dream, to declaim our feelings for that person, or to work hard enough to land the dream job. Sacrifice is believed to be one of the ingredients for achieving success, so a lot of the times we allow ourselves to go through an ordeal of pain—justified pain—, in order to hear the craved “Yes”, even when in reality, that person will never see you with the “eyes of love” or just because you are not smart enough to become the next president of the company.

The powerful desire emanating from our heart towards that person or goal, obfuscates our perception of the reality, and we immerse ourselves in the Illusion of Control, which is the tendency to overestimate our ability to control events, to change our reality. Every time we say to ourselves “She will like me” or “He will change”, we are exerting this illusory form of control, that along with our Positive Bias, we believe, we will transform our reality to match those of our expectations.

Even when the detachment from reality might seem negative, these are considered Positive Illusions within psychology, these forms of self-deceptions are needed to maintain the self-esteem and are considered highly prevalent in normal thought and associated with mental health.

But then, if it’s good to hook-up into the illusion of obtain the love of your dearest one, when enough is enough?  When it’s fair to let a dream be taken away by the waves of oblivion and not feel yourself like a loser? Considering we live in a cultural meritocracy, where if you fail to obtain something like a relationship or a marriage was because you didn’t work hard enough.

As I said at the beginning, I’m convinced that for two persons to find themselves across the world, two wills are needed. The fact that two lines circling a sphere crosses at some point, can be attributed to chance, but it needs the will of both to keep running parallel, heading the same direction, otherwise, that person will only be tangential to our lives. And there is a third kind, the asymptotic person or love, referring to the analytic-geometry term, of a line that continually approaches a given curve but does not meet it at any finite distance. Not matter how close they feel to us, that person will never be with us no matter what we do…

Some will argue: is not true love considered as infinite?

Well, yes, within romanticism, but that is up to you to decide.

Maybe it’s a natural trait of humans generated through years of evolution, to be optimistic-biased person circling this world endlessly, like in Pink Floyd’s song I Wish you Were Here, “We’re just two lost souls, Swimming in a fishbowl, year after year” waiting naively for our paths to cross beyond that finite distance.

M. Ch. Landa

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