There’s a fine line between being in love and being labeled as ‘thirsty’. Many people traverse this line on a daily basis, and they sometimes fluctuate between the two states. Being in love is the greatest feeling in the world; being called thirsty can make the biggest man feel two feet tall.
Last night I had my iTunes on random, and the song “Whenever, Wherever, Whatever” by Maxwell came on. I have loved this song since the first time I heard it. I always felt that the title alone was a proclamation of the power of love. If you haven’t heard the song, he is telling the woman in his life that she means so much to him that he would do any and everything in his power to please her. She means so much to him “for you and your blood, I will bleed”. That’s some real shit.
You would think that this is the kind of love that everyone – man and woman – longs to achieve. Who wouldn’t want the feeling of knowing that someone is so hopelessly in love with you; so devoted to your happiness, that they would disregard their own personal safety if it meant that you would go on unaffected? Surprisingly, not too many people aspire to have this kind of feeling.
The song begins with Maxwell saying “Lead me on girl if you must/Take my heart and my love/Take of me all that you want.” I used to think that was one of the greatest opening salvos in any song. He’s putting it out there that, even if it means that she is going to use him, he will let her, because it made her happy. That’s true, unabashed love, right?
I’m not so sure anymore.
When I listened to the song last night, for the first time ever, I thought to myself “Wow…. this dude is fucking crazy to give this woman that much power over him.” I realized that this song wasn’t about a guy confessing his undying love for a woman; it’s one mans plea to try and get this woman to notice him and what he can do for her. He was on some next-level begging throughout the entire song.
But isn’t that the kind of person that women are always complaining that they want, but can never find? Don’t we always hear women talking about they want to find a man who is all about them, and who wants to make them happy, etc.? Isn’t there a large population of women who want the kind of love that is shared in “The Notebook”, “Twilight”, or any other movie that has absolutely no basis in reality?
It’s difficult nowadays for men to express to women how they feel. It is rare that a man can feel confident in telling a woman that she has affected him in such a way that it’s hard for him to function without her somehow being involved in his day to day activities. There is a double standard when it comes to the expression of feelings: if a woman tells a man that his “good morning” texts always start her day off right and she looks forward to them each morning, its acceptable; if a guy does the same thing, chances are she is telling her friends “this cat is THIRSTY”. Can someone explain to me how this works?
I know that feelings develop at different speeds between people. It would be insane to think that, at any moment in time, two people feel exactly the same way about each other at the same time. However, when it is a guy whose feelings evolve sooner than the woman, he is thirsty; when the woman’s feelings take the leap first, it’s considered being in love.
So what is a person to do? If you hesitate to express how you feel, you may lose out on an opportunity to have something that could possibly lead to forever. On the flip side, if you are willing to put all of your cards on the table, there is a strong possibility that you are being laughed at behind your back, all the while the person you are aiming your affection to is soaking up the attention until they find some other new and shiny toy to play with. You see yourself as emoting; they see you as thirsting for them.
The reason why songs like “Whenever, Wherever, Whatever” work is because we never know the response of the person the lyrics are directed to. That’s why we can listen to it and tell ourselves that it is the way we want to express our feelings to that special someone. Think of your favorite love songs: when you listen to them, they give you a sense of hope, right? Give you a reason to believe in the existence of love. Now think about someone telling you those same words. Imagine someone feeling for you the way the artist in your favorite love song felt about his or her muse. Do you still think about love? Or do you think this person is just thirsty, and can’t possibly mean what they are telling you? The line between the two is getting more and more blurry.