The ancient Greeks called love the madness of the gods. And though love comes with its fair share of ups and downs, we all crave the madness. But how has our experiences with love been in this day and age? Here, some people spill the beans.
So you think it’s hard to find a good date in our city? Try being a lesbian on top of it. Around four years ago, when I returned to Kathmandu, a friend had joked that getting a good lesbian date here is as easy as spotting a unicorn. Turns out, that’s not a joke. Or at least, that has been my experience so far.
I’m comfortably out of the closet. My friends, close colleagues, and even some family members, are well aware of my sexual orientation and are very supportive as well. On that front, it’s a happy life. But start talking about relationships and dates and things get muddled. Some friends always graciously try and hook me up with somebody but their gaydar only spots the obvious options. The butches aren’t my type (no offence, just personal preference. I’m sure you are a great human being). Guys, break the stereotype already.
Tinder is of little use. Compared to the heterosexual pairing options, there aren’t many girls looking for girls out there. But, obviously, being a girl isn’t the only requirement. Personality matters and, tons of dates later, here I am still single.
Also it doesn’t help that so many Nepali youngsters are convinced that they are bisexual (you know who you are). You have all these kids approaching you and you know it is going to be a complete waste of time.
If there is one reason I regret coming back to Nepal, it’s the dormant lesbian dating scene in our capital. I keep thinking about all the options and fun I could have had back in London. And you know what’s worse: I’m not one to dismiss Valentine’s Day as some romantic mumbo jumbo. I think it’s lovely but I guess I will be thinking that alone, this year too. The romantic with no dating options
I was in a relationship once, with a married man. The thing is I didn’t know he was married. Not until his wife told me and, when he tried to refute the ‘claims’, showed me marriage pictures too. I don’t know what was harder: Finding out that someone I thought I was in love with was married or the spew of lies that followed thereafter.
I was 25 and had romantic notions about love back then. He was supposed to be my happily ever after. But life unfolded like a Hindi serial and, along the way, taught me to view love as a frivolous emotion. I learned that you should never trust someone completely and you should always protect your heart because otherwise when someone breaks it it can be very tough to pick up the pieces.
I’m now very skeptical about love. I also tend to read between the lines a lot and I’m always on the watch out for traits that will tell me if someone is lying. This behavior works to my advantage most of the times but it also closes me off to a lot of life experiences. Also, I don’t enjoy being cynical and untrusting but I can’t seem to help it. Being lied to repeatedly does that to you, I guess. I’m definitely not making excuses for my behavior but my experience with love has definitely made me cautious and that can’t always be a bad thing.
The skeptic who finds ‘love’ overrated
I had a huge crush on a classmate when I was in the 12th grade. We did speak to each other occasionally but we weren’t exactly friends either. Only a few of my friends knew about my feelings for this girl. And they weren’t feelings I could act on because she had a boyfriend, and they had been together for two years. It was a no-go zone and I was one unhappy lad.
But right before our final A-levels exams, one of my best friends posted a status on Facebook about how I was so in love with this girl. His mom had found out about his smoking habit through me and he wanted to take revenge. He not only mentioned this girl’s name but also tagged her in the post. I couldn’t even look at her or her boyfriend during the exams. I was extremely glad that this had happened near the end of school and I wouldn’t have to face her again.
Little did I know that we would meet again during our Bachelor’s orientation program. I did my best to avoid her at all cost during the first year of college but we were partnered for a project during the second year. I was mortified to even be in her presence but somehow we got through it with minimal conversation. But, as luck would have it, we were always in the same group for many projects and programs thereafter. You could say we had become friends by the time we were in the third year. And in the same year she found out that her boyfriend had been cheating on her and broke up with him. She asked me out on the last day of our fourth year and we dated for about five years after that. We got married in July last year and are expecting our first child this April.
The one who persevered and succeeded in love
In the year 2010, I migrated to a new city, very far away from home. With fresh hopes and great dreams, I wanted to begin a new life there. I was young, enthusiastic, and extremely excited about exploring this new city named London. But my excitement soon turned into apprehensions when I found myself stuck in the middle of new cultures and lifestyles I couldn’t comprehend.
One day, my flat mate offered to take me around the city. She knew I was new in town and wanted to help. Both of us got along pretty well. Eventually, we started spending every weekend together. She was a Londoner and was elder to me by five years so I felt a sense of security with her. She helped me understand their lifestyles, manners, food, and local culture. In no time, our friendship turned into a romantic relationship. We promised to spend the rest of our lives together. In a short span of five years, London became my second home.
Unfortunately, I had to return to Nepal. We didn’t want that to be the end of our relationship and believed our love could survive the distance. She also came to Nepal several times and I visited London once every two years. But, over time, both of us realized that loving across two continents was becoming impossible. Societal and financial pressures forced us to take separate paths. She would not move to Nepal and my family did not want me to live in London with a foreigner. Now we are good friends and sometimes I find it strange how someone who was once a crucial part of your life can all of a sudden be just another figure in your vast pool of friends. The one who tried and failed in love
Every morning, she leaves to attend classes at college and I head to work. After a tiring day, she brightens my world with her smile and delicious food. They were right when they said a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. We are a happy couple. But every once in a while when someone comments that we did, in fact, get married, it enrages me. Is that person trying to imply that she is too good for me or thinks 22 was too soon to get married?
But again it is these comments that take me back to the days when we first met. I didn’t believe in the concept of love at first sight until I saw her. Thanks to technology and social media, it wasn’t difficult getting to know each other. After chatting for months, suddenly she tells me that she is about to get married. That came as a complete shock to me. But a balm to my wounds was the fact that she wasn’t happy about it either. I asked her if she really wanted to get married to someone her parent’s had chosen for her or did she want to listen to her heart. Fortunately, she chose me. That was enough for me to go against all odds and take our relationship one step further. We decided to run away and get married. There were many hurdles along the way but our love for each other never waned.
Next month, we are celebrating our third marriage anniversary. And the fact that our parents are more excited than us about this occasion makes me happy. It goes a long way to validate that true love triumphs all. A decision you make in the name of love will never leave you with regrets. Take my word for it. A hopeless romantic