From Our Partners At Closeup: Here’s What It Means When Someone Calls You “Too Much”
Matti Kawpeng shares the challenge of being in a relationship in the age of playing it cool.
In Metro Manila, you know a hopeless romantic when you see one. They are those who would brave the EDSA traffic to make it on time (or 15 minutes late) to a date; the type that would plan a future together after the third date, while listening to a song that totally embodies how they feel about that person; the ones who love to call you on FaceTime not even half an hour after seeing each other. These are the sort of people who have so much love to give, they end up becoming the most vulnerable to getting hurt.
I’ve always been comfortable with the fact that I was into men, so getting into the dating scene was a little bit easier. But imagine this: I dated three guys in half of my sophomore year of college (don’t judge me), vowed to stay single for the rest of the year, but got into yet another relationship a few months after. Let’s just say that they all didn’t exactly end well. People were hurt, myself included. I was told I was too invested or fell hard too fast. My displays of love and affection were just too much for them, and for a while, I actually believed them. There were nights when I curled into a ball and cried in a corner for nights on end (yeah, no shame).
Eventually, I closed all my emotional doors, convinced myself that I was fine, and didn’t let anyone in for years. My heart turned cold, and skepticism clouded my mind with every new “hello” I encountered. Even if I found myself ready to jump back into love, I now feared that my emotional investment would again be taken as too much, resulting in another failure. All those experiences almost had me convinced that I would always be the guy who jumped into love and fell flat on his face.
After three years, though, I decided that it was about time that I slowly opened those doors again—free myself to take those risks and allow myself to get closer to others. But being the hopeless romantic that I am, I unlocked all the doors not realizing that I wasn’t ready to face all the pain I never dealt with and unleashing it on the exact person I let in.
And there I was, back at square one.
What hopeless romantics like me refuse to admit is that we expect other people to show us the same amount of affection we give, that which comes so easily to us. We’re all more or less afraid of showing or being “too much” for someone to love. But the fact of the matter is that people have their own priorities, and we have no control over them. It’s not that you never mattered (which I’m sure crossed your mind), it’s just that at that point in time, your paths simply didn’t align.
It’s tough facing these facts at once. When love turns into anxiety, you confuse the fear of losing someone with the feeling of genuine love. When “selfless acts of affection” become a tally of who invested more emotionally, that in itself is a huge red flag. Love is not about investments. We love simply because we have enough love to share. And even if the love isn’t reciprocated, know that that love was still well-spent. You shouldn’t be afraid to make a move because the reality is that you’ve got nothing to lose, and everything to gain. When you free yourself from these anxieties, you free yourself up to experience and feel love in its fullness.
Yes, you open yourself up to potential breakups, but what’s a couple of heartaches when it also means discovering what you want and who you want to be? That’s why I stand by the notion that exes aren’t mistakes: They’re lessons.
And let’s face it, sometimes they’re right. You are too much for certain people. When we acknowledge that, we free ourselves to give all the love we have to offer to those who will matter.