Argument against acquired feelings

Can someone actually acquire feelings for another person throughout the course of dating? Personally, I never thought this question was up for debate until somewhat recently. I was having lunch with a male friend of mine and we were gossiping and discussing things that were going on in each other’s lives. He started to talk about this girl who he had feelings for, a girl he met over the summer that he connected with and was attracted to. No big issue in sight at this point. Flash forward two weeks later to a phone conversation between me and this same friend. He tells me that this girl he likes has invited him to go away for Labor Day break with her, an invite a person would presumably only extend to someone they had interest in. This should have been a no brainer for him, seeing as he had declared his feelings for her recently. But he was not the same, and his feelings had digressed. He no longer felt that pang of emotion we do when we are in the presence of someone we admire and are infatuated with. His feelings were fleeting and he no longer liked her, turning a no-brainer into an issue that needed to be addressed.

This was when the debate began. Should he go and be with this girl and hopefully, fingers-crossed regain those feelings for her he felt before or should he let it go and not lead her on?

Was this really a debate at all? The idea that you could grow to have feelings for someone while dating them boggled my mind. Personally, seeing how doubtful and tongue-tied I can be with my own feelings, I couldn’t image being with someone and slowly becoming more and more enveloped with the relationship. If I do not have those feelings before, I could not manufacture them simply because I know the feelings are there for the other person. Even if I do start to like the other person romantically even in the slightest bit, this is going to be shot down and scrutinized. But is this just my personality? Can others be put into a relationship and actually “grow into feelings”?

As pessimistic as I can tend to be, I would like to say that the answer to the above question could be yes. That maybe, just maybe, you could actually start to see qualities and attributes in the other person that would lead you to reciprocate their feelings. But try as I might, I just cannot fully get behind this idea. If doubt exist in the beginning, it will not simply go away. It will linger and wait in the back of your mind, constantly telling you that your acquired feelings are false, destined to fade away as quickly as they appeared, leaving both you and the second part of the equation feeling shitty and unsure.

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