Jun
21
2009

Love Virgin

Are you a love virgin?

Allow me to explain. If you go by the traditional definition of the word “virgin,” it means a person who has not had sexual intercourse. If you’ve ever bumped uglies in the night, hid the hot dog, or taken the bullet train through Yonker’s tunnel, then no, you are not a virgin.

What about a love virgin?

The term “virgin” can also be used in non-sexual contexts to mean a lack of something. A Pina Colada Virgin, for instance, is a Pina Colada cocktail without alcohol. A love virgin, therefore, is someone who has never fallen in love.

Some people go through life never experiencing love. Some do and don’t know it. Still others do and won’t admit it. While all three are potential dating hazards, the first kind — the true love virgin — presents an especially difficult case.

Most people have experienced it at least once. While there isn’t a limit to the number of times one could fall in love, it would be logistically difficult to have felt it more than, say, twenty times. Unless, maybe, you’re a thousand-year-old vampire or something.

For most people, love isn’t an emotion or a state of being that happens easily. It’s not like buying ice cream at the supermarket. It’s more like buying a condo or house, relatively speaking.

I’ll bet some of you are shaking your heads right now. “I fall in love almost once a month,” you’re thinking to yourself. “It’s not as rare as this doofus makes it sound.”

Sorry to do this, but see your bubble there? Now look at this pin in my hand. Burst!

If you fall in love that often, chances are you haven’t been feeling love. What you may have been feeling is infatuation. A very deep, passionate infatuation, perhaps, but infatuation nonetheless.

It is easy to confuse infatuation with love. Love isn’t a feeling that fades in a matter of weeks. It takes years, decades, even lifetimes. Or perhaps it never truly fades; it just evolves into a more elemental emotion.

Infatuation, on the other hand, is defined as an “all-absorbing passion” (see why it’s so easy to confuse it with love?) that doesn’t last. It doesn’t grow or evolve. It just remains at that level, then dips like the sunset.

If you are still in your teens or early twenties, it isn’t uncommon to be a love virgin. Some may even argue that you don’t really know what love is until you’re older, though I think that’s bullshit. But if you are still a love virgin at this age, don’t fret. You are not alone.

If you are in your thirties or forties, however, then you should be concerned. That’s a long time to go through life without ever falling in love. It isn’t impossible, but, well, something may be wrong.

Are you afraid of being hurt so much that you avoid relationships? Are you consciously or unconsciously isolating yourself from strangers? Are you ending relationships before they have a chance to mature?

There is something beneath the surface that isn’t quite socially healthy. Or at least, socially acceptable by the norm.

On the flip side, if you are dating a love virgin, then be careful. Just as a sexual virgin isn’t quite sure what to do with all the rods and cones, a love virgin isn’t quite sure what to do with all the messy emotions that come with being in love. This isn’t a slight against love virgins, it’s just a fact. Lack of experience begets lack of understanding.

For example, jealousy can play a big part in love. Most people new to love will find this curious, yet nagging emotion sitting on their shoulder from time to time. The little green devil may occasionally nip at them, throw an all-out tantrum, or crawl away and lurk just behind the ears.

With experience, many learn to cope with this emotion. They realize its roots in insecurity and put it away appropriately. However, a love virgin doesn’t yet have this experience. Thusly, the little green devil is out to play.

There is more. Mutual love is a delicate sheet of rice paper. Push too hard and it will crumble. Pull too hard and it will tear. With experience and a few failed relationships under your belt (no pun intended), you will hopefully have learned how hard to push and how hard to pull.

A love virgin at age forty, unfortunately, hasn’t had the benefit of such experience. Such an individual may unknowingly come on too strong and suffocate the object of their desire. So dater beware.

To be fair, there are many patient people in the world who can deal with a middle-aged love virgin, just as there are many understanding people in the world who can deal with a middle-aged virgin. (“You know what? I respect women! I love women! I respect them so much that I completely stay away from them!”) So it isn’t the end of the world if you are a love virgin.

But to those dating a love virgin, if you don’t have the patience or tolerance to deal with a new crop of emotions and lack of experience, be careful. Their only experience with love is what they’ve seen in movies. And as we all know, life isn’t like the movies.

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