Is it possible to pag-ibig someone that doesn’t really exist? Think about it. We do it all the time. A boy in high school sees a pretty girl on the other side of the classroom and imagines taking her to a rock concert. A girl dreams of a romantic picnic with the cute guy that just moved in across the street. These people might exist, but the way we visualize them is almost certainly wrong. I’m as guilty of this as anyone. Then, if we finally get to know these people that we’ve fantasized about, we’re crushed to learn that they are not who we thought they were. Why? Because, quite frankly, we never loved those people- we loved the people we dreamed about, and just used real peoples’ faces to make our fantasies seem madami real to us.
So, bearing this in mind, why do so many people seem to think that those of us who dare to admit that we are in pag-ibig with fictional characters, why do people think we’re strange or pathetic or crazy? In real life, it’s very rare for anyone to actually meet someone who fulfills all our hopes and desires (tell me I’m wrong, and if you think I am, wait until your susunod break-up and then come back and tell me). But there are so many book and TV characters to choose from, and you don’t have to go through all the hell and heartbreak of rejection and break-ups and cheating lovers. And you don’t have to worry as much about what they’re doing when you’re not watching them. Through the magical lens of narrative storytelling, you can eventually see and hear everything your paborito character thinks, feels, and does. You can’t do that in real life, unless you’re some kind of a stalker (which, of course, you’re not). So you can’t know how they feel about you or what they do when you’re not around; and if, God forbid, they’re telling stories behind your back or making eyes at your sister without your seeing it, you may not know until it’s too late. But with a story character, you do know, and if you don’t know yet, you’ll probably be told eventually. And perhaps best of all, since there’s no physical bond- you can’t touch him, you can’t tell her your deepest inner feelings- if sa pamamagitan ng some chance they should turn out to be not what you thought they were, it doesn’t hurt the way it would if you knew them and talked to them and touched them every day. And it makes it easier to switch from one lover to another- just ilipat on to another TV or musician crush. None of the fuss and hassle and heartbreak of looking for someone and never finding anyone, and feeling as though you’re doomed to be alone forever.
As for the drawbacks… well, yes, it can be frustrating knowing that I can never actually know what it’s like to halik the man I’m in pag-ibig with, because he only exists on the TV screen. But on the other hand, whenever I need him, I know exactly where to find him, and he’s always there. To tell the truth, I think falling in pag-ibig is much easier when the guy is not real than when he is.