First of all, I wanna thank everyone for your enthusiastic support for this Dear kfangurl series.❤
You all have been so very sweetly encouraging since the first Dear kfangurl post that I have been (and continue to be!) completely blown away. I was also a tiny bit worried that if no one actually asked another question, that I’d have to disappoint all of you guys who requested more of this series.
Happily, someone did ask a second question, and I’m super pleased to unveil the 2nd post in this – it’s official now! – series.
Today’s question is brought to us by Mawiie, lone VIP member of this blog (hers was the 1,000th comment on the blog, many moons ago), resident maknae among my pals in the twitterverse, and also, regular contributor over at Musings of a Twinkie.
Is it normal to feel a slight pinch when you learn that Oppa is dating? D: Not in the delusional “He could have been mine” way, but it’s as if you’ve embraced your fangirl persona for so long that when the Oppa you’ve been associated with for so long is suddenly officially dating, you feel as if…a part of your identity shattered?
Okay I just made myself sound like a creep. >.< When I learned that LSG was dating (it was New Year’s Eve, I was at a family party), I was so shocked that I just started to look for tweets and news to see if it was a joke LOL. And then a few girls on Twitter were asking among themselves “Who is going to break the news to maknae?” It made me laugh, but for a good 1min I was in denial haha!
Yes, it’s perfectly normal to feel a pinch – slight or more than slight – when you learn that Oppa is dating. In fact, depending on how much of your heart went / goes into your fangirl love for Oppa, and how much of your fangirl world has shifted as a result of the news, your recovery time will vary.
Your one minute of denial makes it sound like your recovery was much faster than most, in fact.
I remember last September when the news broke that Kim Woo Bin was dating Yoo Ji Ahn. My entire fangirl world tilted, and even though it took me only several minutes on a mental level to come to terms with it, I was much slower to bounce back emotionally.
On a mental level, I was all, “Well, of *course* it’s just like Woobie to be so open about his relationship. And why *wouldn’t* he be dating someone, he’s so affectionate and so hawt?”
On the inside though, my heart was kinda like this:
Something had changed, and I wasn’t even sure what it was.
All I knew was that even though I still loved Woobie, that I now felt wistful when I looked at his photo, and that’s something that I never used to feel before that point. (You can read more about my immediate fangirl response here.)
They say hindsight is 20/20, and maturity brings wisdom and time heals all wounds. I don’t know which it is, but now that almost a year has passed, I feel like I have more insight into the whole mechanism of the fangirl heart and mind around this. And no, I believe this has nothing to do with the fact that Woobie and Yoo Ji Ahn have since announced their breakup.
I’ve come to the conclusion that there are 3 main angles from which one might reel, when faced with Oppa’s dating news. And yes, it’s possible to reel from more than one of these angles. Those who reel from all 3 angles would tend to require the most recovery time, I believe.
1. It messes with your fangirl fantasy
For one major sector of fangirls, part of the fangirl fantasy is imagining that:
(a) someday, you’ll meet Oppa, and you two will fall head over heels in love, and live happily ever after, forever and ever and ever,
(b) Oppa is already your boyfriend / husband, and he’s just off doing work stuff, and that’s why he’s not by your side, &/or
(c) Oppa is yours, all yours. Never mind what anyone else / reality says.
Certainly, if a fangirl were indulging in any these fantasies, then the news that Oppa is now dating would throw a major spanner in the works. It’s kinda hard to block it all out and keep on imagining that Oppa is still all yours, when the entire blogosphere is about exploding with Oppa’s dating news.
2. It tilts your fangirl reality
Oppa was single when you first fell head over fangirl heels in love with him, and you’ve known him to be single for as long as you’ve loved him. In your mind, Oppa’s singlehood has become a part of his identity. The fact that this part of his identity has changed means that you now need to recalibrate your perception of Oppa.
This applies to Real Life too, as a matter of fact. When a close long-time friend of mine first started dating his then-girlfriend-now-wife, I remember it shook up my mental perception of him, coz he had been single, and happy about being single, for such a long time. It was a bit of a mind-bender that this friend of mine was no longer single, and that certain aspects of our friendship might now need to change, to accommodate his new status.
3. It alters your fangirl identity
If you’ve loved Oppa for a long time, and when people begin to associate you with your fangirl love for Oppa, it can feel like a loss when Oppa becomes officially unavailable. This is particularly true for fangirls whose screen-names reflect their love for Oppa, like Mrs. [insert Oppa’s name], for example.
How much this affects you, would depend on how much of your fangirl identity was rooted in your love for Oppa.
In Real Life, this would be similar to how someone might feel after breaking up with their Significant Other.
For example, if someone had created her whole identity – or almost her whole identity – as someone’s wife/girlfriend, then upon a divorce/breakup, it would be a completely disorientating, confusing experience, because the source of such a large part of her identity is now.. well, gone. Changed.
On a tangent, this also reminds me of Empty Nest Syndrome, where mothers feel lost when their kids leave the home, coz so much of their personal identity has rested on being their kids’ moms for so long.
In all of these cases, the degree and depth of loss really depends on how much of your identity was rooted in your relationship with that person.
If your fangirl identity was deeply rooted in Oppa love, then the time you’d need for adjustment and recovery would likely be more than someone whose identity was less deeply rooted in Oppa love.
The Case for Mawiie
In your case, Mawiie, I think it’s perfectly normal that you felt like part of your fangirl identity was shattered when Lee Seung Gi’s dating news broke. After all, by the time the news broke, you’d loved him for several years.
In fact, I’m impressed that you only took a minute to get over your denial. But perhaps like me, the emotional part of you might’ve taken longer to settle?
Having said that, let me also acknowledge that there is a sector of fangirls who fangirl a little differently, and are completely supportive of Oppa finding himself a girlfriend or wife. A little more on that in a bit.
The Reality Check
[This is not so much for Mawiie, but for other readers who might find this useful.]
A couple of questions that I find helpful, as a reality check, are:
1. Do you want to destroy the relationship / Oppa’s girlfriend?
2. Do you want Oppa to be alone forever?
If your answers to either or both of these questions are yes, then I think you might be in a more obsessive frame of mind than is healthy.
Coz if we truly cared for Oppa, then surely we wouldn’t want him to be alone forever? And if we truly cared for Oppa, surely we’d want him to find happiness?
On a slightly different note, as much as we think we might know of Oppa and his new girlfriend, the only persons who should have any say in whether or not they belong together, is, ultimately, the two of them.
Which is why it might be good for us to take a leaf out of the books of the 2nd sector of fangirls that I mentioned. It’s not a bad thing to indulge in some fangirl fantasy, but let’s also genuinely wish Oppa happiness. Coz everyone deserves a chance at happiness, right?
At the end of it all, my philosophy about this, is that the best fangirl response is to mourn for a while, and then come to terms with Oppa’s new reality.
Plus, you can always take comfort in the fact that Oppa is always all yours in your dreams.
I hope that helps!
1. Dya have thoughts or advice for Mawiie? Or a story of your own? Share with us in the comments!
2. Do you have a question of your own? Drop me a comment on the Contact page, or send me an email!
3. It’s been an insanely intense traveling week for me in Real Life, which is why I’m behind on comments again. I will get to all comments soon, I promise!