Less than three.
Disclaimer : No animals were hurt during this post. But a few ‘might’ get hurt after reading this. Please keep the doctor on speed dail. Any resemblance to anyone/anything alive or dead is coincidental(ie. true). And also, Cigarette smoking is injurious to health. Not that you care. 
Disclaimer P.S : Less than three in “social term”(ie. the language of social media) can be abbreviated as ” < 3“. Do you understand? Plus, before you go wondering and get lost, mystery : love!
Let me be frank with you, and if you already know then just bear with me. Love has always been a complicated thing. Though I have never looked for it, I always had this nagging feeling that it just might happen. I was wrong. It doesn’t work that way. I was too stupid to realize even after watching a million movies. Speaking of movies, well we will go there in a few stances. But I wanted to understand what it really felt like. So, instead of (again) not trying to find love, I retracted to much easier version – learning from others. Books are a great place to start with. But then I realized I was more of a murderous person, I mean a mystery-adventure book kind of guy. I wasn’t a little bit romantic. I failed the first step to understand romanticism, in other words love. Though I haven’t had the courage to read many, but I did read a few, I mean two. But then I realized that even if the story is a standpoint of a different person, the feelings and characters, the plot, but I was doing the screenplay in my mind. And as a non-romantic that I am, I censored the creepy parts. Then there were movies which did the screenplay as well, which was cool in a way. But the phrase “non” that was usually appended with a term in my self description which goes in the lines of non-romantic never faded.
However hopeless I was, however impossible it seemed, I still wanted to know. I am human after all. And all humans are romantic, what’s wrong with you?! So, in the process of finding true love or atleast love I have come across some pretty interesting stories, assumptions and a few( esp. from the movies) for which I made myself the critic.
a. The critic.
Let me start with the movies, I mean I am a critic now. I recently watched a lot many movies, of which a lot a few turned out be rom-com (Romantic Comedy). I am going to point out to three movies which I felt were in the lines of yours truly (in terms of passion. On second thought strike that). So the central character (hero) is a famous writer who has either published very good novels or have scripted for very successful movies. But they hit the block where they can not move ahead with the story or novel or the script. So, they feel lost and can’t even pen a word. *Drum roll* – Another central/lead Character entry -Heroine. The hero as usual is smitten by the girl. They feel the electric pulses when they first make contact. Basically there is a lot of tension between the people. But wait, oh the love does happen, but the girl already has a boyfriend ( a lover, in terms of being a romantic). Oh, that’s a bummer. But our hero still doesn’t care and makes out with the heroine, passionately of course. (Now, if I were that guy, I mean in Hero’s shoes, I would rather respect her choice of “already having a boyfriend” and sulk in my bed or hit a bar or something. But the hero doesn’t do any of that) [Critic Expert Comment :  Now, at this point we, as a spectator would love to watch the union of hero and heroine since “he” is the hero and “she” is the heroine and we are definitely wishing for them a happy ending by settling together. But come on, that Biatch(heroine, however cute or sexy) is already cheating and we are just loving it. Why? Because the hero is cute and so is the heroine. So, right on. ] But. But the heroine says she is already engaged or is already in love and that last night was a MISTAKE, which shouldn’t have happened and wont’ happen. Hero loses faith. His story is stopped again. He smashes things. (Light bulb in his mind) She is the one and he has to get her, at ANY COST. He runs to the airport, catches the last flight which he would have missed if he was a second late, takes a cab and tells the driver to step on it; stops the marriage just in time. They run towards each other, kiss and live happily ever after, I mean “THE END”.
b. Wait, what, I mean how ? 
We were a group of six and we used to hang out on weekends and made the most of the weekends, well on most days. It came as a surprise when a friend proposed another friend of mine who was a year elder, which isn’t the point. We were on a road trip and this fellow who had been sitting beside me the whole journey seemed to have proposed and I had no idea about it. I came in light of this news a couple of months later. To this day, I still wonder how that happened (beside me)? Now they are happily married.
c. Missed Opportunity
I haven’t felt more bad for anyone else. For almost a year, he kept this as a secret, not letting even a hint of lapse. He loved her dearly. You know what, this very guy inspired me in writing a few lines in the lines of romantic. But then he chicken out and said, it was better to let go than pursue and ruin everything that was perfect. So, one year, he kept loving her from afar. I urged him to take a leap of faith and burst that bubble – by which you will at least have the clarity on what to do next. He fought back saying it was better left un-expressed. Recently, he got wind that she was about to be married. I wanted to know how he felt about all that. “No Comment”, he said. That was the last, he spoke with me and I with him. I didn’t want to push him. 
d. Blood Love.
I made a new friend(now no longer) during the transition from one work to another, though I ended up where I began, literally. She said she already had a boyfriend, as if anyone would pry on her. So, one casual conversation led her to reveal her love story. It started six/seven years ago, when she was in college. Though he is staying far from her now, she was in a long distance relationship. She used to tell me how “protective” he is of her, that he doesn’t allow her to go out, that he scolds her whenever she talks with any guy, likewise. That he loved her very much much but never wanted anyone to know about it in college. That his parents would ask a huge sum as dowry and that she didn’t have it. That she was getting irritated by her boyfriend. I had to ask her about how it all began. She hesitated to tell, but she eventually told. He, our hero, seemed to have cut his hand pretty bad after he got rejected by her. She being the caring one, took pity on him and accepted his proposal. To which I was not only shocked and thought what kind of a stupid this person is. In her words, ” Agar koi aapke liye haat kat leta hai, tho kitna pyaar karta hoga. Isliye haan keh diya” ( Translation : “If someone cuts their hand for someone they like, they must really love the person. That’s why I said Yes”). I deemed her mad at that very moment and that guy the stupidest person ever. A few days later, they broke up and she was happy. But she kept telling that he was still cutting his hand / not eating / doing some other drama. Eventually, he wasn’t able to convince his parents it seems, she was happy that she was alone again and ready to mingle. About time, right? Now get this, her future husband : Should be atleast an IAS. I was like Pyaar ka tho dhajiya uda diya en logo ne.
e. Don’t say a word.
I have this friend who has a girlfriend and who ditches us whenever she calls to meet. The worst part of it all is when he is with us, he is not with us. He is glued to his cell phone as if Fevi Quik accidentally fell on his hands and he was holding the phone. Oh wait, there is another worst part, she is about to be married. While his story runs on endangered fossil fuel, there is another guy who was smitten by “love” so bad that he roamed the city a couple of weeks and then broke up with her when he thought he could do better and have “better” girls. Yes, its a plural. Now, he not only ogles like a maniac, he is eyeing an already married girl. (Oh, thanks for the knife. *Stabs myself*.
Sometimes, I feel it is better to not get involved in all this love-shuv thing. Because of the people like these. But then again, it is still a mystery to me and I like to solve that. The thing about this so called love is that is that it isn’t visible. Well, it is visible if one is hopelessly in love or a die hard romantic at heart, neither of which I can associate myself with. But for a, is it safe to say, stone-hearted person like myself, it is like unchartered territory and it is totally safe to say that it is like an onsite opportunity in my project – never going to happen. Never. Ever. Never. Ever. 
P.S. Dear People-in-Love, I know how stupid and idiotic I might sound right now. But, please don’t shower the gyan on me. I will still not understand the complication unless I row that boat myself. So, please spare me. I beg of you.