He has been looking for reality, really, but finds no comfort in trying to help people who are not ready to be helped--a lose/lose situation anyway but in his enthusiasm he does not accept this fact--perhaps he is escaping from an emotion? Not love for Clarissa.
I wonder if that kind of love really ever eats you alive like it does in stories? Never having been in love with anything less than a dream, I wonder. Sometimes one comes across this idea of love, eros, that is so full of boundaries to be crossed that it seems an effort to ever find peace and they never do seem to find it, grow bitter, have lots of affairs with other people they don't love, end up artists who smoke cigarettes and have friends they don't relate to except in pain.
Or they throw themselves in front of trains or maybe out of windows. Either way, it is a pretty stupid way to go. People say love makes you do stupid things but sheesh if nothing makes you do anything. Choices. That is what I have to say about that.