Maybe it's the glut of romantic comedies that fill the silver screen, the popular music, and overall mainstream media that has something to do with it. It cheapens love, turns it into a consumer item. What happened to the idea of it as a precious commodity?
I admit it, I am a hopeless romantic. As defined by Urban Dictionary, hopeless romantics are people "who dreams of who they will spend the rest of their life with and what the two of them will do together. They want to be romanced with sweet, simple things and thoughtful, amazing surprises. They dream of being loved, but also of loving somebody. They doesn't just want somebody to hold them, they also want to hold someone. They realize that love isn't just about one person, but both people. They are hopelessly in love with being loved and loving back."
I am in love with the idea of love. I don't really know what made me like this. Maybe it was growing up, an impressionable youth, reading and hearing these stories of romanticized love. I always believed there was someone out there, somewhere, meant for me. And that finding her would be the greatest quest of my life.
Romantic love. We discussed it in my sociology class and I learned that romantic love was a social construction. It never really existed until we, as a society, agreed it existed and its existence was popularized by romance novels, movies, and music. If not for these mediums, our entire idea of love would not be around.
For a while, I believed this. I forgot my beliefs. What is love, I thought, but the dreaming of foolish idealists. It only leads to heartbreak and shattered dreams. I abandoned love for my own sake to save myself from the hurt that accompanies heartbreak.
I loved for a short while, about a year and a half. I had the fortune to be in a relationship where I really cared about the other person. She was my other half, at least for a while. I loved her; she loved me. It was a beautiful moment in time, frozen in picture-perfect quality in my mind, one I look back on with warm feelings and nostalgia. I know I can't go back. Life moves on for both of us, but I am very thankful I was able to spend what short time I had with her.
Losing her - I thought it was the end. It was what caused me to go back on everything I believed in. I questioned love, cursed it and the universe that had done this to me. Love couldn't exist if this had happened to me.
I was an idiot. A complete, utter fool. How could love not exist if I had such a great time with her? It ended, sure, but does that invalidate everything we ever had together? Of course not! The feelings we had for each other were real, and though it had to end, that didn't mean that there was never nothing there.
As romantics, I think it's just hard for us to embrace that it may take some time for our "other half" to show their face. We have to wait until the universe deems it right we meet them. It could be someone totally new, or it could be someone who's been right under our noses the entire time. We have to wait until the conditions are right, and we have to be patient. The universe will reveal them in time.
So, what really bothers me is this pollution of love. It's become more and more apparent to me as my time in college has went on. I ask, what happened to love?
What happened to flowers and chocolates?
What happened to looking into each other's eyes?
What happened to serenades?
What happened to holding hands?
What happened to stolen kisses?
We've become lost, confusing love with lust. Gone are the days of (as cliche as it sounds) "going steady." Down here, the norm seems to be hooking up. Relationships revolve around sex and the physical, leaving behind the emotional. And people discover (though most of them don't even realize it) that without the emotional, the physical falls short. Sure, the sex might be great, at first, but what happens when that loses its novelty? What happens to the emptiness inside you, leaving you wanting something more than that?
I don't want to be on this soapbox. Really, I don't. But I feel like we are all losing sight of what it means to be "in love." Call me an idealist. Call me an idiot. Call me a pussy. You're entitled to your opinion, but as for me, I believe in love, in true love that is so powerful that it's life-changing. I believe in a love that when I look into this girl's eyes, I see only light. I see myself as she sees me and she sees me as I see her. And it's perfect.
Maybe it's an archaic idea. It's old-school, I agree. But we need to re-examine what it means to love. It's not just sex. Don't confuse the two. Love transcends. It connects two people. And I hope, someday, whoever you are, dear reader, you find it.
Because, what's a world without love?