For centuries, our society has conditioned us to believe that true love is filled with intense passion, butterflies, pain, suffering; the good, the bad and the crazy. All great love stories involve some kind of pain or suffering. All romantic books, romantic films are centred around dramatic, crazy, passionate love lives. This is not because love is supposed to be crazy or dramatic or passionate or painful. This is because films and books are more interesting that way. Same goes for the music industry. There’s a reason why Adele and Taylor Swift choose not to sing about their healthy relationships, they only sing about the absolutely terrible ones. This is because nobody wants to hear a song about Taylor Swift’s perfect relationship. Nobody wants to watch a film about a perfectly healthy couple who are in love and don’t have to face any obstacles. It’s simply boring.
But we don’t realize how constant exposure to these distorted perceptions of love and romance is harming us in the long run. Every time we find ourselves in a relationship that’s absolutely horrible for us, that drains us of our happiness, that gives us nothing but tears, we often find ourselves denying the severity of the situation. We lie to ourselves saying that its’ completely okay. Suffering is a part of love. There is no love without suffering. What we don’t realize is that we are just allowing ourselves to be brainwashed by our constant exposure to dysfunctional relationships. We become products of our society that start mistaking these dysfunctional relationships for love.
Or maybe we go on several dates with a guy knowing he isn’t quite right for us, but we settle for his flaws hoping that we will be able to change them or he will grow out of them. Only to realize when it’s way too late that it was a mistake and we are no Julia Roberts from Pretty Woman who manages to make a stone-hearted businessman fall in love with her and become all warm and sensitive despite her being a hooker. Neither is our life like the movie A Walk to Remember. We can’t change the bad guy, we can’t tailor him to suit our needs. Personalities are not that volatile as movies would like us to believe. And I don’t just blame our modern depictions of love and romance. This unhealthy definition of love has been around for so long that it has become an archetype embedded in a universally known fairy-tale like Beauty and the Beast. Belle decides to stay in an unpromising relationship long enough and lo and behold, the horrible beast turns into a handsome prince!
This subconsciously reinforces the fact that if we also stand by our impossible man long enough we will get a grand reward. However the harsh reality is that ‘ grand reward’ in all probability will be a tumultuous breakup that leaves you shattered to the core. In conclusion my advice to everybody out there would be to learn to differentiate between healthy relationships and dramatic, heart-pounding, unpredictable dysfunctional ones.