We think we want it to last forever, but we love so quickly and immediately that sometimes we forget to be patient. To make it last. To remember that passion ebbs and flows. We say we want the real, true thing, and that we want it with one person, forever. But we’re addicted to the infatuation side of love too, and sometimes, when that’s over, we don’t know what to do with ourselves. We forget that forever is forever, with boring moments and periods of plateauing and unsexy choices, unlike the intensely emotional two-hour films that make love seem gorgeously painful and gratifying and consuming, always.
We want love to be fast, instant, and available, so that we don’t even have time to think. We want love to be a commodity, because that’s what makes the most sense to us, because that’s how everything in our world works. We see something, we’re told we’re supposed to want it, and then we focus all our attention on attaining it. Love is best understood by us when it is something to ‘get.’ We swipe and message and snap and like and friend, because we want the “I like you, too” part so badly. And then once we get it, we’re unsure of what to do next.
It’s always been about the race – to find someone to settle down with so that we’re not the last one standing, alone. It’s been a race since the beginning of time. It’s an understandable fear and an understandable worry. But it’s even worse now, because now the race is public – broadcast on every screen in front of our eyes, with constant reminders about whether or not we have found someone. And we not only have reminders now about our relationship status, but multiple platforms on which we can be rejected.
And even when we do find it, sometimes the beautifully ordinary moments slip right through our fingers, the ones where we hold hands in our sleep and laugh at something together that would never be funny in any other situation. Because we are so used to these things that we think there is nothing special about them. We have seen too many high high’s and carefully crafted engagement announcements and perfectly written scenes to remember that the little things can also make for equally strong building blocks in love.
We want it, absolutely. There’s no doubt about that. But sometimes, the hardest part about love in your twenties isn’t about actually finding it – it’s about knowing what to do once you actually get there.