Has it become so customary in today’s society that we had to find a specific name for it? Unfortunately it seems that it has. But what I’m seeing, all around, is not love, but rather a lack of it. Love is a strong word which encompasses great affection for someone, a deep sense of belonging, care, and fondness directed at one person. This ‘love’ today, at least in my opinion, would be more precisely defined as lust. Two undeniably different concepts, yet now people so easily confuse the two, evidently because real love has become so scarce (at least with younger generations).
The biggest culprit, I feel, is chemistry and choosing to base a relationship solely on that chemistry. Chemistry is important since it’s what determines whether we are attracted to a person or not, but it isn’t enough to develop the feeling of love. Actually, maybe having too much chemistry with someone is bound to end badly, precisely because its abundance has the ability to deceive and steer the mind away from the fact that there’s not much of anything else. We all tend to give in to this chemistry, allowing ourselves to fall head first into this undefined relationship with someone without really knowing what either of us wants from it. And when we do start thinking about what we want, it’s already too late since there’s a large possibility that our wishes diverge, and it can be said that a broken heart on either side is predetermined. Having chemistry with someone is beautiful, it’s what fuels the bodies and makes the experience of physically being with the person addictive and satisfying. But apart from our bodies, there’s the heart and the brain, arguably both more important than the former. And in this regard, chemistry won’t suffice.
Another dominant aspect of love in today’s world is fear of commitment. Getting attached, something which should be looked upon as a fulfilling and gratifying state, is largely feared and avoided. Falling in love is regarded as a weakness instead of a strength. Being vulnerable has become synonymous for being naive and wearing one’s heart on one’s sleeve is considered stupid and precarious. People believe that settling for one night stands and flings is a sign of maturity, since love is something that’s been rejected as a faux pas we all make when we’re still inexperienced and gullible; in other words, something we refuse to repeat, only because we fear renewed heartbreak. It’s hard for me to get accustomed to this since I don’t see things in this way. My perception of everything relating to love is based utterly on romance, sincerity and mindfulness. To me, letting someone in and opening up to them isn’t a sign of fragility but of resilience and courage. To be able to remain true to the natural instinct of love despite the current norms of society is rare and therefore even more valuable.
What’s worse is that it’s not just fear that controls people’s mindsets nowadays; it’s also negligence. We want attention and acknowledgement, but we are too lazy to work for it, so we take what’s easiest to attain. And even then, after we attain it, we’re idle when it comes to maintaining the relationship. This results in people drifting apart, since one-sided effort can’t go on forever. The looming prospect of ‘Responsibility’ overpowers the will for intimacy and devotion, so one would rather suppress any feelings that are present than succumb to them.
I sincerely hope that this changes soon, that trust is restored and sacrifices are accepted, because we can only grow by embracing selflessness. We are essentially given the opportunity to choose a person to whom we will devote our time and affection to. And opportunities are meant to be seized, not abused. Caring about someone should be voiced out loud; it’s not a fault, but a virtue, to see the good in someone as well as love them for their shortcomings.
No matter how hurt I get, I won’t allow the hurt to make me cold. I cherish my own feelings as much as I do those of others and expressing them is what I fervently support. There’s so much beauty in surrendering yourself to another person, giving them your soul and accepting the risk of getting broken purely because it’s what makes you happy in that moment. And aren’t we supposed to live life moment by moment?
If we try and evade the pain, we are also missing out on the beauty. The spectrum of human emotion exists because we are supposed to experience them all. How else would we know how to recognize precious moments when they come our way? It’s precisely in feeling everything, that we’ve mastered the art of loving and arrived at the purpose of living.