I believe in love, but not the kind shown in movies or on reality shows. I believe in everyday love, the kind that is shown through small, random acts of caring for one another. It’s bringing over soup when they’re sick or reminding them to wear a jacket because it’s cold outside. This kind of love doesn’t shout loudly from rooftops or come in the form of long kisses in the pouring rain. You don’t find your soul mate by going on a TV show and competing for attention. The way we think love is supposed to look is simply an illusion created by the media and that’s what trips us up. We don’t see these things in real life and it makes it easy to assume that love is a rare and elusive luxury only a select few can have. No one wants to put their heart on the line because we don’t know that finding true love is a risk worth taking. Most of us have never experienced the payoff, only the pain and disappointment.
Our generation perceives vulnerability as a weakness and as a result, we do a great disservice to ourselves because we aren’t honest about our feelings. We protect ourselves by hiding behind our phone screens and social media accounts. By appearing to be aloof, we never let anyone get close and we don’t allow ourselves to develop feelings. We know that when we let others in, we give them an opportunity to hurt us. It’s hard to deny a true connection- one where you are attracted to every last bit of someone, body and soul. We’re just so caught up in the chase that we don’t know what to do when the right person stops us in our tracks. They make us question all of our previous notions about love and that can be terrifying because those notions are all we’ve ever known.
Despite all of our defenses, loving someone and being loved in return are the greatest feelings we can experience as humans. We need to break free from the mindset that letting our guard down is a weak and foolish thing for us to do. The little things that bring us temporary bliss could never compete with what it feels like to really fall for someone. How it feels to connect with a person who makes you physically weak and challenges you mentally. There is nothing like feeling your heart race before a first kiss. Or trying to find the right words to express how much you genuinely like someone. Knowing you truly care for someone is an amazing realization. We shouldn’t settle for anything less than the exhilarating feeling love reminds us of- how wonderful it is to be alive.
Not everyone in their 20’s needs to be engaged, married or even dating for that matter. You are young and still finding yourself. So go out, have fun, and be reckless while you have the least amount of responsibility. But if you happen to find someone that you truly connect with, do yourself a favor and go for it. Step out from behind your façade, let your walls down, and take a chance.
Everyone wants to be loved.