As an adolescent, I have repeatedly pondered the idea of a “true love”. Coming from a semi-conservative background, I have been taught (and whole-heartedly believe) that such an unconditional emotional and physical bond should be expressed through the traditional institution of marriage. Such a seemingly interminable wait to pursue love has allowed me to reflect on the absolutist ideas society upholds regarding love and my own thoughts about this concept.
Music, literature, and television (modern and classical) have served as factors that have monopolized the concept of love, portraying it as an unconditional bond between two individuals. The basis of this bond, however, is variable as may be characterized by a blossoming friendship, an uncanny infatuation, or tempting lust. Despite this, love is invariably depicted in a flattering light. But when pursuing love, there comes a point where we must halt our irrational infatuation with the concept of love and ask ourselves the troublesome question, “what is love?”
The subjectivity of the matter and the complexity of its nature cause us to overlook the question and blindly pursue a concept we cannot define, let alone comprehend, thereby setting ourselves up for absolute failure.
It is unfortunate that humankind has infatuated itself with the surreal concept of love rather than the reality of loving someone. You’ll never hear someone say “I want to love someone”. Rather the more common phrase is, “I want someone to love me”. Though portrayed as a form of selflessness, the pursuit of love (not love itself) is, at its very best, absolutely selfish. Single women of all ages dream of being loved by a man that will free them of their insecurities and cherish them despite their faults. Men cannot fathom committing to a woman unless she is “wife material”-can respect them, bear there children, and fulfill their desires. Such conditions by both males and females are seen as the beauties of love; however, having to adjust one’s lifestyle to accommodate the needs of a partner is perceived as the “compromise” that must be endured to maintain a threatened relationship. Mankind is not naturally selfless, and the pursuit of love is not an exception. Just ask yourself, why else would you want to be tied down to someone else?
And if we truly perceive love as a righteous form of innocence, why regard ourselves as pathetic when we experience one-sided love? Why is the girl who’s willingness to do anything to please a man who does not love her regarded as a form of desperation? Why is a “whipped” man the subject of society’s condescending jokes? Is this not love? Or is this a different form of love? A selfless form that must not be practiced by any level-headed individual?
Why has it become a societal standard for a man to approach woman who is “hot” yet be humiliated by friends for describing her as “beautiful”? Why is a woman’s ability to rely on herself and achieve such independence only recognized by the “strong” breeds of women?
Though rhetorical, these questions all must be answered as humanity perseveres through its struggle against the reality of love, and maybe if answered in time, we may stop resisting and learn to embrace it.