What is love, actually???
A question that comes and goes from time to time, when ever I hear that some couple from my alma mater split up because they couldn’t reconcile their personal differences and egos or some thing else entirely petty.
Love between people of my age, I’m 21, usually ends in a big blasted fight or in the form of a whimpering whisper in their souls saying that this won’t work out. Both parties grieve for some time and then move on. The moving on part takes a lot of effort for some people, but it eventually happens for most. Some will try their damnedest to make it work, but when a tree has been burnt to ashes, you can’t expect it to grow back.
Of course, most people think that what they’re experiencing is love, when it could have been nothing more than a bunch of harmones playing havoc in their minds, or just straight up lust wrapped in the glistening cover of love. We aren’t going to talk about those kind of couples.
Nope, the ones that truly loved and let go. That’s what we’ll be talking about.
“I can’t even believe I ever wanted this for you. You stay the same, James.“, a friend of mine once said to me.
By “staying the same”, she meant not falling in love or even trying to fall in love.
A little context here:
My friend was just recovering from a bad break-up. She was strong enough to recover from the break-up and get back on her feet. She was still reeling from the after-effects of the breakup. We usually talk and I’d give her advice some times.
When it comes to love, I have no clue on how to make progress on some thing so delicate when I handle things in life like a boxer fighting the match of his career. I’ve had crushes, sure. But that’s what they were. Crushes.
Long story short, I’m not what people would call “boyfriend material”. I was also of the view that love in this age just wouldn’t succeed. There are some couples who have gone through the ups and downs of that roller coaster ride, but they are a drop in the ocean.
Besides, the stupid things people do in the name of love never sat well with me.
Or these may all be excuses for me to not fall in love, lest I hurt myself.
This friend of mine though, would have none of it. She said that I would find love one day and I’d be forced to eat my words. We even have a bet of 10000 Indian rupees that I would find a girl. (Well, she bet 10000 US dollars, but I guess she might have been exaggerating……Or not). Love was great, life was great.
Post break-up though, none of that talk. She told that if I failed in love, my heart would break into pieces. She didn’t want that for me.
I guess it would..I’m not sure….I would definitely punch a wall in a fit of rage though.
But then another question popped up in my head. I had to ask it.
“Well, you don’t have to worry about me. But a question.”
“Early on, you guys had some major, and I mean, major fights. That should have shown that you two weren’t compatible. So why the hell were you trying to make it all work out?”
“You can’t end a love with some one who you’ve been having plans with, just like that. I wanted to make it work.”
“At the cost of your own self-esteem? What’s that even worth?”
” *Sigh*. Trust me, I too asked these questions. I was given this answer that I’m gonna give ya.”
“You’ll never understand until you fall in love. You think you understand, but you won’t.”
I’ll admit, I admire the guts of those guys and girls willing to go the distance for love. Especially in India, where the word “Love” is cherished only in the movies, but will earn you a miserable life or even a death warrant in the real world.
But most people don’t go the distance, do they?
It’s always a reason A or reason B that screws over relationships one way or the other. I’ll give the most serious ones a pass, but the petty ones??
I mean, if it’s impossible to reconcile on even the most tiniest of flaws and that’s used as an excuse to get out of a relationship, I’m not sure if it was even love in the first place.
A quote from Mark Manson really struck with me on the topic of immature love.
“Romeo and Juliet is synonymous with “romance” in our culture today. It is seen as the love story in English-speaking culture, an emotional ideal to live up to. Yet when you really get down to what happens in the story, these kids are absolutely out of their fucking minds. And they just killed themselves to prove it!”
and another on actual love.
“The most accurate metric for your love for somebody else is how you feel about their flaws”
(Seriously guys, go read “The Subtle Art of not giving a Fuck” by Mark Manson. It’s way better than the cheesy as hell self-help books out there)
I guess it takes a degree of maturity to accept that love comes with flaws and it’s in the acceptance and the workaround of said flaws that love matures and thrives. The one important thing that most romance movies gloss over or completely ignore to just show us the lovey-dovey parts. (Seriously, screw those bad teen romance flicks. Giving off unrealistic ideas about love and all)
But then again, expecting that level of maturity out of every 21-year old is a bit too much, isn’t it?
Once again, I’ll ask the question.
“What is love, actually?”
Is it one of those questions that will never be answered in a clear manner beyond vague quotes like, “That feeling of butterflies in your stomach” or some thing else?
Is it one of those questions that will only be answered once I’ve entered the point of no return and come out bruised, battered and bloody?
Or is it the kind of question that an idle mind conjures when he has nothing better to do than ask existential questions like these??
I’ll never know for sure.
Maybe IF I find love, and that’s a colossal “IF” as to whether it will happen successfully, I might get the answers.
But is it worth the risk?
That’s the million dollar question.