- Gender and Relationships
What is Love, Actually?
Love For Sale…
I’ve often thought about it, but the answer eludes me. I’ve heard many opinions, read many articles, trying to find the answer from countless sources, all when I was younger. Images of old, the lady and her suitor strolling along the path beside the river, underneath the spreading willows, the poetry, the hours spent talking, the courtship; they are of the centuries past. One would just assume that with modern times that it has changed; but changed into what? What has love become? What has become of love?
I have never been in love. I thought that perhaps it would come one day, or that I was incapable of feeling this emotion. There’ve been some girls that I was interested in, perhaps infatuated with, but nothing more. I watched from the outside as others ‘got serious’, coupled, and later broke apart. I thought myself lucky that I was spared the heartbreak of this sort of loss and humiliation, yet unfortunate to have never felt love.
When I look around me today, I see loneliness, hurt, and people taken advantage of, manipulation, cruelty, and alongside this, just across the street, there sit the stores with their advertisements, their cards, jewellery, flowers, car showrooms, and every one of them capitalizing on Valentine’s Day. This is when I think to myself shockingly; this is the source - that it has all become so commercialized, the companies making money out of it. Love sold out. Love was bought out by the greedy vultures that we see all around us, and now instead of the unconditional feelings it might have once inspired in us, it has now become this material thing that can be purchased.
I guess they’re right, everyone and everything has its price. Who really stays together or marries for love? If you read any magazine, or listen to the stories of others, nowadays the things that keep us together are sex, fortune, fame and power, and the people that possess these symbols of status are always ‘loved’ by others.
"Nobody is ever perfect, especially as perfect as the person we all see in our minds when we dream. And therefore, can we really ever fully love if the people in real life do not live up to the lover inside our heads?"
Any unsatisfactory partners who are cast aside, are not unloving, unkind, or uncaring, but not up to the standard concerning the aforementioned desirable traits. You listen to the so called experts, and they’ll tell you to look for someone with looks, smarts, money, power, and ambition.
Furthermore, just out of interest, and sympathy, when you read the column dedicated to people wanting to find love, it’s a bit perplexing as to what they really want, and at the same time non-negotiable and precise, but totally unrealistic and ridiculous in expectation. A typical ad will include the person’s approximate age (40+, never the exact number), their physical stature, and their income, and the exact person they are looking for.
In England, recently a paper revealed what the average woman (let’s be honest, English women are ‘average’), lists as the exact things they want from a man; “must be tall, handsome, good figure, must have had four serious relationships and no more than six casual encounters, drive a BMW, earn a minimum of £200 000 per annum.”
The paper jokingly (I assume), posted one result, a picture of one man, next to the article. And this is my point exactly. How many men in England, or anywhere for that matter, have these sorts of ‘qualities’? It’s ridiculous. And with men, there has always been a similar attitude. I once read a sentence: "a man would rather take a vacuous, curvaceous blonde over a warm smile and nice personality any day."
They say that people have to lower their standards, and stop being so shallow. I can understand that people want the ideal, perfect man or woman, especially when considering marriage and having to spend the rest of your life with the person, but what are the chances of actually meeting them? I think the pressure is compounded by having an age limit imposed on us - the societal belief that nobody over 40 will find love or get married and will spend the rest of eternity alone, and this might also be a reason why people give up hope, and just go along with what society, relationship experts, life coaches, friends and parents suggest is right, and not what is right for themselves.
Nobody is ever perfect, especially as perfect as the person we all see in our minds when we dream. And therefore, can we really ever fully love if the people in real life do not live up to the lover inside our heads?
“Love and hate are such strong words, they also cause so much pain.”— Anonymous
Have you ever loved or been in love?
© 2009 Anti-Valentine