Struggling to Find the Point of Love and Relationships and Needing Help Moving Forward
When You Think Love is Horrific
Whether it starts with cringing at couple’s holding hands or a bad love article from the New York Times, there comes a time when you can’t help but find romantic love cheesy, inauthentic, and puke inducing.
I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone. Romance isn’t meant to be superficial or gag inducing. That experience you have when discovering proclamations of love as fake is nothing more than growing into consciousness and awareness that you might need... a different recipe for love… if love even is your thing.
What is Up with Fake Romances?
The problem with romance in the modern day is that we (at least in the good ole’ U.S.A.) are raised in a consumeristic society. Love becomes merely a brand, a product, or an advertisement to fill up space between sitcom breaks. You probably don’t hate love, or despise it with every fiber of your being, you’ve just learned to see what is contrived in your maturing years. We live in a too superficial, too congested, and too easily offended world.
So how do you create authentic romance in your life? It comes from a happy place of introspection, satire, critical thinking, and developing your own genuine interests. Maybe you see online dating as a pedestrian tactic or most attempts at affection come off calculated or dry. Developing romance in your life needs to first come from your own bag of bones. (I couldn’t write “heart” there, it started to feel like the fast food philosophy of love was slipping into my prose.)
It's Okay if You Find Love Horrific
When you’re young, firework hormone explosions overwhelm your brain cells. It’s difficult to look past those initial love spells. But as you get older – your brain and hormones gain sight. You learn you want something more. To develop any sense of romance and escape the kitty pool of consumerism – you should quite simply, and obviously, develop your own interests. Figure out what makes you passionate in this dismal world we share with billions of people (it’s not always dismal).
So when you find love horrific, don’t be too hard on yourself. Give into your indulgence to dismiss courtship. You don’t have to blather, moan, and turn it into a soapbox. Don’t get down in the dumps because you perceive “love as horrific.” Instead smile. Sit back. And relax. You’ve solved a puzzle, Johnny! You’re not backtracking, and likely don’t need hours of therapy to find out what Daddy issues you have that inspired your disinterest, you merely are out-thinking the system. The system of fabricated love all around us. Coming from one existential soul, you deserve better. You deserve a genuine, certified reality experience – not one you manufacture to appease others, to accomplish some sort of life goal, or to produce spawn. The world is content with the number of humans it has, perhaps we could tone it down a little.
So what is genuine love? Love should be a response to try to understand rather than throw someone under a bridge. Love is when you buy someone’s groceries because they can’t pay for their own. Love romantically is when you find someone with great integrity, who will be there when you’re sick and dying. Love just on the surface level isn’t love at all – it’s that lust, libido, infatuation complex that nuzzles itself into your firework hormone factory. So when do you know you’ve found true love? Probably not until the most important part of a marriage vow – when you don’t really deserve it; when you’re worthless because you’re sick and dying, and life might actually be easier without you. When someone loves you unconditionally, when your insides are so full of vomit and cancer that you feel unlovable – when someone sticks to you at that time, that’s love… unless they’re trying to be some sort of martyr or have Munchausen by proxy.
We Look for Love in the Wrong Places
There isn’t an exact formula for true love. You have to find and make it your own. There’s nothing wrong with letting go of the chocolates, flowers, teddy bears, and giant hearts and looking for something more real, something that clicks with you. There’s a number of expressions in love that are not caught up in the demonic world of getting people to buy stuff. (Consumerism is probably not demonic.)
Writing about love easily turns into a swamp. Love honestly may be a horror fest. It may dance on the line of domestic abuse, marital rape, and really gross stuff that I’m pretty sure is questionable. So why in the world are people so motivated to find love? I think we as people are imperfect. We have holes and so we’re hoping that in another person it will fill those voids. Our needs can’t be fully met just in and of our own world – as much as we may try to hide out as a bearded hermit, conversation keeps the blood running in our veins. We can’t expect that having someone we spend our lives with also completes those voids. It might make the load lighter (or heavier) but as finite creations we’ll always have an itching spot that we’re incomplete. This is why all of us are easy prey to addictions – whether shopping, work, drugs, lust, or a number of diatribes. It’s those void spots that make us linger too long with someone who hurts us; it’s those void spots that make us cave to cheesy teenage love; and it’s those void spots that keep us awake at night wondering if we are really there or already dead.
"Love Actually" Not the Best Example of Love
You don’t have to spend your life romantically with anyone. You can live it up as a single, celibate, innovative blood churning machine. It’s completely normal to develop feelings for someone – and run off into the hills with them chasing away all the narwhals, unicorns, and hobgoblins. (Normal may or may not be relative.)
There’s a lot of backlash on the movie “Love Actually.” I think people have overanalyzed this movie. I’m quite certain the producers didn’t think in calculated detail about the themes, concepts, and social systems it conveys as an art piece. It’s one of those movies I enjoy regardless of the hate bandwagon. BUT for the sake of this hub, it is a good example of cliché, manufactured, and even has devious examples of misogyny. For instance, most of the relationships in the movie glorify a man’s satisfaction in the relationship over the woman’s. There’s the terrific horror fest when Keira Knightley’s husband’s best friend pronounces his love for her outside their home. His best friend was pretty rude to her, but apparently it was because he had a crush. It’s pretty rude to proclaim love to someone who is married… much less outside their home. But with the right music, words, and ambiance it can be masked as something the audience might desire.
“Love Actually” depicts, in large heaps, the problems with consumerism, predominately being "cheesy love." Porn stars proclaim their love after awkwardly selling their bodies to cinema; a man almost cheats on his wife for a younger, more seductive co-worker; or the president saves the day after staff and such make rude remarks on a woman’s weight. None of the love scenarios are really innocent. Of course it's all just a plot to bring as many people together for the holidays as possible. One man stops thinking about his dead wife to help his way too young son to pursue a girl? Or the ultimate man fantasy -- a house of broke girls who sleep naked to stay warm? If these are the best examples of love we have, we are officially screwed. I think we have to dive deeper to find love. We have to be willing to be patient, kind, courageous, and considerate. Love comes from trying to understand and extend grace, not from how many etch marks you can make on your bedpost.
A Little Self Help
Be free to be who you are. Don't let anyone take your smile away. You deserve to relax and pamper yourself. I don't know about you, but I get tired and stressed out about all the conversations on love and couple-dom. Sometimes I just want to crawl under my desk and pretend everything is perfect. Or maybe build a sheet fort and just spend days watching cartoons and eating cereal. I really crave authenticity. I crave being a genuine person, so I also crave genuine relationships. A lack of integrity is a deal breaker. In fact, it's the only deal breaker I need. And in a world where we don't actively pursue and develop integrity, we come up short breathing in and out cheese instead of oxygen.
There are a million articles on love on the Internet. I know, I've written a lot of them, mostly for my own entertainment. I just want to pull you aside and be more honest with you. I want to write more like I would for a paper than a magazine. That's why I'm saying -- you deserve to see yourself of value, you are a priceless, once in a lifetime gem. Your love life matters and shouldn't be dwindled down into nonsense. It's easy to get caught up in something if someone seems interested in you, but if it's not genuine and they're just trying to flatter you it could be a waste of your time. I can't say this enough, but ere on the side of caution. Protect your heart because it not only shows the real essence of who you are, that organ is what keeps you alive. You may get heart thumps for someone, but you need to evaluate and make sure you're not being duped by flowers and wine.
Real Love is Out There
When love blossoms, you'll be able to talk openly and honestly. You'll feel free to be who you are and not limited. You'll know that your dreams are still achievable. Love doesn't get angry or dismiss someone easily. It doesn't shut you out just because you don't agree with someone. Love is warm, it's both simple and complicated, it's tender, understanding, and loyal. It's easy to write just about any type of affection up as love, but unfortunately it's not that simple. He doesn't really love you if he's seeing someone else, he doesn't really love you if he doesn't care about the people in your life, and he doesn't really love you if he leaves you. He can say that all day long that he loves you deeply, but if actions are not matching someone's words then it's definitely not adding up.
If she doesn't spend time with you, if she won't meet your family, and if she won't encourage you -- she's probably disinterested. There are billions of people on this planet. You don't have to lock yourself down with one person hopelessly. Have hope that there is real love. Chase after real love. Chase after couples counseling if you need it... but you deserve real, true affection and not something fabricated for a cheeseburger commercial.