When I was younger, I used to believe that love was something magical. I thought that when one fell in love with someone it was meant to last forever. Love was the most powerful thing in the entire world. It could be eternal and it was meant to be so. Because if not, then what was the purpose of loving someone so much? Of loving them for so long? It had to mean something. So in my head it meant that you had found the love of your life and that you were going to love them forever and ever, and live happy ever after (or unhappily ever after because they didn’t love you back. But they would one day, because they had to).
Of course, things are a bit different now. Love has become much more complicated than it used to be. Experiences transform the way we think and see life and people, which doesn’t necessarily mean that we get to understand concepts so abstract as “love”. We try though. We try to come up with answers to this puzzle. Love is this, love is that. Love is not supposed to be like this. Love is supposed to look like that. That is real love. Real love doesn’t exist. Love doesn’t last. Love always remains. Love is selfless. Love is selfish. There are a thousand ways to define what love is and what it isn’t, and even then, they never feel like the right answer.
We don’t always love people in the same ways. I didn’t love my first boyfriend the way I loved the second, or the third. Sometimes the feeling is soft and tender, almost like a caress. Other times I have felt I could not breathe of how much I loved someone. It was a feeling impossible to contain. Those times I felt sure I had met THE one. The feeling was way too strong and magical to ever go away.
I stopped believing in this after I had this same feeling for someone else. I couldn’t have two great loves, could I? That was totally against every single movie and book I had ever watched or read.
Nah, love was not at all like I thought it was. Or how I thought it was supposed to feel like. Relationships make things complicated and messy. The fact that you love someone who probably has a different view of what love is also makes things relatively difficult. We all have our views of love, and at a certain point I believe we also experience it in many various ways. So, at the end of the day, I always find myself not having a clue of what love is (or should be).
I have some vague ideas, though. I think they make the “being in love” situation a bit easier. They might not be true at all, but they help to get along with the inevitable ugly parts of it. These are my three truths about “love”:
- I don’t believe that “the one” exists. I think we have many great loves in our lives and that’s about it.
- I learned to doubt my own feelings and to not attribute any “mystical” importance to them. Yes, I’m so in love that I feel I’m going to explode out of happiness, and there are moments when I truly believe I found someone special. But that doesn’t mean anything. I will probably feel the same way once we break up and I fall in love with someone else. I might even have more intense feelings for this new person. And that could happen Lord knows how many times in our lives.
- Love comes and goes, and it is nobody’s fault. It’s also not the end of the world. It might seem so for a while, but again, going back to number one and two…many other people are there waiting for us. We just don’t know that/them yet.
I wouldn’t say this is a pessimistic view of love. We idealize it so much and we believe so many beautiful lies about it…and the truth is, that the only thing they do is make us suffer. These lies never live up to our expectations, and that’s enough reason for me to stop believing in them, even if a part of us still wants them to be truth. Maybe if we would stop idealizing love so much (and if we stopped idealizing our partners too), then the inevitable break ups wouldn’t hurt so much. Singleness wouldn’t be a burden. Loving someone wouldn’t feel like willingly jumping from the roof of a building. And letting go wouldn’t be such a hard thing to do.