The rampant flitting of butterflies in one’s stomach upon a mere thought or glimpse. The electrifying spark capable of commencing a wildfire extending from a graze or touch. The slight coloring of cheeks and avoidance of eye contact upon noticing the directed affectionate gaze of another. The continual craving for the missing piece to the puzzle and overall commitment for eternal union.
Upon asking another claiming to have fallen victim of the sentiments to what is deemed the most powerful of human emotions, love, one likely would receive at least one of the aforementioned cliches. Indeed, though such alleged truisms readily exist, the term in itself ceases to exist quite so simply, for how could one adequately assign an accepted definition to a word subject to change among varying individuals?
Indisputably, love is a beautiful thing, perhaps more so than any other we are collectively gifted to experience in life. However, even the most alluring of things house their share of imperfections. Regarding this topic in particular, it is of the very concept itself. Quite simply, we, as a society, are more in love with the thought of being in love than with actually allowing such to develop and establishing that we are in the first place.
The countless dating apps, the so-called chick flicks, the ever sought after romance novels — all provide specific examples to the occurrence of the above, as well as the overall demand of contemporary humankind for instant gratification. Though undoubtedly compelling, love does not develop overnight, nor within a sheer number of days.
What is worse, as is often the case, those of younger generations are now taking to their elder’s ways of housing this obsession over love, becoming fixated with the determination to boast a relationship. Nonetheless, regardless of age, the tendency of basing one’s worth upon the successful obtaining and maintenance of this intimacy is not only obvious, but widespread. However, if one does not know how to initially radiate personal love from within, he or she has no hope to discover it outside.
In addition, the notion of the existence of a perfect relationship has been cultivated in recent times and often sought after by a majority, if not all, of couples, each seeming to be in an attempt to one-up the other. It is not a competition, and when considering the fact that such rivalry subsists in association with an emotion meant to draw us together, few can sanely argue of it being anything but evil.
Yet, with so many beings professing feelings of love while simultaneously aiming for flawlessness, would not every relationship be labeled unblemished and separations be essentially fictitious? Perhaps what numerous fail to understand is that love is a practice, a daily devotion. As with a myriad of other things, one gets out of it what he or she puts into it. Contrary to popular opinion, love is brimming with faults, disagreements, setbacks, and differences, the entirety of which, though proving difficult, are worth it if such is real.
Perhaps we are all purely romantics at heart, yet this romanticization of love has got to stop. Though appealing and commanding, such can only persist to be so special if we work to alter these glamorizations. Instead, consider: being in love lends no wondering to the ever pondered question of what it truly is, does not take into account the status of another’s position within such in hopes of boosting personal attitudes and standings, nor justifies one’s existence on earth. And, if we are to continue this focus on love, such should be directed upon us, for the greatest of relationships and most prosperous of lives begins with ourselves.
Miranda Cox is a student at Mabel-Canton High School. She is one of seven area students participating in the Journal Writing Project, now in its 19th year.