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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

I will never admit it, but I adore love. 

My music taste is often described as ‘sad love songs’, I watch more ship edits on YouTube than I ever care to admit, and I cry at every romantic comedy I watch. I hate it. It contradicts the rest of my personality, or at least who I try to be, which can be described as   strongly independent.

This obsession is something I think most young people can relate to. Love is everywhere you look: movies, shows, books, newspaper articles, Instagram edits, and TikTok compilations. 

Of course, it’s normal to care about this stuff, but when did it become the only thing that mattered? Where did we develop this idealization of love? 

This seems to be a nationwide issue. As stated in Love In America: “America seems the only country where this is a national issue, and people are having more and more problems finding someone”. Not only is it a big problem for Americans, but it is also something that Americans prioritize. A Quicken Survey stated that more than half of Americans say love is a priority over money, and a third say they would give up whatever amount of money it takes to have a great romantic relationship for the rest of their life. 

It makes sense, as a very individualized country, we tend to focus on ourselves more than a community. But, we have somehow warped this video of independence. That we are put on this earth to search for our other independent person, somebody who is our “other half”. So, without them, we are missing half of ourselves.

These statistics also reminded me of a video I watched recently, about how society views love and how we think love is messed up. It goes through how society has moved from being told their meaning is through a higher power, the more secular, to a more individualistic focus. So, individuals instead have to turn to other things to help them find meaning. 

This makes sense in my experience. I didn’t grow up very religious, but I could find comfort and meaning in the people around me. I found a reason to get up to see my friends and have fun. As I got older, life got more intense and complex. And, when you find that one person who you feel a completely intense connection with, it feels euphoric- to a point that’s almost addicting. In a sweep of dopamine, I almost viewed my past lovers as a sort of God. Something that can ease my existential crises, that I at least had a person to live for. But, then, when it would crash and burn, as love often does, it felt like it would kill me. 

Looking back, empty and heartbroken, I realized that those relationships were never truly loving. But instead, I was taken aback by infatuation, lust, and attachment. When you find your meaning in life in others- it will never be stable or good. 

Yet I find myself pondering: Why do I still search for that again? Why do I still hope someone will fall in love with me? 

I think these common thoughts come down to how we view our worth in others. 

The first step to reverse these thoughts is to create one’s sense of meaning. Meaning can be anything you want it to be. For me, I found it within myself. I have goals, ambitions and a future to live for. I have to live for myself. I have to live for the possibility of the things that I can do. 

I used to think that there was something beautiful in being heartbroken- but I am just tired of choosing other people. I just want to choose myself. And the first step is to let go of that idea of being swept off my feet- that one day “the one” will show up. Love isn’t just a connection. That person wasn’t the ‘right person’ at the wrong time, they were just the wrong person. And everyone deserves better than that. At the end of the video, as mentioned above, it states that love is a commitment, it’s a choice and it’ll occur when it is meant to be. So, don’t go searching for meaning in love, instead, find it within yourself.

Hey! I am a freshman from CUA! I love talking about feminism, Gilmore Girls, pop culture, politics, and all things in between!