What is love, really? Remember when in movies, a boy and a girl fall in love, have some kind of twisted complications until they finally get over them and then have a happily-ever-after? Remember when in those romantic songs, the world starts changing in unbelievable ways and grows beautiful when “lovers’ hearts collide”? That’s all fun, but that’s just not reality! Reality is nothing like the things we see in movies. Love, in real life, isn’t as black and white as we’re taught to believe. Our hearts don’t “skip a beat” when we see the person we’re attracted to, and the world doesn’t just swirl around when we fall in love. Relationships in real life are messier. You don’t always get to be with the person you like, heartbreaks are common, and there are seldom “happily-ever-afters”. In real life, confessions aren’t easy, commitments are hard, and attractions aren’t limited to a single person for the rest of your living life. But that’s not where the problems begin!
What’s problematic is that our generation learns to relate their romantic lives to the ones displayed in the movies. And that changes everything! Expecting something to work out just because it did in some fictional movie is not right. That’s what teenagers do these days. They think relationships are what movies show us. But that is not the truth. Detachment from reality affects their mental health and builds up false hopes to a destructive extent. They try to look for the kind of love that’s shown in Titanic or The Notebook, without considering the fact the fiction doesn’t always represent reality. We, as teenagers, have got the wrong idea of what love should look like or feel like. Anything less than that just drives us over the edge of sanity. Feelings of being in love, in reality, aren’t as clear as we expect them to be. They’re confusing, distracting and even frustrating at times. They aren’t always persistent, and they can be painful emotionally.
Wouldn’t it be so good though if we could get to experience the kind of love Jack and Rose had? I can understand why it’s so tempting to look for that kind of love in our partners. It really does feel good when someone is genuinely committed to you. It feels satisfying to know that someone loves you unconditionally and is okay with all of your flaws – it makes you want to live your life to your fullest when you know you’ve always got someone by your side no matter what. These are the things that make us hopeful about love. But they are an extreme rarity. I’m not implying that love like the one shown in movies doesn’t exist, because it probably does! But being in love is a different experience for every single one of us. Love doesn’t have a universal definition, and that’s why you do not have to let a fictional movie, or someone else’s experience of being in love, define or control yours. We need to learn that it’s okay to not have that kind of love. We need to be okay with heartbreaks, and of falling in love multiple times. We don’t have to look for our Prince Charming of Cinderella. We could be realists and be more accepting towards romantic relationships that occur in reality. That way, we could at least get to engineer our own relationships and not hang on the expectations of what it should look like. Believe me, that alone makes life much easier!