He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not: An Examination on the Ambivalence of Romantic Love

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(An excerpt from a previous essay)

Perhaps love is not meant to be understood, but it is purely meant to be felt. As people come to experience this so-called love they attempt to explain the feeling through canvas art, dance, song, poetry, or essays. Yet, the true meaning of love seems to get lost in translation. I am only able to imagine the feeling, as I personally have never experienced a true form of romantic love. Yes, I must admit I have developed “a strong liking” for past suitors and possibly experienced variations of this strange yet all-powerful feeling, but surely it was never love. Perhaps only when I experience it for myself then will my words have any validation to the world. Until then, I write from knowledge and experience as I have stood witness to the “love phenomenon” and still managed to fall victim to its emotional side effects.

I believe there will always be an ambivalence about the idea of love until it is not only experienced, but more importantly recognized by the conscious individual. When discussing the topic of love, the idea of lies and deception cannot be dismissed. I’ve heard that love is about compromise, however I believe people take this idea so far where they end up changing themselves just for the approval of others. One of the selections from the text “Virtuous Persons, Vicious Deeds” by Alexander E. Hooke state “when one is in love, one always begins by deceiving one’s self, and one always ends by deceiving others…that is what the world calls romance” (Chapter 4). I first denied these words until I realized that I’m guilty of my own self-deception in this way. I changed simple things about myself such as the way I dressed or reconsidered the kind of language I used (whether I did this with the conscious or unconscious intention) in order to meet the expectations of others. Therefore, I can’t help but believe that this apparent “romantic formula” may carry some truth with it.  Maybe I have fallen prey to this superficial idea of romance so I plead guilty, but maybe the the rest of society should too.

At the peak age of twenty-one, I reflect on my past with honest eyes, but more importantly with an honest heart; for my own sake. Deceit and manipulation has lead me to believe there was some kind of connection between me and whatever failed attempts at love I have encountered. I found myself taking on the role of some version of a modern day (and much more chic) Rumpelstiltskin, as I attempted to turn the strings of bad relationship into something just shy of the same value as gold. Life up to date has taught me that any kind of true love I have for another person should make me fall more in love with myself, and I won’t feel pressured to change even the simplest parts of myself for the approval of another person. Somewhere along the way I’ve been convinced that compromise means changing the best parts about me and that couldn’t be farther than the truth. Compromise is rooted deeply rooted in acceptance; not just change.

The topics on love discussed in the selections are intertwined with the ideas of lies and deception. I agree with the author of the text that these factors can shield real love from an individual, but there should not be such a negative connotation that follows one of the most powerful emotions humans can experience that has the power to bring such joy to life. The idea about the ambivalence of love is prominent in society and people are constantly trying to decode the feeling or explain it. Maybe love is an individualistic characteristic, but we use this universal term for informative purposes. Maybe the definition of love translates to, “to each is their own” and the idea of romantic love should simply be left to the interpretation of the conscious individual who seeks it.

Published by Nas

Host of the podcast Talk Bacc. Check it out! https://linktr.ee/talkbacc

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