Four Letters Don’t Spell Love

Before you drive right in, I just want to warn you, I’m about to say some controversial things. Don’t hold them against me; I’m only writing what I know and using my experiences and observations to form opinions. My thoughts run a bit long and a little bit wild, but hey, can’t hold back a romantic from romancing, even if it’s just with words.

An all-consuming fire inside you, running like electricity through your veins, driving you to be everything you thought you could but needed someone to help you be – that’s the kind of love we read about in romance novels and see in romantic comedies. The kind of love which consumes you and sets you free at the same time, which gives you butterflies in your stomach even after months or years of being together, which sends a chill down your spine at every touch.

Consider this: maybe all we’re looking for is validation. The kind of love I have borne witness to is anything but raw. It is tainted by dependency, selfishness, jealousy, possessiveness and an incorrigible need to remain unsatisfied.

Being selfish is inherently human. It’s good to be selfish because it means that you’re thinking about yourself. But when your selfishness spills over into actions which affect another person, how unfair is it to blame self-preservation for the deeds you could have avoided in the first place if you had just been reasonable and thought of the consequences. There is no room for selfish love in a relationship. Invariably, it will wear a person out, and render them incapable of pure love, unfettered by the constraints of motive and intention. There doesn’t need to be a reason to do something for someone when you’re together with them, because love is more than enough of a reason.

Being with someone is not the same thing as owning them. Possession of property is not the same as possession of a person. Love is meant to allow people to grow, and when the growth becomes stagnant, then the love no longer prevails in the relationship and subsequently shows up in the actions of the individuals. Possessiveness and jealously only leads to insecurity, and insecurity is based on fear. Where fear prevails, there is no room for love.

Why does love make someone want to be a better person for someone else? Why can’t love be the motivation for a person to be a better person for themselves? Self-love today finds no place in a competition against any relationship. Love is a meadow, allowing people to bask in all its glory and be free. Love is not a cage, the confines of which a person is constrained to. But when a cloud of negativity is cast over the meadow, people run far away to a restricted environment, and that’s where the real problem begins. No one wants to stay under the cloud until it passes.

It isn’t possible to have a relationship which is free from all the negative emotions in the world. It’s great to have speed breakers on a road because it allows you to appreciate the open road so much more. Everyone feels like they are entitled to the open road, and therefore even a single speed breaker causes so much more of an issue than need be.

Expectations lead to disappointments, haven’t you heard? Yet, a friend needs to stay in touch for the friendship to exist; a boyfriend’s priority needs to be his girl over his friends; a parent needs to provide unconditionally for their child – where are these rules written? No one seems to realize that expectations are born through patterns. A person’s behavior is the predominant indicator of what they can give and what they want.

Unfortunately, people change. As it is so often said, “Change is the only thing which remains constant.” But change takes time to get accustomed to. No one can really be that much of a chameleon that they can adapt to every situation thrown at them, and if I’m wrong about this – kudos to you. The point here is that not everyone realizes that change isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If focus shifts from your relationship to your work, why is there an incessant need for people to fight about it? Isn’t it a great thing if your significant other is trying to make something of themselves? Where is the support which comes as a part and parcel of love? Love cannot be sans support, for love entails being there when someone else needs you.

You don’t have to be there for someone at the cost of yourself, but who’s going to explain that to the lovelorn, whose idea of love is so tainted, that romance novels don’t stand a chance against the real world.

People don’t want to find a balance which works because they would rather be stuck in a spiral until someone pulls away, leaving the other feeling so hollow without the comfort of the rut. Real issues are draped with superficial arguments, because no one wants to make that much of an effort. Where then, is the love here? “I will be with you, I will probably marry you someday, I will eat meals with you and converse with you till one of us ends up snoring, but I will not tell you how I feel about an issue or how you make me feel in a specific situation. I want to avoid a conversation because it’s easier.”

Let me add here, a lot of people don’t make it easy for someone to tell them something. Everyone wants to believe that they’ve got it just right and they are able to read people like open books. If that was really true, wouldn’t the society we live in today be less Game of Thrones and more Fairyland?

It’s okay to not have it together sometimes. It’s okay to feel like you’re sinking, because that’s exactly when you test your swimming skills. You cannot be sinking because you have made another person your life jacket. Everyone needs to look out for themselves enough to know when something toxic is consuming you, instead of the fairy-tale romance you thought it was.

Independence in a relationship is frowned upon. Co-dependence is the myth people revel in. Power dynamics of a relationship are so awkward and based on factors which shouldn’t even figure in a relationship in the first place. Making your significant other your confidant becomes so difficult when you’re trying to find yourself. Do not get me wrong – I’m all for openness and honesty. But sometimes, you end up leaning against someone so much that if they aren’t around to catch you, you are bound to fall because you forgot how to stand yourself up. Loving another person doesn’t mean losing yourself to them or to the relationship. Love is meant to nurture you, to help find yourself, but not to find someone else who can tell you who to be.

Mutual feelings are often misinterpreted with degrees. “I love you more than you love me.” It’s cute at first, but it also instils some amount of competitiveness into the relationship, which is the beginning of the downfall. Putting a figure on the amount of love degrades the essence of love. Love is a feeling, it isn’t tangible. There is no need to quantify love, but a need to let it be and bloom into something beautiful.

Love is a tragedy. Love is not an excuse. Love is meaningful and it should fill you up, not wear you down. Love is everything you thought you could ever be, but needed the conducive environment to bloom into. Love is not a power play, and it is most definitely not validation.

You are beautiful, and you are everything you want to be. Don’t be something for someone else, because then they aren’t loving you for who you are; rather, the version of you that someday you will cease to be. And if your love is based on that, will it really triumph over the inability to be anyone but the façade?

Love means letting go. It means that sometimes, you need to put some distance between you. That doesn’t take away from the love you feel; rather, it gives time for the negativity to subside, and for you to see that love is what was underlying all along. Space is a good thing, because if your love was based on ‘out of sight, out of mind’, well, you’d rather be out of that anyway.

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