I’m sure everybody’s tired of hearing about this by now, but being in love is such a beautiful feeling. But it’s so abstract, it can only be put into words in larger-than-life settings. What we see in books, poetry, music and some (badly written) rom-coms can often give us a very unrealistic idea of what love is like, so much that we fall in love with the idea of love itself, giving ourselves way too many false expectations of what it can and what it should be like.
But guess what? There is no one kind of reality to love. But when it’s real, you cannot walk away. You’d do anything to make it work, be patient with them, respect the other person’s choices, never do anything to hurt them, acknowledge their value in your life, and never break the promises you’ve made to each other along the way. That much has always been clear. Of course, over the years, a lot of twisted concepts have been glorified in the name of love, but that’s just a whole bunch of crap that none of us should ever take seriously.
What should be taken seriously though, is how much love you have in your heart for the person in your life. Remember, when I say ‘love’, I mean all kinds of love and not just the romantic kind that we have diluted the word down to. Because today, when we talk about ‘being in love’, it’s mostly just because we like the idea of being in love, which is neither fair to them nor is it to you. It’s not as easy just looking at somebody and knowing that they’re ‘the one’ for you because it’s so much more than that! But also, it’s not really as complicated as it seems.
Now, what would I know about ‘love’, right? I can already hear people yelling ‘You’re only 22, sit down!’ somewhere in the distance. So let me tell you this. I grew up listening to stories of how my parents fell in love and I watched them do everything in their power to make sure that they stood by the vows they made to each other all those years ago. Little things like that can have a strong impression. So it’s not such a surprise that I am an incurable and hopeless romantic who is not only in love with the idea of love but also very happily in love.
My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 3 years now and to us, love is not about dates or grand gestures. It has always been about being a safe space for each other especially because the crazy world outside is so Hell-bent on telling us that our whole relationship is supposed to be doomed for silly, made-up reasons. I’d like to think that one of the reasons we’ve made it so far is because we’ve been patient with each other in spite of everything that life has thrown our way. And I think that’s beautiful in it’s own way.
My peers were all very homophobic during our school years, so even the idea of platonic love was alien to them. Of course, my friends and I would say that we loved each other all the time because we valued the kind of bond we had built over those years. But it wasn’t easy trying to tell everybody that platonic love is love, too! I tried a couple of times, but I would be called homophobic slurs and slowly, I stopped trying to educate a bunch of people who simply refused to learn.
Why am I telling you this? Because I see that homophobia and the ignorance towards even platonic love starts way too early! Is that the kind of hate we want to see in the world? I don’t think so. Love, tolerance and acceptance— that’s what we should be teaching impressionable minds. Love is love, no matter how much we all try to deny it. The world barely recovers from one hateful crime before it is hit with another. So why should we add fuel to that very fire? Ignoring it isn’t going to do us any good, is it?
When it’s all said and done, love boils down to one simple reality: it’s about what the heart wants and what the gut strongly believes in. Because when you love somebody strongly enough, there is no way that you can’t or won’t scale ridiculous heights for each other, every single time. It’s about being there for each other on a trip to Hell and back, about laughing and crying with them, or simply about being a shoulder for them to cry on when they need it.
The finer details might differ for you and me, but that does not make the core definition of love any different for any of us. No matter who we love and no matter what the equation shared is, love makes us all see things differently, but also, oddly in the same way. Told you it’s that abstract!
What does it mean to you?
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Featured Image by Michael Fenton on Unsplash
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