This whole life long monogamy thing, it’s a pretty new invention. This whole couples and romantic love thing. And I am wondering if it’s not just a way to keep us passive, occupied. A way to hold us back. We are fed with the dream of that perfect partner that will make your life complete. It’s all up to you to make it work. Love as the one salvation. The one and only thing that will make your life complete. The main theme of your life. And somehow it seems a bit like a hype. Unsubstantiated. Don’t get me wrong; I have nothing against love per se. I like I love. Love is a good thing. I love. It’s not about that. I just wonder if we may not have a very warped and twisted idea of what love actually is. This whole idea of romantic love. What does it actually mean? “And they lived happily ever after.” Did they? And just what the hell did they do while they were doing that? The two become one, and then what? And even more important, what happens before that? Is it all just about that one long search for the perfect partner? Is that the whole purpose? And what if you don’t find that perfect someone? What then? Does that mean you failed?
But let’s assume you do find someone to love. Is it really realistic to expect that another person will be able to fulfill you? To make you complete. Isn’t that asking a bit too much? And not only that, but it’s also supposed to last until death do us part. But people change. Circumstances change. Everything changes. So why do we expect love to be constant? Maybe I am cynical, but I just don’t think it’s a very realistic expectation to have. It seems a bit too steep, a bit too absurd. And I also think it’s limiting. The idea of romantic love. Isn’t it actually about control? About ownership? I love you equals I own you. Because once I say that I love you and you say that you love me that implies that neither one of us shall ever look at another human being with anything resembling amorous affection ever again. And we’re supposed to prioritize each other over everything else. It’s like trading away your freedom. And to me, that doesn’t sound like love, that sounds like voluntary imprisonment. And I know love has very little to do with reason, but that’s just bizarre. Why would I let someone control my life? And even more important, why on earth would I want to control someone else’s life? I have my hands full with my own life thank you very much. I don’t need to govern someone else and decide what he or she can and can’t do. Why would I waste time and energy on that? But a lot of people do. A lot of people spend a lot of time being jealous.
I have never understood that whole concept. Jealousy. I have been exposed to it, but I have never understood it. All relationships are different because all people are different. All relationships are unique and dependant on the people involved. So why would I be jealous? What is the point? It’s not like there is only a limited amount of emotion in every human being and that pool of emotion is in danger of being diluted by even the slightest sign of attention for anyone else. It doesn’t work like that. And sure we all want to be unique and special, but wanting to be the single focus of attention for someone just seems a tad arrogant. And frankly, a bit naïve. But that is one of the components of the idea of romantic love. The singularity. And I have heard it said more than once that a little bit of jealousy is just flattering. No, it’s not. A little bit of jealousy is the first sign of a desire to control and I don’t find control flattering. I find it annoying and stressing. If I say I love you I mean just that. I don’t mean that I will never give anyone else attention ever again. But the fact that I give someone else attention doesn’t mean that I love you any less. One has nothing to do with the other. And if you say you love me, I will trust that you mean that even if I am not the single focus of your attention.
I don’t want to own anyone. I believe in freedom. The freedom to make your own choices. And I was always more interested in why people do things than what they actually do. If you say you love me and then jump into bed with someone else I would want to know why. Why you did it and why you told me. The fact that it happened in the first place seems of lesser importance. The reasons are always more interesting than the actions themselves. And a lot of the pre-stipulated codes of conduct in matters of love seem very fabricated and irrelevant to me. What does it even mean to cheat on someone? Is it enough to covet or does it have to be manifest in action? All relationships are unique and what happens in one context doesn’t necessarily have to have anything to do with what happens in another context. The two may not be linked. They can be, but they don’t have to be. Sex may just be sex. But for some reason the element of control comes in. Love as control. Control not only of actions but also of thought. You are not even supposed to think about other people. The one true love is supposed to take over your whole being. Doesn’t that sound an awful lot like a mental disorder? And sure there are a lot of similarities between love and insanity, but the idea of romantic love just takes it a bit too far. It just becomes unrealistic and impossible. Like so many of the ideals we have.
But that fact that the whole concept is based on impossibilities has never stood in the way of our aspirations when it comes to ideals. For some reason it just seems to make them even more important. And make us even more determined to pursue them. And when we do find that someone on who we can project all these ideals and all these expectations we will more than likely end up being disappointed. But instead of questioning the ideals themselves and try to adjust these, we start trying to adjust the object of our affections to better suit our ideals. To me that seems rather illogical. Not to mention cumbersome and like a waste of time. But strangely enough it seems very common for people to enter into a relationship with someone and then gradually try to change that person to become who they want them to be. Wouldn’t it be easier to find someone who was like that in the first place? Rather than having to go through all the efforts of actually trying to make them into something they are not? If you discover that someone has sides that you can’t stand, wouldn’t the better solution be to just leave? To not be with that person anymore? Wouldn’t that make more sense? But for some reason people seem to have the idea that would be taking the easy way out. Apparently you are supposed to work on your relationship, make compromises etc. Or so I am told. And sure, you do need to compromise a bit, you always do when dealing with other people, but there is a difference between compromise and transformation. And frankly, either you love someone they way they are or you don’t love them. I don’t think you get to upgrade in love. There are no new plug-ins and add-ons. There may be some bug fixes, but that’s it. If you don’t like what you have you’re better off just getting rid of it.
But another part of the myth of romantic love is its alleged transforming powers. That someone can redeem their ways through love. And sure, people can change, people do change, but an asshole won’t turn into a prince just because you love him. That is just silly. And the fact that people actually believe that is not only tragic, but also dangerous. This view of love has virtually nothing but conservative powers. It represents control and distraction and functions as a mechanism to maintain the status quo. If we are all busy looking for “the right one” or trying to change the one we have into “the right one” we won’t have time to have a look at what’s really going on around us. Love may be blind, but it doesn’t have to be deaf and dumb too.