How long has it been ever since you turned on the radio and listened to a song of a dying love, or a boy missing a girl, or a girl complaining of an ex? (And yes, you know who I am talking about). How long, O Reader? A year, a month, a week, a day ago perhaps…? Maybe it hasn’t been that long, considering the word love has become a rather empty term nowdays in my opinion. What do I mean? Well, hopefully I will make sense, as this is quite a difficult topic for me. Trust me, I’ve always had a hard time explaining why I am disappointed lately with this thing everybody calls “love”.
Ever since the start of the Industrialization, love themes have become a rather sell-a-lot tactic used by several people, including film studios, greeting cards companies and other businessmen. Why? I am not really sure. I could give away the theory that they use it to manipulate people’s emotions and longing for company in a rather harsh world like the one we’re living in right now, and thus fabricate in their minds a perfect substitute of actual tenderness with those lies that you can find love and care with physical stimulation…
…But I would be exaggerating, surely.
My point is, people have used love as a way of marketing for their own benefit nowdays, at such rate that it has long lost its sacred meaning. It no longer means the complete and pure devotion to one and another: it is just “I like you a lot” and “We should be together in the same house, sharing the same bed”. Or so I’ve noticed.
According to this, love must lead to a systematized relationship with anniversaries, gifts, dinners, kisses, hugs, etcetera. Love can only be shown that way. It is “real love” if a pair of heterosexual people embraces and smooches their faces off, until they suck their freckles and pimples with their kisses; but beware if you tell a person of a same sex that you love them: they will call you “gay” because the media says that it is not possible to hold a strong regard—stronger than the lover’s relationship regard, perhaps—and devotion to a person. Oh no. Love is reduced to partners, kisses and daily Whatsapp messages telling you “I wuv u, honeh <3!”. You’re an oddball if you dare to say that you love your same-sex best friend, because that word has been reserved to lovers’ relationships in this age.
…But again, maybe I am exaggerating.
However, if I am saying all of this, is because I noticed a possible symptom of the meaning of love’s decay. That symptom is called…
What is “Friendzone”? According to Wikipedia, it is desire to enter into a relationship with a certain person, whereas said person doesn’t reciprocate the love whatsoever. Usually, the rejected person is a male who is rejected by the loved one, the female. But I will not get into the sexist issue in here. I will let Rivu Dasgupta and Amanda Marcotte explain that part. I want to, however, get into the root of this concept.
I once promised in my last article to delve more into why I am rather angry at this concept. Well, promise’s a promise, so here’s my main problem with it, and it’s not just the reciprocation duty of the “loved” one:
It’s a symptom that human’s relationships are deteriorating.
As I grew up, I came to learn that love’s not like Disney painted it. In fact, as I heard my friends sputter to each other seas and seas of “OMG, I WUV U, BABY, I LUV YOU SOOO MUCH, MISS U 2~!!11!1”, I came to understand that love had become some sort of game in where words, kisses and hugs were obligatory toys. It’s hard to explain, I know. But just look it at this way: when has it been the last time you told yourself that you love deeply a friend? Not the romantic-attraction way, but the companionship way. When has it been ever since a guy told his friend how much he loved him, without the fear of being accused of homosexuality? When has it been that you let the silence express your feelings towards a person, without the use of words…?
When was the last time you let a person know you really loved him/her without words or gifts?
I am not saying that you can’t tell how much you care about a person with gifts and words. In fact, sometimes they’re better than nothing else. I have no right to tell which way is the better to love… But let’s face it: how many people have wondered about the real meaning of love, without the need of gifts and words? How many times do people wonder what can they do for people, instead of the other way around, just because of love?
I promised in my last article as well my story with a beggar and why it is relevant in this little rant of mine. Y’see, many months ago, I met a rather mentally unstable beggar on a local park. I thought it would be the right thing to do to give him my delicious coconut cookies as he had no food around. So I approached to him and offered them to him. And he accepted them…only to throw them away from him. He ate them later as I noticed from afar, but I felt quite…insulted. Angry, let’s say. I felt awful. I was giving him my precious cookies (and oh boy, how much I love coconut cookies!), and he thanked me this way…? I felt terrible and wanting to walk away while giving him a “You’re awful” glance.
But I did not.
Maybe I had a reason to feel terrible, yes, but then I wondered this: why was I giving him the cookies? For his gratitude, for his thanks, for his admiration…? For his love…? When I thought of it that way, I realized that maybe I was being terribly selfish with my anger. I shouldn’t be angry. I saw from afar that he wasn’t completely alright in his head. And I gave him cookies to help him. If I expected something in return, then mine wasn’t an actual good deed: it was a trade. My cookies for your respect. I wasn’t helping him: I was helping my ego. And that shouldn’t be.
Even though I still feel sad for that day, I keep this idea with me: I will meet more people like that beggar, and some will be mentally stable, and worse, than him. And if I stop doing what I think is the most correct thing to do just because it will make me “feel sad and hated”, then maybe I should start working on my persona first, before moving onto other people. And I would lie if I say that I am now willing to live without this anger, but at least I am glad I learned something valuable in that day: love’s never selfish.
Love has been transformed into a Frankenstein monster thanks to the actual media. It’s made of systems, rules, gifts, and even tons of sexual needs, even though the word itself is a far stronger notion than the physical attraction: it is one of the purest forms of social cohesion, a gift to all living beings.
Love songs scream a lot how much they care about a person and how much they miss his/her kisses, caresses, skin… But, so far, I have heard no more than five songs that explore something beyond all that physical/emotional side.
Love has become so tarnished that it no longer means what it tried to mean. It has become a marketing tactic to attract people. It has transformed into a toy that promises happiness to one, but doesn’t teach how to make somebody else happy. No. This 2000s are all about me. This is quite an individualistic age.
Love has become a market. If you give, you must receive something as a thanks because you’ve proved to be a “nice” person who has felt such pure feeling. Love is no longer a gift to give to the world, but a Multi Pass that will let you get inside a one-thousand doors. It’s a medal—a title.
Love has become almost a synonym of pleasure, of reward. It is no longer what it actually meant: a cure for the world.
…But again, this is just my opinion. You, as always, have the last word, O Reader.
Thanks a bunch for reading!