Our Expectations of Love

by jdeena

I’m sitting here thinking about a lot of things. I was recently given some feedback on my blog by a very admirable friend of mine and I’m going to try my hardest to put it to good use (Thank you Mr. GK). No more generalizations. I realize that in the past I have made generalizations about the Arab male population, and while I distinctly remember placing disclaimers (such as “most” or “the ones I know”) it appeared that I was attacking the whole race. So, I apologize. For further clarification, in future posts when I mention ANY group, it is based solely on my own interactions and not the population as a whole.

So, here I am thinking. One thing that has crossed my mind lately is love. We all have our own views on this complicated emotion. It really is hard to try and put into words the way we feel about someone, and so to simplify it, we take the easy way out and say we love them. But is that true? I look at certain couples and see that they don’t really love each other. They “tolerate” each other. They “withstand” each other. They “adapt” to each other. But it’s not truly love, not in the sense that has been conditioned in our minds since we could understand words.

So, what is this “love” that we try and acquire? Well, according to the Disney movies we watched as children, it’s when a prince comes and rescues you from whatever horrible situation you happen to be living in. Or, according to all the romantic comedies, it’s meeting the guy you end up marrying at an airport while running to catch a flight, or on the street as you cross only to be almost run over by a metal garbage dumpster and he rushes in to save you.

The problem is, our expectations of love are so unrealistic that we are disappointed when things don’t play out like they do in the movies. Who is to blame for this? Logically, it would be the moguls in media who continue to feed us these atrocities and get us hooked on this unrealistic notion. But really the only person we have to blame is our own self. As a female, I myself don’t look for that fairytale ending. The only thing I look for is a meaningful connection and open communication. Too many women get caught up in the motions of a relationship that they actually forget to LIVE in the moment. They have all these steps to pass that they picked up in the movies, and if the relationship misses a step- or God forbid- skips them all, they declare the relationship a failure.

This is when they no longer “love” their partner, but rather “tolerate” them. A lot of times it’s too late to repair the damage; both parties are now so uninspired that they have given up. I’ve read so many articles lately on how to keep a relationship strong, and they all said that the best way to do so is by pretending the relationship is just starting out. Too often we get comfortable with someone that we don’t feel the need to impress them or woo them as we did at the beginning. But to anyone who has ever been in a relationship, what’s better than the feeling you get when you first meet someone? Getting to know them, figuring thing out about each other….it’s the best time!

Love is not an easy concept. It is also no easy fete to conquer. If I could tell the younger generations something, it would be to look beyond the movies and stories of your childhood, and decide for yourself what your love will be. Don’t allow unrealistic expectations to hinder your ability to build a life with someone who may be your perfect match, but you were too caught up in the fairytale to notice.