Okay, so forgive the Easter pun here.
But since today’s holiday is basically centered around the idea of someone rising from the dead, I cant think of anything that’s harder for our generation to believe in than…
Its true- we find the idea of love harder to grasp than the idea of someone rising from the dead. Because we also happen to be a generation where many find entertainment in preparing for a zombie apocalypse. So not only do we believe in it, we’re pretty much banking on it.
And honestly, the odds of me surviving an apocalypse are probably far better than my odds of getting married. Or at least, getting married one time and having that marriage last forever. And that’s pretty discouraging considering my only plan for zombie survival involves barricading myself in Barney’s, and happily living out the rest of my existence in couture. If time permits, I might even hit up a liquor store beforehand.
No, really- that’s pretty much my plan. So if you want to join me, bring food.
But back to my original point- Today, its love that has somehow become the miracle, where we need to see it to truly believe it.
But how will we even know it when we see it? In other words, what comes first- the relationship, or the love? Being someone that was raised on the idea that loves come first, I’ve pretty much gone through life expecting to meet someone, and somehow just knowing that they were “the one”. You know, the whole “love at first sight” theory. Except it hasn’t happened yet. So its made me think that maybe love isn’t something that is quite so instant and obvious. Maybe love is something that is brought slowly to life over the course of a relationship, through a series of shared experiences and consistency. In which case, maybe love is simply the byproduct of trust?
So what does happen when we meet someone? Maybe its not love at first sight, but its something, right? There has to be some reason that makes you want to continue seeing someone. Or at the very least, continue to eat food with them (since that’s what a lot of dating is). Maybe it is love at first sight, or… maybe its just lust. Or maybe, there’s just something about them, recognizable only to you. Researchers have suggested pheromones could be the culprit- apparently we all have our own unique scent, that only our “person” is able to detect. So not only do you have a fingerprint, you also have an “odorprint”. Which means love could literally be in the air between two people. Romantic? Yes. Helpful? Not so much, since sniffing someone is considered rude. Plus, these scents are generally undetectable, and only reach us on a subconscious level.
Maybe many of us have simply lost our belief in love as a result of our unrealistic expectations? Everything about our society today is based on instant gratification. Results need to be immediate for anything to be considered a victory. Where patience was once considered a virtue, its now no longer something we’ll even consider. We invest in liposuction over a gym membership, fast food over cooking, texts over phone calls, and one night stands over relationships. So why wouldn’t our feelings eventually begin to work on the same demanding schedule? Instead of getting to know someone over time, and slowly falling in love with the person for who they really are, we force the process and “fall in love” with the idea of who we want them to be.
I think I’m on to something here…
Going from personal experience, I have been a victim of this pattern countless times. And I’ll justify my use of the word “victim” here in just a second. You see, I’m not a serial dater. I just don’t see the benefit in dating more than one person at a time. One, its hard enough for me to find time to properly adult most days, let alone play games. Two, I actually enjoy learning about someone. And Three, I believe above all we need to actually be the person we want to date. So I’ll invest time with someone until it no longer works out. And this is where the word “victim” comes in. Because usually it stops working once the man I’m seeing slowly starts to morph into the man he actually is. He reverts. The impressive standard he set in the beginning with his actions begins to drastically lower. His priorities start to include things that were never a factor before. Words stop becoming actions. And finally, the things that were so consistent initially are now irrelevant. Usually the magic words “I love you” have been spoken at this point- probably as a way to deflect attention from everything else that is disappointing you. Except I never say “I love you” back- instead, I walk away.
There was no love at first sight, and there was no love created over time. In other words- he wasn’t “the one”. And no one should ever remain with someone because it feels better to them than being alone. Or because its convenient. Or worse- because you think its the kind of relationship you deserve. Obviously, its not fair to either party. But more importantly, being with the wrong person actually IS worse than being alone. Staying with the wrong person means you’re eliminating any possibility of meeting the person who IS everything you want. And that’s the most exciting idea to someone who is single. Regardless of whether love is instant or not, it is something you deserve.
So while I cant be sure what comes first- the love, or the relationship- I DO know that the presence of it is all that really matters. So keep dating. Stay positive. Have fun. Don’t let the pressures of how you think love is supposed to work determine your worth to anyone- including yourself. Walk away from anything that doesn’t make you happy.
Because when you keep your heart open and available to it, love will eventually find you. And just like your “odorprint” it will be up to you, and only you, to recognize it.