I have always hated the concept of “true love.”
It trivializes the human experience for the sake of cultural romanticism. Thanks to our fairytales and romantic comedies, the notion that someone perfect for us exists somewhere out there persists. I don't really blame those things, but, rather, how we take them and how we apply them as we grow up.
True love doesn't exist. I think love simply exists in a spectrum of colors, and that our romanticism is an over celebration of things that make us feel good. When we see a protagonist leaves his somehow less-ideal lover for the other, perfect protagonist, what we see is people acting like two-dimensional beings.
In reality, love is all about how much investment one puts in the relationship, how willing are the people involved to work together with their differences, how both are open and honest with their feelings and thoughts through communication. The other characters become supporting characters in the protagonists’ story, but reality does not revolve around a couple’s love story, it revolves around everyone and all of their stories in one big catastrophic merry-go-round.
We save our kisses and our sex for our prince charming and angels. If not, we constantly yearn for perfection and wondrous moments of tenderness and romance to sweep us off our feet, for people that are ideal and are the utter perfection in order to prevent us from being hurt or disappointed.
Our worlds are, then, built by expectations, which are not wrong to have, but are not a sturdy basis for structures that will go through fire, as Billie Holiday sang. When our expectations fail because they are based on fantasy and are without realistic attempts at reaching those goals and dreams, we get hurt, we fall, and we are broken. We forget that we will get hurt, we will fall, and we will break either way.
The notion of true love implies that you never really loved the people you “loved” that are not your true love. It implies that perfection is in the true love's countenance, when in reality, love is really just good investment and cooperation – good communication. It's not about perfection, but about maturity and reason in times of immaturity and unreasonable fears.
My illustrious, world-weary great-aunt once said, of her past lovers and husbands: "Of course I loved them all. Not in the same way, not equally, and they all could've easily been 'the one', ‘but things happened along the way’, as the clichéd saying goes. It wasn't the love that was impure, it was the connection that was broken."
Aditya Pradipta is an artist, writer, and TEDx speaker, and his interests are mainly focused on the arts, language, sociology, and history, with a special passion for theatre, human rights issues, and elderly women.