My Two Cents on Love

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My Two Cents on Love

Graphic by Hannah Shiflett

Graphic by Hannah Shiflett

Graphic by Hannah Shiflett

Hannah Shiflett, Reporter

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How to love? It’s a question that is often asked by the youth of today — the previous question is almost always, “What is love?” No, I’m not talking about the song by Haddaway. I mean when people actually ask what love is. Love, of course, is the feeling of deep affection towards another person. In science, it’s just the activation of chemicals in the brain, but to others, it’s the emotions felt.

Growing up, I always watched movies where love was the greatest thing to ever exist. There are hundreds of movies about love, like Grease, The Notebook, or Moulin Rouge. Each one talks about how everyone has a “soulmate” or “the one.”

In the musical Grease, a young girl by the name of Sandy has a summer fling with a boy named Danny. The young couple starts the school year off thinking that they will never meet again, but sure enough, they end up attending the same school. They try to do everything to stay away from each other, but ultimately, they end up together. By the end of the musical, Sandy changes her own appearance and stops being the “good girl” and becomes the “bad girl” to  stay with her “true love.” The main idea of the movie is essentially that any person can find their true love in high school.

Possibly one of the greatest quotes to ever come from any movie is from Moulin Rouge — “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.” This movie is perhaps one of the greatest and saddest movies that I have ever seen about “true love.” The movie is about a man who moves to Paris, France as a struggling playwright and visits a famous cabaret show, where he ends up falling in love with the star, Satine. However, Satine has been promised to a wealthy lord, thus making the love between the playwright and the actress doomed from the beginning. Even though it is a hopeless love, the two pursue this act of happiness and decide to enjoy the time they have together, even with thoughts of “flying away.” Either way, the whole message of the movie is to spend time with the person you love as much as you can because you really don’t know how much time you’ve got.

However, it isn’t just movies that talk about being able to find the one — music has a constant theme about love. Listen to almost anything, and it will be about love in some shape or form. Because of its prevalence, the modern-day perception of love has become corrupt.

I will admit that I do enjoy the concept of having a “soulmate” or finding “the one.” It’s a sweet concept that was created by Samuel Taylor Coleridge back in 1822. However, I will have to admit that statistically, finding a soulmate will actually be incredibly hard, considering there are 7.7 billion people in the world, and any one of them can be your “soulmate.” Plus, the stages of love according to science is entirely based on the chemical activation that occurs in the brain.

Robert Sternberg from Yale University has come up with a theory known as the Sternberg Triangular Theory of Love on what makes true love or as he says, “consummate love.” Consummate love, according to Sternberg and his theory, is made up of three different types of love, liking, empty love, and infatuation. In liking, there is intimacy, in empty love, there is commitment, and in infatuation, there is passion.

 

Based on this love theory, it would be safe to say that everyone, in a way, strives for the romantic love aspect as shown in the diagram on the left side of the triangle. However, absolute true love isn’t just the combination of liking and infatuation — all three aspects are needed to create true love. It’s being able to feel comfortable with one another, with that heart-throbbing feeling coursing through your entire body. It’s being able to support one another, while understanding that you do not need to be with one another 24/7.

Love has been corrupted because everyone has made it the priority in life. When I walk through hallways in school, I hear everyone talking about how they wish they weren’t single. Well, let me tell you that you don’t need that person right now. They will come when you need them, and if that boy you like is no longer into you, then it’s his loss, not yours. If that girl you like is suddenly not sending Snaps, it’s not something to worry about. You know your own worth, and no one should stop you from doing what you want to do in life. Besides, there are better things that will come than feeling the social pressure of dating someone.