DailyBlog: When Is Love a Weakness?

** The first three books in my six-part dystopian series have officially made their way out into the world! Check them out!
For the sake of blogging, self-exploration, and contemplation, I’ve been slowly making my way through answering questions from this list

Today’s Question: When is love a weakness?

Ooooh, I believe it’s “unpopular opinion” time! I’m not a fan of love, at least, romantic love, as it is depicted and deciphered in modern day society. I don’t know that I’d call it a weakness, but I do feel like it’s abstract, fleeting, and fluid while society turns it into an awkward obligation.

Here’s how I see it: There is a huge difference between loving someone, and being “in love.” I’ve been in love, but it’s not a positive memory nor was it a positive experience. It’s true that I learned a lesson from it, as well as learned a lot about myself, but it was hell to go through. I see being “in love” as a form of addiction. (That’s where the unpopular opinion aspect comes in, and I’m sure some people will even feel offended by that.) It’s like a high when you’re in it. It blurs your ability to think critically when it comes to that person, or even in general sometimes. If two people are lucky enough to be in love with each other at the same time, people think they’re ‘meant to be’ and they consider spending their lives together.

But people change. We all change, every day, every moment. It might be in small, micro-increments, but over the years, that all adds up to a big shift. Two people in love meet in a moment of synchrony, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll both feel the same way years down the road. Falling out of love? It sucks. Realizing that someone has fallen out of love with you sucks even worse. It’s literally like withdrawing from a highly addictive drug. The pain is unbearable. The loss of identity, of self, of your life and your place in the world is profound and empty and terrifying.

See, I don’t think that love itself is a weakness, but I believe that we live in a society that gives us a notion of love which leads to almost inevitable pain. We are not taught to appreciate being in love for exactly what it is in that moment, we are taught that it “means something” and we are encouraged to then engage in long-term relationships because of it which either end badly, or you stay together because you “said you would” but one or both of you ends up unhappy, or feeling like they “settled.”

I’m not saying that there aren’t couples who married at eighteen and remain mutually, madly in love at the age of seventy, but there’s NO way to ensure that you and the person you are in love with at this moment will be one of those couples. There’s no way to predict or guarantee that.

Losing what I once believed was “the love of my life” taught me to be self-sufficient and to not depend on a relationship for my own self-fulfillment, but I can still feel the pain that I went through back then, and this was many years ago. It devastated me on a level I could never have known existed prior. It wasn’t being in love that devastated me, it was falsely believing that being in love “meant” something, like there was some kind of cosmic guarantee that came with it.

In summary: Love isn’t a weakness, but society’s over-interpretation of what it represents and what it means, in my opinion, is.

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