Is our idea of love unrealistic? Have we made it up? Have we built an unrealistic expectation, a fantasy that we think love should/will be?
Do you really think it is possible to truly love and be loved in return? Is it possible to fully appreciate someone for everything they have done, everything they have been, everything they are, and everything you see that they have the potential to be?
Is it possible to fall in love multiple times, is one love better than the next? Should one be better? Should we feel guilty about a ‘bigger’ love coming along? Should love with THE one trump all the others? And if so, what does that say about the other loves, was it love at all?
Or does love change depending on the person you are with? Is it the potential someone makes you feel, the total comfortability you have in your skin and you have holding them, the person you become when you are with them? The security and the fearlessness they make you feel, the peace, the warmth, the sense of wholeness they bring to life.
Is the deepest level of intimacy love? Intimacy is an intensity that involves a deep trust, a willingness to look further into someone’s soul, push emotional boundaries, physical boundaries, dwell on and be inspired by each others thought provoking ideas and dreams. I wonder if intimacy is to crave, truly crave someone, to want to know everything about someone, and be willing to allow that in return. Is intimacy to hold someone’s soul in the palm of your hand, understand every thought, every look, sound, every passion, every fear, and hold it close, protect and love them fiercely for it. Is intimacy perhaps the most vulnerable and crucial jigsaw piece to every love story?
Or is love simply a timing thing? Or when you meet someone, is that the universe telling you this is the moment, this is the one. That’s a point, what is this ‘one’? Is that another total crackpot ideology? Then again the term ‘soulmate’ is sitting in the dictionary. Is there such a thing? Is there one person for everyone? What a overly crazy but exceptionally beautiful concept (let’s face it). Or is love sticking it out no matter what? Or is love actually exactly how I feel about my dog, maybe we all just need that in a human? I can imagine that not being so bad…
As I sit here listening to Gladys Knights and the Pips, I can’t help but wonder is it a societal expectation we have planted on ourselves? Have we built up such a big, epic, life-turned-upside-down love story in our heads that every person who comes along (bless them) is just never going to live up to that expectation? As Elizabeth Gilbert wrote, are we victims of our own optimism (and therefore arguably imagination?) (Then again, what happens if this ACTUALLY happens and your world is tipped upside down, is that love?)
If so, do we have the films to blame for this idealism? Is it Pretty Woman, Notting Hill, The Notebook that have planted dreamlike versions of love in our heads where the man kisses you in the pouring rain; where a lover chases you down on a bridge; when after a stupid petty fight you find each other because it just doesn’t matter because you just want each other; where the first kiss changes everything; where a man arrives and surprises you late at night to let you know you are the love of his life. Would a man be confident enough these days to make such a romantic gesture? Would a girl? What if the girl rocks up late at night as the romantic gesture, creating the romantic moment? Is that considered needy? Why is it only ever the man that does that in the films anyway? (That is a whole other blog post for another time). I can’t help but think mainly nobody can be bothered, or at best, you might get a text if you’re lucky.
Is it the films that convince us that the big gestures will happen, are we waiting for them? Is dating a social construct? Is it the films that teach us we will go out on candlelit dates, stare into each others eyes and gradually fall in love? Or do we have the likes of Eric Clapton writing ‘Wonderful Tonight’ or Bonnie Rait, Michael Jackson, Van Morrison, The Real Thing, Otis Redding to blame? Those artists that wrote the most epic love songs of all time, surely, surely they must have felt ridiculous levels of emotions to convey love with such intensity, intimacy, immensity? How did Stevie Wonder write ‘Lately’ without enduring the most painful agonising heartbreak of all time? (Side note – assuming that is true as a premise, how is that man still standing?!)
Or is it Gatsby, is it Mr. Rochester, have they screwed with our heads too? The smouldering looks, the extensive descriptions about the brush of a hand, the smell of her hair, a heart beating faster purely because of feeling her presence nearby, the electricity of a touch, the magic of a first kiss, the meaning in just one look.
Those steamy film moments, the intimacy and the spark described in books, is that possible in real life? Or instead, can love not be born in a random jazz bar getting hammered on red wine shouting too loudly? Perhaps it’s not romantic, but does that make it any less plausible?
Is love having a complete appreciation for someone, or is it finding someone you could never imagine not flirting with? Is love suddenly realising you never want to live another day of your life without that person in it? Is love being patient when you want to scream, or compensating their stumpy toes when you have outrageously long ones. Is love just being in total awe of one other? Or is it covering a person’s back with confidence and strength on days when they don’t feel confident in themselves? Is it all of these things or none? Is love doubting everything in the world except them? Or is it repeatedly directing someone around London streets so they don’t get lost or go round in circles? Is love flooding someone concerns and fears with unwavering optimism? Is love holding someone in your arms and genuinely thinking you hold the best possible thing in the world? Is love having your whole world tipped upside down because of that persons precise presence in it? Then at some point, does love just become a comfortability, a silent, mutual totally equivocal happiness that doesn’t fade?
Let’s assume all the above is somehow possible, the biggest question on my mind after that boring rant is this; is the love we imagine, the love that with every song, every film we have psyched up in our heads since we could brush our own teeth, is it the love we truly deserve?
And if or when we release it is, do we act on it?