On the subjects of love and Valentine’s Day

What a great feeling… Love. And how heartwarming, riveting and inspiring it can be to feel that acceptance and that connection to another person. It’s enough to make us do great things, things we could never see ourselves doing on our own. Love is enough to make a person cross half a world, change their appearance, take on challenges that seemed daunting at first, all with the thought of that special other in mind. Trust me, this is experience talking.
And yet, what is love? I mean, if you really strip it down (no pun intended) and take a good look at it. It would be the need of one person to make an attachment to another. After all, we are social beings and we do have the instinct to procreate and lead to the evolution of our race. So it is these bare instincts that lead us to seek out other people through whatever manner possible in order to create our successors.
But those are just the basics. I mean, even animals and bugs do that. What is so different about us that we actually separate an individual, seek them out, make them appear special in our eyes and even go to extreme lengths for them? And I think the answer to that question might be different for each individual. There are those who seem to think appearance alone is enough and focus only on that. They are closest to the animal instinct that we discussed earlier and just seek to “have fun” without getting into too much hassle or worrying about what comes before or after. The act of mating can still be about casual fun and that’s absolutely fine.
Others seem to think more deeply in regards to this issue and give it more significance. They seek out people with whom they can grow an attachment to, people that remind them of others in their close environment (possibly parental figures) that provide them with a form of safety. And this is the true core of love. The more similar experiences one has had with another, the stronger the connection grows between the two and the more powerful this bond becomes. This love might not even be limited to romance, it could be a friendship that lasts for years, but it is still strong as both people feel a sense of comfort around one another that is not easily found in the presence of anyone else.
And yet, this incapability that we humans have to be alone, this necessity to live with others, these instincts to procreate and this constant struggle to prove ourselves to the ones our minds have distinguished from the rest of the crowd, due to a few circumstances based merely on chance and nothing further, have brought nothing but distress to hundreds of thousands of people, if not millions.
Think about it for a second: how many people are actually happy within their relationship? How many are dissatisfied with the attention that they get from their partner? How many are, as they say, “heartbroken” (if your heart was ruptured, you would instantly die, but anyway) that they are deprived of the company of a person that their mind keeps telling them is ‘special’? How many couples get married and then end up getting a divorce just a few short months or years later?
It’s all a matter of weakness. Humans are social beings and that is why they constantly look for validation of their existence within others. Whatever they do, no matter how great it is, if no one is there to acknowledge it, then it loses all meaning. You don’t have to go far, just take a look at the self-approving machine that is the President of the USA, Donald Trump and you’ll find the perfect example.
Trump is the ideal case of someone shouting out “I need people to confirm my existence” in whatever form that may be. He reminds me of someone that didn’t really get any acknowledgement from the people around him, growing up in a harsh environment, and has now decided to take on the whole world just to get back at the ones that didn’t provide him with the right amount of attention. Just to get the vindication that he feels he deserves. I feel he never found a single person to talk to heart-to-heart and to confide in and that’s what turned him into what he is today: a spiteful person full or resentment and lack of understanding towards anything foreign to him.
That’s what can happen when you don’t have anyone around you giving you that support. And yet, sometimes even being a Trump might be better than growing too much of an attachment to this sense of validation, to the point that you constantly seek it out and become needy and obsessive. Love stems from a need we people have, and just like overeating, or drinking too much or any other abuse, we can go overboard to the point of becoming possessive with people. Once we establish a connection with another person, we might feel that they will always be there no matter how we decide to act towards them. That originates from the fact that they possibly remind us of our own family and those specific bonds are the types that will never break. A mother won’t give up her child for any reason in the world. But it’s not the same for two friends, as good as they may be.
There seems to be a complete misconception around this issue. Love is not ‘joy’. Love is not ‘sugar and rainbows’. Love is not ‘holding hands and heading into the sunset’. Hundreds of people are suffering from depression due to (what their mind is telling them is) a need to be with the one that they alone (and maybe one or two others) consider to be ‘special’. What is known as ‘love’ is nothing more than a silent form of battle; a constant negotiation between one person and another on their daily habits, their personal space, their likes and dislikes and how much of that they are willing to sacrifice.
How much of a person is usually lost or consumed in their attempt to maintain their relationship with another? How many of their favorite hobbies do they drop? How many of their friends do they just stop seeing? How much do they stop showing up at their regular hangout spots? Do they even change what they wear and how they behave? And do they look back at it one day thinking that they regret it? Or even worse, dropping the blame on the other person?
I find myself disgusted at the many, unnatural ways scientists have come up with so that people can procreate. And yet, as I take a closer look at our social lives, where no one is truly happy, everyone has to give up something to gain another or we just end up settling so that we won’t be alone forever (as if there’s something criminally wrong with that), I reconsider the whole topic. Maybe we should just be legally obligated to procreate inside some sort of tube once we reach our 30’s, just so our species can carry on. We’ve become too focused on appearances to see what’s truly important.
People have become weak. People have become sad. People can never be satisfied. We don’t openly want to admit what we are. We always need to look for something else, something to keep us going. No one person can truly be completed with what they have, we simply weren’t made that way. And that constant need is what leads us to be miserable, unhappy and subsequently depressed.
We’ve lost touch with who we are. Yet our relationships with one another are quite fundamental, we take what we want from others then eventually get tired of having them around. And that’s human nature. Be it friends, parents, lovers, or even children. To be human means to consume everything around you in order to satisfy your own needs, even if that is the simple presence of other people. And once you’re done, you move on. But we like to sugarcoat that with niceties within our ‘societies’ and that’s where things become confusing. After all, we’re not animals, are we..?

Originally published at sopeoplewhatsup.blogspot.com on February 16, 2019.

Media graduate, professional journalist and self-proclaimed Final Fantasy fanboy. Interests (and die-hard passions) include gaming and sports (mainly football).