Sunday, February 9, 2014

Love and Valentine's Day

In the spirit of Valentine's Day, I thought I'd write a post dedicated to the special day. Not because I feel the need to bash the holiday itself (because who doesn't love getting chocolate and silly cards all day?), but because I've recently become disillusioned with the image of love that has been presented to me since I was little. As an eighteen year old girl who loves watching Romantic Comedies and listening to friends rant about boys, I can tell you all about young people's distorted image of love. We've seen picture perfect relationships on screens frequently for our entire lives and have grown to expect relationships just like those.

From the first movies we watched, movies about Disney princesses and their prince charmings, to the movies we watch today about complicated and intense relationships, we have built up in our minds what we believe we want and need in a significant other. It seems that if your love isn't constantly intense, dramatic and emotional, then it can't be real. The image portrayed by the media brings hopes up too high, and people become disappointed and bored as a result. Why can't a relationship be composed of two people who are completely comfortable and content together without the melodramatic moments? We get caught up in making things exciting and end up missing potentially good things or messing up the good things that we have. In an article regarding this topic, Reid Daitzman Ph.D, a clinic psychologist, describes that, "A guy who just had an affair really misses his wife and would love to be back with her talking about trivial things.” Parts of relationships are boring, and that's okay. 

The other issue has become that media has made love the center of our lives. Magazines, movies, songs and stories make us feel as if love is the only thing that will ever truly bring us happiness. In our society, love is overemphasized. While, of course, love is good and can most definitely bring people joy, it should not be the only important part of a person's life. Women and men should not be afraid to be independent. I know too many people that feel incomplete without a boyfriend or a girlfriend or lose sight of their entire future in order to stay with their significant other. Love should be important in our lives, but we should always have our own independent goals. Women, we are not Disney princesses who should spend all of our time waiting on princes, we deserve to seek an education and a career that brings us just as much joy and fulfillment as love does. Love is great, but it cannot be everything.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Hannah! Interesting post! While I do understand your point about teenagers overestimating love, some teenagers underestimate it. A lot of teens settle for comfortable relationships without much passion. A successful relationship needs both infatuation and compatibility. While there are bound to be boring moments in relationships, they should not take up most of the time. Hopefully, less teens will settle and will find more suitable relationships for themselves.