Disclaimer: this post was fuelled by several glasses of prosecco and one very large glass of wine.
"Write drunk, edit sober." - Ernest Hemingway
(or so the Internet seems to think, it's not actually been verified that he said this)
There’s something beautiful about seeing two people madly and deeply in love, whether it’s subtle and strong or loud and proud; the body language, the affection, the look of adoration and the synchronicity in which they speak, move, behave. So beautiful in fact that we get swept up in a sea of admiration, praise, longing for just a hint of what they share. We’re blinded by the beauty of ideals as we celebrate their milestones, consider ourselves witnesses to something rare and special. Then we go seeking for it ourselves. But why? Why is love so sought after? Isn’t it just an idealised concept?
In short, no. I’ve been in love. I can say that confidently and with pride, even now looking back, when I might dismiss what I felt then as a lesser emotion. They say first love is the hardest, sometimes the deepest – and maybe that’s true. It was a love so special and so right for that time in my life, in his. And now? We check in, remain in touch, the care and respect for one another still very much in tact. But something interesting has been born out of a love so young, such intense emotion experienced in such an early stage of life.
And that's that now, love isn't my end goal.
It’s not something I yearn for or long to experience, because I already have. I’ve never looked for love and I can’t imagine I ever will, it’s not something that can be found. It should find you. But why do so many people go searching? There’s a beauty to the connection between two people that isn’t love. It could be lust, infatuation, chemistry. It could last an hour, a week, a month. Why is it that these things are dismissed as less valuable? Even to an extent, scorned? Shouldn’t we be celebrating that connection in whatever form it may take?
I suppose this ties in heavily with society, with the way we’ve been conditioned to think about love and the way it should look. There’s so much pressure to find that someone, even though you could find ten “someones” and have a whole host of experiences, learn so many lessons and feel your full range of emotions. There’s more than one person for everyone - many, many more. And I think we deny that fact, instead settling for one that fits right at that time, one that feels comfortable and safe. I think we’re too often scared to explore our fantasies, daydreams, the little devil on our shoulder that urges us to push our own boundaries. That’s not to say that we can’t be happy with that one safe person but if we’re settling only in the pursuit of love, we won’t ever be truly happy.
So I’ve stopped thinking about love; what it means, what it should look like, when I’ll next experience it. Does it really matter? Chemistry matters, compatibility matters, connection matters. Longing to be in someone’s presence, having conversations that last hours and just enjoying their company – these are the things that I have come to value most. Nothing is forever. Not our lives and not love. So being present in the moment is what will truly determine where and how many times you find it. Acting with freewill but not without responsibility or consequence. Seeking long-term happiness rather than long-term love, that should be the end goal. It’s mine. Is that so wrong?