The Lie of Love.Tuesday, February 07, 2017
Valentine's Day is approaching, so my inner rage is coming out.
I despise Valentine's Day for so many reasons. Besides the capitalist/consumerist connotations the day involves, I also just cannot stand this forced notion of love.
I am single - happily so. And I truly mean it, I am not being bitter or cynical. I am honestly and completely happy with myself.
And I personally believe that everyone, regardless of race, gender, class, etc., should feel this way before feeling forced to commit to someone else for the rest of their life. I believe that so many relationship issues are created when someone is not happy with themselves, or does not know to stand on their own two feet. As I write this I am texting two female friends who became engaged to their respective partners in the last year or so, who gave up so much of themselves when they committed their lives to these men. And if they had taken the time (or had been given the chance) to truly love themselves first, the conversations I am having now would not exist.
I've also seen terrible relationships professionally. I've seen men who are so controlling and vindictive towards their significant other, for no valid reason. I have helped women who run back to their ex-partners because their "love" is really an addiction, a need for validation, rather than true mutual affection.
I'm angry because we celebrate love, but don't advertise what healthy love looks like. Healthy love is not flowers, or dates, or long walks on the beach. I mean, yes, these are nice parts of healthy relationships. But healthy love is about the respectful way you treat one another when you're fighting, or the things you say to one another when you're having a bad day. It's about never needing to apologize for physical or verbal or emotional abuse. It's about being able to talk things through, maybe even argue things out, but still be respectful of one another.
Bottom line: Let's celebrate HEALTHY love. Not idealized fictional affection. Let's celebrate the real deal.