Love is not enough


Is it a given, that as you grow up and older, get through one relationship to another, witness others' tragic heartbreak stories, you become exponentially jaded and cynical about Love?


I used to be a dreamer. Fatally idealistic about the notion of falling and being in love. No surprises as a literature student and a willing victim of romantic novels and movies, that I used to believe in the elusive The One. The one who will set my heart on fire, make my world go round and share with me passionate moments to last a lifetime. Above all, I thought, the way Christian had serenaded Satine in my all-time favourite Moulin Rouge, that all you need is love.

But it's not enough. Love is not enough. Perhaps it comes with turning a quarter-century old. Many around me, my age, are re-evaluating their options. They are doing a spring clean of every aspect of their lives - deciding what to keep, what to change, how to make a difference. The quarter-life crisis is not just a joke we use to brush off an event that screws up in our twenties. It's very real. It's as if suddenly, just after turning twenty-whatever, it hits you and you decide, hey this just isn't enough for you. And the person beside you, is no longer what you need.

I'm not saying it's wrong to flip your life over and resolve to do something good for yourself, but it has made me realise that love is a decision and it seems there is no such thing as The One. There will always be someone perfect for you at different phases of your life, and if you're lucky you will meet this person at the right time and fall in love, share your life, dreams and many other intimate moments. But once you grow out of that particular life phase, what happens then? People change. Their priorities, their goals, their feelings. And that's not always in sync with the person by your side. And when that happens, the easy way out is to give up, find a new One who fits better with your new ambitions and purpose, or perhaps even come to realise that you don't need One at all.

I recall a random blurb I wrote many years back, which albeit more innocent (and immature), is pretty relevant to this post.
Sight of old couples strolling hand in hand still makes me smile and feel warm and go awww inside. Sometimes when I'm out with my parents, I'd notice how Dad would reach out for Mom's hand so naturally, check the traffic on both sides of the road and hold onto her firmly as they cross over. And it always makes me wonder, how do they do it? Share a love that lasts through 3 decades, not be sick of each other, not pick on each other's flaws, not wondering what it'd be like different. Perhaps there is no such thing as forever love, but there is love that is like a plant, which needs nurturing and care, and wilts without it, which has its seasons of bloom, which matures from something as small as an apple seed and is most beautiful in its ripe, old age. It may die, I suppose, as all things do, but not without leaving its beauty and fruit behind. 
Love might have started off as magical as a spark from locking eyes across a blurry crowd, or in movie-worthy scenes of just two of you making snow angels in winter, or simply as a slow reaction of chemistry between two kindred souls. But true love isn't that ephemeral, and the ideal, romantic love that is Disney-inspired just isn't enough.

Marriage and love, it is a choice. You decide that this is The One for you and you stop looking for another. You choose to stay in love, to respect the other, to share your dreams and if you think they are two steps behind, you wait up and cheer them on even if it slows you down, even if you have to make compromises. Because at the end of the day you know, the fruit of it is much sweeter shared.

So yes, maybe I've become a lot more wary and jaded about relationships over the years, but I don't think I will ever give up on love.

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Serene Alexa Chow

You're reading bits and pieces of a part-time dreamer and full-time slave owner of online store, Momoteapots. Sometimes, you'll also find her quite the hobbyist, writing about and dabbling in a little bit of fashion, food, literature, lifestyle and even some freelance PR work.

Say hi at serene@momoteapots.com!

"If neurotic is wanting two mutually exclusive things at one and the same time, then I'm neurotic as hell. I'll be flying back and forth between one mutually exclusive thing and another for the rest of my days."
- The Bell Jar; Sylvia Plath


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