As I was sitting in a cafe this morning reading the latest issue of The New Yorker, attempting to find inspiration to write, I came across an idea that has nothing to do with the nuclear summit or MoMa’s new exhibit.
It’s quite contrary to anything I read today actually, it’s about that one thing called love. You’re probably wondering how on earth that popped into my head while reading about two countries threatening each other with nuclear warfare.
This morning, like every morning, I needed coffee and a place to read. So I went to the cafe down my street. I didn’t get so much reading done because I was plagued with the sound of Lincoln Park mothers chatting about their tennis matches, all the while ignoring their crying children.
This morning I became more of a sociologist than a writer.
So love. Yes that feeling of elation and terror. It all seems so perfect and cinderlla-esque here in Lincoln Park. The mothers strolling their kids down the sidewalks, coffee in hand. The fathers…Well who the hell knows where they are.
Being a college kid in a mainly affluent neighborhood, full of married couples with children can leave you questioning a lot of things. The question at the top of my list--Is this really what life is all about?
Allow me to elaborate.
It seems so dull to me, the whole notion that as you grow older you find a partner, you fall in “love,” get married and let history repeat itself. Is this how it should be? Who am I to give a definitive answer. After all, I’m just a 20 year old kid who sounds like he’s complaining.
I’m not complaining, but I’m skeptical. Is society as a whole becoming complacent with this pattern of love? I suppose that’s an open ended question. I personally think love is a great thing. I think that different people have different definitions of love. I don’t think you can define love though. I think you can only feel it.
I’m often distraught over this generation and what we value. One of the things I love most about being on earth right now is that we’re moving towards a more accepting world. Many women nowadays don’t buy into the notion that marriage should be the end goal. It’s a beautiful thing to see. I’m by no means bashing women who feel the only meaning to life is getting married and raising children, but I believe that trend is coming to an end.
Another thing, why rush things?
Obviously were moving away from the times where you met someone and got married a week later. Why do we rush things in life, even if we’re uncertain of the outcome? I get that if you’re in love with someone, the whole world begins to revolve around them, but why not feel things out for a bit? I need to work on this myself.
Love is such a contradiction, right?
It leads to so much happiness but so much sadness. It’s a dangerous thing, but for some reason that is appealing. Life without risk is a life not worth living. While thinking about marriage this morning it got me thinking about something else.
Does being in love mean giving your partner undivided attention?
This is especially prevalent in today’s dating culture. Unlike in previous decades, we now have the ability to converse with anyone we want through the touch of a button. Technology has completely changed the way we communicate with each other, especially the ones we love. According to a piece in The New Yorker, “the average teen-ager spends almost nine hours a day consuming media online, and sends or receives more than a hundred text messages.”
While this information is almost stimulating, I’d say when you’re in love today, you’re sending you’re partner a few hundred texts. Now obviously as we get older we have more responsibilities such as jobs and other commitments, but I’m looking at this currently in a college frame.
For the sake of the continuation of this story I’ll briefly note that I am single.
I am a seasoned third wheeler and it has come to my attention that young couples today need constant reassurance, ESPECIALLy when they’re apart from each other. This leads to several hundred texts a day. Is this healthy?
In my book, no.
But how does my opinion matter. After all I’ve never really been in love. In my experience though, conversation has always been better with a partner after…wait for it…
This is a tremendous thing. For all you young couples out there, I recommend trying this out. Distance, just like love, comes in many forms. For instance, try not talking for a day. Do something for yourself, take care of yourself. Give yourself your undivided attention. Sit at your computer and write nonsense just like me.
I always find distance to be an immensely beneficial thing in relationships. Although you’ll most likely be thinking about that partner, that’s a beautiful thing! Chances are they’re thinking about you too. When you talk again, after a day or so, you’ll notice a spark. You’ll see an interest you wouldn’t have seen previously because what’s interesting about hundreds of texts a day?
To wrap this rollercoaster of love up, I think it’s powerful that were moving towards more independent times. I think it’s important that we’re not rushing into marriage like we so often use to. While technology consumes much of our time, especially as it relates to talking with loved ones, try taking a break from it all. You can go a day or two without talking to them. Dare I say it, try a phone call?