The subject of love is sometimes touchy and boggles us all. Love is almost existential, as we never really have total concrete answers for it. It’s almost similar to topics of religion and looking for answers of “why.” In this case, its people wondering why they feel the ways they do. One thing, for sure, is that love exists, and many of us have once experienced it or are currently experiencing it. For those of us who have experienced it, chances are, we’ve also experienced heartbreak. In heartbreak, you have one of two experiences, ultimately. Either you’re sour towards love, or you have the understanding that, as you grow, you’re going to hurt. The best thing you can do is take lessons out of any hurtful situations.
Today, I want to speak about the underestimation of what love is. To me, love is such a cosmetic word to describe all the sacrifice and emotion it demands. The way love is depicted, most times, seems quite happy and carefree. Very few movies are ever shown that depict the real grit that’s involved in loving someone. The truth is that love isn’t easy, and to love is a decision. There comes a point where you have all these deep, crazy emotions, and you make a choice whether to accept them and emotionally invest them in someone or not to.
A lot of people take love for face value, meaning they love someone based on a superficial reason. These people become quickly enamored with someone, or so they think. The truth is that they’re in a fresh situation in which many things are going right. This is normal, but love really shows its face in the darkest of times. At that point, it isn’t what someone tells you but is more so the actions someone shows in your time of need. “People who fall into that Hollywood type of love are usually falling for infatuation,” says sophomore Ara McPherson. She has a point, but I think we’re all guilty of that feeling. It’s after you truly love someone that you figure out the order of events as it pertains to your emotions.
Two people meet, and in a perfect world, they hit it off. These positive vibes can last for whatever amount of time, but, eventually, this “love” you feel gets tested. It’s in this time where you see people’s true colors. “People play with it and assume it’s love when it really is[n’t] love,” says sophomore Samantha Vega. She goes on to say that many people seem to want what they can’t have and try to live their lives based on some fairytale. I agree to a degree, but there’s no manual on how to deal with our emotions. Unfortunately, we learn through experience, and, at some point, we all experienced that “fairytale.”
I think that, ultimately, love humbles you when you see how strong of an emotion it really is, and it’s even more humbling when you lose a love. I took a class here at Post as a sophomore called “Psychology of Love.” And, in that class, I learned that there is a chemical change in your body when you actually are in love. Levels of oxytocin, vasopressin, and dopamine (which gives the euphoric, pleasurable feeling) are increased. When that break up does happen, your body goes through a chemical change, again. As those levels of hormones are reduced, that horrible, sad feeling you do feel is similar to a withdrawal. Beyond missing this person, your body legitimately responds to the loss. I say that to say that love isn’t the sun-shiny thing you think it might be. Love is great, but love also elicits patience, understanding, and humility. In order to share a love with someone, you have to exercise all three of those traits.