The idea that happiness comes from companionship and love of some true and perfect soul mate is a fantasy. Perhaps it is cynicism that makes me doubt that all we really need is love. Afterall, i have always had love in my life and even then it has always hurt. That is the danger of love. It opens you up to pain because you let your guard down and allow yourself to be vulnerable.
Why do we believe that the love of a stranger will be greater and more fulfilling than the love of a mother? That is, in my opinion, the purest form of love. I know my mother loves me. I have always known that. Even when being harsh and seemingly unsupportive, i know she does it out of love. Yet she has often failed to understand or get me. All my life i have tried so hard to be understood but i have always failed. If family, those biologically programmed to love us the most do not always get us, why would coupling up with someone change that? Why would falling in love and getting married suddenly complete us?
Everyone has their own baggage. Which means being in a relationship only doubles one’s burdens. Why is that preferable? How can we honestly expect someone else to bring us the happiness we are unable to find ourselves while simultaneously providing the happiness they seek in life? We often find ourselves drowning in a pool of psychological misery with no life jacket to bring us to the surface. No life boat to ferry us to safety. There are days we cannot find the good in the world and the thought of not being good enough to be loved almost kills us. We know that our happiness should not depend on someone else. Yet we can’t seem to stop needing someone. That is the unspoken paradox of the heart and mind. Logic and millions of years of evolution dictates that we learn to stand on our own two feet. Yet the yearnings of our heart calls to us to find meaning in life through companionship. I don’t know about you but my heart still flutters when a new romantic interest comes into my life. And then the familiar pain when that person fails to meet me halfway on the emotional bridge i have painstakingly constructed in my head reminds me how being vulnerable can hurt so bad.
Love is a crotch and it robs us of our independence. So why does society demand that we submit to it in sickness and in health? It is true that no one wants to be alone and growing old alone can especially leave one empty and even unfulfilled. But the alternative forces us to settle for something that does not guarantee happiness and requires us to overlook flaws we wouldn’t in others. In the end we all settle for the sake of not being alone.
No matter how bright the flames of love burn, it inevitably dims and threatens to go out forever. So marriage becomes a commitment to work everyday to preserve the dying embers. Life becomes routine and old points of conflict flare up again and again. Sacrifices made become sources of resentment and true love becomes a distant memory. At best all that is left is mutual respect of the hard won partnership with none of the passion. So if love is life, it’s no wonder love like life is subject to the same laws of entropy. The irony is love like life is chaos. It is all disorder and the only order to be found is that life and love like everything else ends eventually returning to their natural resting state of nonexistence. As they say, “all good things must come to an end.”