This article was published 12 years ago. I'm technically a new person now and my views represented here are probably long outdated.
Sorry to burst bubbles but if you think love is entirely la la and full of scented rose petals, you’re very much mistaken. Real love is ruthless. Real love sets you free.
Oft times you may hear of somebody saying they would love to be able to love unconditionally. I submit that that desire of theirs is an impossibility. Unconditional love does not exist. To accept it as real, implies that conditional love exists and such isn’t the case.
The moment we put conditions on our love, we mutate into something more akin to slavery than genuine care. Love has no expectations. It doesn’t control you.
Hold this in mind in light of the today’s celebration. How would you feel if you did not receive a card, or dinner, or a gift covered in ribbons and kittens, or some sort of prepubescent vegetation? Do you still love your partner regardless of how they have chosen to live out this day?
Love your partner enough to set them free. Love them enough so support whatever they want, not what you want of them. And, of course, you’re welcome to expect the same of them but whether they offer it or not should not be the determining factor as to whether you love them or not. If you’re even able to turn off your “ability to love” at will, don’t delude yourself into thinking it’s the real thing.
Sadly, our commercial society has warped the definition of love and romance into something less than genuine. By creating emotional attachments to purchases, we are enticed to buy gifts we wouldn’t ordinarily buy, deliver the words of greeting card writers instead of finding our own expression, and maim innocent plants for their pretty blooms. Find ways to express your care without feeding the economy first. There’s nothing wrong with pretty gifts, fancy meals, or solitary getaways; they should just never be a replacement for your real expression. Your own gestures and words. Your own actions and the way you generally treat your lover goes a far longer way than a R50 rose.
And if it doesn’t, consider whether your partner is worth your attention.
You’ve no doubt heard the saying, “if you love someone, let them go.”
There is much truth to this statement. Loving someone is more about freeing them than it is about clinging to them. Holding somebody too tightly smothers and prevents them from growing. A mother owl pushes her chicks out of the next because she loves them. A human mother longs to keeps her child at home as long as possible because she claims to love him or her. Take a look at all your love relationships, both romantic, family and friendly. How many of those relationships have a weave of conditions determining how much of your so-called love you share?
Loving somebody, being in love, is so much more about your personal caring and desire for that person’s growth than it is for them to reciprocate those yummy feelings. The more we need reciprocation, the more we warp the meaning of love, and the less we’re able to true feel it. On this day of forced romance, I would encourage you to explore your love and appreciation for not only your romantic partners but also for the people you know as family and friends, for the people you work with as colleagues, the strangers you pass on the street and stand in between in queues, or drink coffee next to in the various restaurants and coffee bars you may find yourself in today.
If you were able to help set free one person today, how would you do it?