Is love dead?
That's a question I found myself asking today.
Well, about five minutes ago, actually.
I made a vow to start reading the news regularly... real news, that is: The Associated Press, Reuters, Democracy Now. Things of substance. But because I am a slave to social media and trashy celebrity gossip, I found myself scrolling the blogs this afternoon and was quite surprised to see that Cardi B and Offset have reportedly split.
I honestly was not expecting it.
Of course, I expected them to separate eventually (celebrity relationships never really last) but I didn't think it would be this soon. I would be lying if I said I'm not confused by my reaction, but I actually felt kind of sad reading about it. I'm not one of those people that emotionally invest themselves in celebrity relationships or any other person's relationship, that is, so I don't feel bad because I "shipped them." I feel bad because everything I'm seeing and experiencing lately when it comes to love and relationships has been extremely negative and disappointing. Has love, dating and marriage always been this terrible, or is this some type of 21st-century thing?
Maybe the question I really should be asking is whether or not true romance ever existed. I'll be the first one to admit: most of my ideas of love come from movies and TV shows, music, and literature. I know that it's unrealistic, but a huge part of me still yearns for that picturesque version of love, where the connection runs so deep you know what the other person is thinking. To be so passionately in love with someone that it physically hurts to be without them. But a perfect love can only exist if you work for it. The foundation of the greatest relationship is made of respect, trust, honesty, and vulnerability (the latter being the most important, yet the one I think is least emphasized). A relationship becomes love when you're not afraid to show your whole self to your partner, to let them in and give a part of yourself, knowing that you may just end up hurt in the end.
When you respect someone, you don't lie to or betray them. When you trust someone, you don't have to play games. And when you're honest and vulnerable, you can connect with someone deeply and intimately. Love is an extremely positive experience, yet lately, all I've been saying are the worst parts of it. I see cheating left and right, people who have no pride in their relationships and air their troubles on social media, relationships that only exist because their partner wants to scam them, and a whole lot of fake commitment. For as many good relationships that are out there, there seem to be at least five more bad ones. So I wonder, is timeless and unconditional love just a myth, or are people just bad partners?
I've come to the conclusion that a relationship doesn't work out because a couple can build and maintain a good foundation, but rather because a couple cares so much about each other that they want to. I only know as much about Cardi B and Offset's relationship as has been on the gossip blogs, but I have to say that from what I've seen, it just doesn't look like their level of care for each other was equal. Without saying any names, it's clear that one person was more in love with the other. Honestly, I wouldn't even go as far as saying what they had was love.
At least, it wasn't my conception of it.
So is love really dead? I guess it depends on what you consider love. Following celebrity relationships and being exposed to others' on social media makes me think that a lot of partnerships these days are infatuation rather than love. Following celebrity relationships can also make you really pessimistic, not to mention the negative experiences you may have in your own life. Seeing it over and over — experiencing it over and over — has made me feel like even if love does exist, it just dies out over time.
Or maybe I just have to accept that not every relationship is love.