14th February, Valentine’s Day. A day we are told we must “celebrate” as it epitomises this wonderful emotion that we as humans are capable of – Love.
“So, what are your plans for the day?” I was asked this question about a million times today and all I said was “Oh! I don’t know, I’m very unromantic!” to which I got responses like “But it’s the day of love” or “Come on! you need to celebrate love!” and so on. Having reflected upon this small talk that people often engage in to ease the awkward silences, I felt the need to put my thoughts to paper about the difference between romance and love as I find the two are often confused - one for the other.
Romance is an expression of love, not love itself. Love is when you consistently strive for the wellbeing of another despite it causing you discomfort or pain. It is unconditional, not based on trivialities like tokens of affection which have sadly come to become measures of the extent of love. If you buy me a cake, you love me 30%, a designer handbag? maybe 60%; a diamond ring? Well, you get the drift. The point of this post is not to be a wet blanket about Valentine’s Day. The point however is to communicate an opinion that may go against the grain because it does not adhere to popular culture.
Romance is heart warming to read in literature and it is often this depiction that creates unrealistic expectations. Murmuring sweet nothings, serenading your beloved, your knight in shining armour whisking you away from the clutches of evil…. Wow! What about tackling that pile of laundry? Doing the dishes or waking up early to tend to the kids so that your partner gets a lie in? Not romantic, but so full of love!! Correct?
Don’t get me wrong - Romance is of course very welcome, it is an added bonus to the mundanities of life and a medium to initiate or reignite the passion in a romantic relationship. Love however means more. Much, much more and on an ironical note, you need to feel it in its truest sense to believe in its existence. And maybe because of its rarity, one feels the need to romanticise events, to create an illusion of this emotion. And it is when this illusion is shattered that many stop believing in love, failing to understand that love would never hurt, it would never deceive. It is our illusion of love and the expectations around it that lead to heartbreak and sadness. As someone once very wisely said “Sab Moh Maya Hai” or “All things in the world are not real; they are fallacy, a presumed reality of the world held by people.”
As I leave you on this rather cynical tone, I am lured back to the comfort of a book. See now, that's true love ;)