Us millennials will be known for a lot of things, for passionate politics, Netflix and chill and bizarre food (what the hell is matcha?). One thing we are criticized for is love. The romantic kind.
We are the dating app generation. On a theoretical level, a dating app is a ridiculous proposition. Practically speaking I have used them but never to ‘find love’. For a boy these apps dangle hope in front of them, only to be swiped left time and again. Thanks to patriarchy and a culture that frowns upon dating there is a serious demand-supply mismatch. Not unlike the olden days when the princess chose from a line of well qualified suitors. That’s where the metaphor ends, there are no well qualified suitors and we are no princesses, outside our homes at least. For me, I was bored of them.
There isn’t a dearth of good men or good women nor are we incapable of love. Most people I know are capable of love. Yet marriages are happening later or not at all. For some, it’s by choice but for most, it’s not. We are desperately looking for love. That’s the first notion where we are wrong. We are looking for a set of traits, an ideal cocktail of personality, beauty, income, intelligence, morals. Whatever it is. If someone fits our criteria we think we love them, but love doesn’t come with index cards.
It’s the difference between “I need you in my life” and “I want you in my life”. Instagram (and hallmark if you not a millennial) would have you believe that the former is better sentiment but its not. Stay with me on this one. If you need someone in your life, then it’s a vacancy you are trying to fill. You are not picking a person because they mean something to you. Your desire is to find a partner or put a face to your idea of a partner. If you don’t need anyone, you are content. Any person that comes into your world then is by special invitation only. You make space for them, make time for them over and above other commitments because you want to. Not because you need to. People tell me I need to walk everyday (at least 30 minutes). Yeah right, I will never do it. But put me in a swimming pool or a badminton court and I will swim and play even if I am out of breath.
Secondly, when it comes to romantic endeavours, we are blinded by our ego. Not pride, self-respect or selfishness, all of which I consider virtues, but ego. Ego is behind, “Why didn’t they call me?”, “Why should I message first?”, “Why should I ask them to meet me?”. You claim to love them, but you don’t. You want to receive their call to have the opportunity to turn them down. It’s not about the person on the other end, it’s about you. Your ego being satisfied, not your soul. If you loved them, you would be happy knowing they are healthy and happy. Think about family and friends. If a parent or sibling forgets to call us back, we don’t post attention seeking statuses that reek of desperation. We don’t think, “Oh! Let mom message me next time. I will reply after 2 days.” That thought is blasphemous. If you think like that, you got bigger problems, dear reader.
Love is unconditional and unlike diamonds (or Nirav Modi’s luck) lasts forever. I used to think love is friendship (thanks Kuch Kuch Hota Hai), but friendship isn’t always the basis for love. Love all by itself is the base of love. I have been egoistic and self-destructive. That was infatuation. Love doesn’t destroy you. Whether you are with the person you love or not, it always inspires you to do better and be better. That’s any kind of love. Whether familial (or otherwise platonic), romantic or just self-love. Love is the most powerful force of all, yet we misinterpret it too often to experience its majesty.