On Modern Love (A Personal Essay)

Once upon a time, in a kingdom far, far away, there lived a prince and a princess. They were in love. But the princess watched too many sappy movies and read too many Nicholas Sparks novels, which melded her ideas about true love into a strict list of rules and expectations that would never be forgotten over time. With each heartbreak she experienced, the list only got longer and her hope and belief only got shorter.

This princess was me–is me–and she is probably every other teenaged girl who wasn’t born “chill,” who wasn’t always one to just “go with the flow,” and who believed in true love so much that “love at first sight” and “happily ever after” were just things she expected would happen in life. “Hook up” was a foreign term. Why should you even kiss someone else if you don’t like them? Why should you have no self-respect for your body and your feelings? Obviously, these middle school-thoughts have worn out as I’ve come to accept the harsh realities of imperfect screwing around that the average high school and college-aged kid experiences. In the back of my mind, I miss this mentality. I miss ideality.

There are, however, a few issues I still have with roller coaster-loving. And they mainly revolve around one thing and one thing only: blurry lines. When there’s no love, there’s no boundaries. We can pretend this is OK until someone gets hurt, and whether you want to admit to it or not, someone always does. If we are, as many sources have said, the “Hook Up Generation,” then does cheating even exist anymore?

Technology is obviously at fault for everything, and although technology itself is like my near and dear Jewish sorority sister, I have to blame it for this as well. You see a picture of your guy dancing with another girl (but wait, she’s just a friend I promise!!!!!!!), he’s done. You can talk to someone else for hours and hours when you know your signif. other wouldn’t like it, but then delete the conversation in less than a millisecond. No one will ever know. It’s like our new media-ocre society is pushing for this constant contact–having the eternal opportunity to check someone’s muploads and to create the wrong thoughts about the wrong person that you wish you didn’t have, but you do. It’s creating a cloud of paranoia that is about to pour down in an acidic rain it burns more than that vodka-tonic someone that ISN’T your “hook up” of the month just bought you at a bar. It tears two people apart. Trust me, I would know.

The hypocrisy and idiocrisy have been risen to a new level. Now, everything is everyone’s business. We are all intertwined by our feelings for each other and our overlapping friends and our iMessage group chats. So, I give up. I am done. And for those of you that watch Girls: I am waiting for HBO to publish Charlie’s app Forbid because I could really fricking use it right now.

And even moreso, the reverse psychology involved in the game of “Who Hates the Other Person More” is ridiculous. There is too much time spent trying to convince the other person that you don’t care, like thinking too much about trying not to text and call each other when it shouldn’t require a thought at all, or spending hours venting to a good friend instead of spending one minute saying “I love you” to your best friend. In actuality, I wouldn’t say that modern love has done me well, but I wouldn’t say it’s done me so bad either. I’ve lost five pounds in the last four days… totally great for the diet.

Ultimately, my life has evolved into a Bruno Mars medley. I’ve unfortunately come to the conclusion that not everything is a sign–not every song, not every baby I see, not everything yellow. It’s probably just a stupid coincidence that makes you get all teary again, which doesn’t help with the pink eye I you just had, and that, at the end of the day, really sucks in general. I’ve realized that timing is everything, and now isn’t the right time. I can convince myself that it is, but I know that it’s not. And Demi Lovato and Katy Perry are legit saving my life right now.

Before I close, I just want it to be known that this princess, however, happened to be a very feminist child and insisted she was “knighted” rather than “crowned” so she kneeled in front of her Great Aunt Brenda who, indeed, knighted her with a grapefruit spoon as a scepter. Maybe that’s why I feel this way about love… because I was never really anybody’s princess at all.


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