Our emotional landscape, with its peaks and valleys, forms the terrain on which we navigate life, influencing our decisions and colouring our experiences. Love is one such emotion that plays a significant role in experiencing life. In society, love is made out to be a crucial factor, and it is a recurring theme in various forms of media, movies, or books irrespective of their genre. For example, most Indian movie plots don’t go without the protagonist having a “love interest.”


Apart from the importance given to this emotion, one thing that also makes it different from other emotions is the perception of love that it’s supposed to last FOREVER. All other emotions like happiness and sadness are said to be fleeting. Nobody says “happiness is forever,” isn’t it?


Is love even an emotion? What is love really? You may hear a thousand different answers from a thousand different people. There are different stages or levels in which you might love something. Looking at love is more like feeling something towards a person at a very high intensity. Love is a combination of emotions, really. It’s complex but can also be described as simple as feeling something.


Love is a voyage, a continuous journey of feeling multitudes of emotions towards someone. Happiness, sadness, anger, and pain, love is not one single emotion but a mixture of them. The only similar example of love is life. Life is experienced, and we do things and feel things, and love is also similar to it.


Just as no two lives follow the same path, no two loves unravel exactly alike. Each story is unique, shaped by the individuals involved, their histories, and the tapestry of experiences they weave together. This subjectivity is what makes love so exquisitely, maddeningly human and of peak human interest. Just like life has highs and lows, love does too. In life, you learn from successes and failures, building resilience and wisdom. While in love, positive and negative experiences create a unique bond and understanding in a relationship.


Love and life are all in the laughter and tears, fights and compromises, and quiet moments of understanding. That’s where the true essence of love unfolds, as diverse and ever-changing as human life itself.


“Change is the only constant in life,” said Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, and perhaps because of the ever-changing nature of love, it is expected to be constant for this reason. Our lives evolve over time to adapt to various situations in life. It’s possible that because love is just as adaptable, it’s supposed to last a lifetime.  One could also argue that the expectations simply stem from cultural and religious beliefs about a sacred marriage.


This societal expectation of forever-love could also have stemmed from the portrayal of love as a “happily ever after” fairytale in various forms of media.


Whether it’s a love story spanning decades or a shorter yet impactful chapter, what matters most is the authenticity and impact it leaves on our hearts. Author Maya Angelou beautifully said, “We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated.” So let’s not be defeated by the societal pressure of “forever love.” Instead, let’s celebrate the diverse forms love takes, learn from its joys and sorrows, and embrace the journey with open hearts, knowing that even fleeting moments of genuine connection hold immeasurable value in our lives.


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