Thursday, April 29, 2010

True Love vs. Settlement Love - by Lisa

What is love?

Love by my definition is not blind; it is blatantly obvious. It smacks you in the face the instant your eyes fixate on the hunk of meat across the room. Love is not learned. Love does not grow with time: it is already there.

Is there true love? Or, is love a figment of the imagination? Something that people create to convince themselves that the person they have settled for is “the one?” Is it settling to “love?”

I believe love exists in certain cases, but in other instances, I believe that love is a replacement for loneliness and fear that sets in as people age, a variable of our societal pressures. For this reason, I will separate true love and settlement love from one another.

True love is not a pro’s and con’s checklist, for if it is, you are practicing settlement love! For all of those who have known love, true love, it is simply right and there are absolutely no causal nor correlational factors to justify this elation. You cannot describe the feelings you have for that other person. Occam’s razor: It just feels right.

In comparison, both parties practicing settlement love will contemplate how much fun they have together, how good they are for one another, and just how great of a person the other one is. But I’m sorry, are you interviewing with a company for a finance position that offers a lifetime contract and full benefits? No! This is not an if/then scenario. Love does not require logical deductions, comprehension, nor comparisons between finances and assets: it simply is.

Love is instant. It does not take three years of dating and getting to know the individual to assess if there is the right "love potential" there to last a lifetime. This is an example of settlement love. People that merely stay together who have been in a relationship for long periods of time (which I define as a duration consistently longer than two and a half years without an engagement proposition) and do not get married within the first three years of dating are suffering from cognitive dissonance. This term, cognitive dissonance, equates to the checklist, the settlement, “the one,” because the parties have invested so much time in one another that the rationale must be that they were meant to be and therefore, I should marry this individual. Want converts to a should or an obsolete scenario leaving both parties feeling obligated.

What do I know about love? I was in love once, or at least I believed I was. I thought about someone on a daily basis before we started dating, had a physical attraction the moment I first laid eyes on him, and still think about him from time to time, deep down knowing it wasn’t right and yet, part of me still wanted it to be right. Why? I do not exactly know why but what I do know is that this was not love and if I had stayed with him, I would have been settling.

Whether or not you believe in true love, do not practice settlement love. Believe that there is someone better for you out there, waiting, hoping that you will find them amongst the masses.

...But what if there’s not? What if this is the best person you could ever possibly meet? What if?