Q. Why Love is so complicated? What does loyalty actually mean? If loyalty comes with love, does it really happen that one person in your life is the only one you are attracted to? What if you develop feelings for someone else too? Can one love more than one person at a time? Is feeling physically attracted to more than one person normal? What about casual sex? What is love? Is love and sex related?

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In today’s times, people have eventually grown more skeptical in relation to love than the previous generation. They have started questioning their relationships more honestly than ever before rather than veiling it in conforming ideal “love”.

The surge in communication technology has given a soaring height to expression, both verbal and non-verbal. It was never so easy to communicate one’s feeling as it is today along with constantly reminding and establishing the authenticity of that feeling. In certain ways the society has also hypocritically grown in its acceptance of love-relationships; either as an evolution of understanding or merely because of its obvious likelihood, when the two sexes are so closely interacting as students and work-force.

However, the sheer acceptance and ease has caused the love to become more vulnerable. Not necessarily every love-relationship has a villain like in the 90’s but the deepening interaction has itself made the two sexes competitors in their own right, if not in the market then at home. Who loves more? Who dominates who? Who enjoys greater freedom? And the list goes on…

One thing that has died a natural death in this entire maneuver is of course love. But, this is not to be grieved. That is what it was destined to. Better late than never. Therefore, not many relationships culminate in marriages. By the time that step nears, if two people are really honest, they start smelling the doubts that seep between them about the future. For some people this skepticism evades due to various reasons and what follows is the natural disaster of an arranged-marriage, where only the societal contract of marriage remains and the love evaporates or the relation faces an impending separation, again depending on various outer circumstances like kids etc.

Amidst all this chaos and confusion unfaithfulness and infidelity emerges as the steadfast winner. We have coined various new terms and concepts to make sense of all this and rationalize, like one-night stand, fing, casual affair, friends with benefits etc. Also, we have similarly categorized our relationships as this is serious; this is passing and so on based on the time and its prospect.

This is something evolutionary that has happened and I fail to see ugliness in it. This conflict is mutational and transformative. From this complication – which only has been briefly touched and penetrates much deeper than this – there are only two possibilities that exist. Either we come to terms with it and start believing that this is how love is – momentary, complicated, impermanent, unfulfilling, over-hyped and all the rest of it or we try to inquire and deliberate on it keeping all the moral, psychological and emotional baggage aside.

Before we begin let us for a moment forget all we know, think or have been schooled about love. Forget all the ideas we have made an integral part of our living. Anyway they are essentially borrowed. We know about love not experientially but through literature, movies, poetries or teachings. The experience that we call love is called “love” because we have an idea implanted in our minds. How else are we supposed to know that it is “love”? So, let us start from knowing that we are ignorant about any existential reality of “love”. Therefore, we may say that love does not exist!

We do not know that love is giving, love is blind, love is oneness, love is sacrifice, love is God, and love is free from desire, fear, expectation, attachment or any of this nonsense. We just do not know what it is and we would not accept unless we have this selfless and timeless experience.

So, what do we know? All we can know is ourselves through insight and sensitivity. We have our needs, physical or mental and emotional if we are naïve to not see it as a part of thinking process. Then we have our fears of losing, being left out, aloneness, being mocked, being unimportant or ordinary etc. And, lastly we have our deep existential insecurities about future, rejection, inner emptiness and so on and so forth. Though we largely live in denial these are some facts that in sane mind we will not refute.

Now, a person who fits our bodily perception of an ideal match walks in our life and we get weak in the knees. Then we know them a little and they seem to us as a one-stop solution to all our needs, fears and insecurities. While we are imagining an escape from our life problems and inner emptiness; we fail to see that the other person is also, in the meanwhile, expecting the same from us. During this time, we conjure up images about each other, knight with shining armour, angel of my life and what not. Basically, it is completeness that we all are seeking in one another. And then the game begins of two incomplete people striving to complete each other. The attraction followed by imagination and ending in persistent wanting is the summary of any story.

In this wanting that is precisely like two beggars begging to each other; the image of the savior that we had created starts shattering. We in time see that this person is no less miserable than me. The honeymoon is over here. Whether we choose to continue living with the person depends on many of our existing compulsions other than the illusion of dependence that we have created. We do all sorts of measures to see if it is at all tolerable to continue or not. Obviously, there is an attachment too, similar to what we have for any of our possessions. No matter what, this person is also a part of our relative existence that gives a sense of purpose and meaning to an otherwise mundane life. The rationalization and calculations continue while we have already started exploring our completeness at other places or in other people.

Do you see how we can narrate the story without any necessity to use the term ‘love’ even once? However, in real life while we are continuing with the drama we are doing it with an inner conviction of “love”. And, thus the complication remains. This is simply rationalizing our intentions to an established and beautiful concept of “love”. This gives us a sanction to carry on all this in the name of “love” and gives a deep sense of purity to our ego-trip. But, with this security, infusion of the “love” also generates guilt and agony.

While we know what this is all about, somewhere deep within us but we do not have a tendency to accept things as it is. It seems unsettling to accept that our love is nothing more than attraction and ego-trip. So, we label it beautifully no matter what it breeds.

Life is unaware of our mental play. It has no liability to conform to our patterns and deceptions. It thus moves on while we question ourselves about loyalty and the rest of it. We have essentially convinced ourselves to believe that the attraction that our fear, ego and insecurity breed is love and now we are wondering why the essential characters of “love” are missing. We are eating stale bread and pining for tacos. They might seem similar but they are poles apart.

One thing is certain that there is no way out of inner void and incompleteness other than finding our true selves within. As long as we are trying to find it in others, the attempt will always go in vain. It is just a matter of time whether days, months or years. We still, like always, have a free choice of procrastinating this inner journey that needs us to see the whole structure of our mental play and once and for all take a stand to say that I no longer can continue this. That will require immense courage and honesty. However, just to lead a guilt-free and harmonious life, we can at least stop labeling our vested maneuvers as “love” and unnecessarily complicate the matter internally.

Even if we accept at the most superficial level, it is attraction; we ease our life enormously. There is no burden of loyalty or any unnecessary strings attached. Moreover, we remain honest too in doing so. We are attracted to one thing today; we can be attracted to another thing tomorrow. Whatever we have explored will eventually bore us and we will go for something new, something that we have not unwrapped.

There is a very close relation between sex and attraction and as far as love and sex is related, we cannot say. Because, we have agreed that we do not know anything about “love”.

 

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