The Wounds of Hyper-Romanticism
Who has never wanted to feel like a princess? Who has not felt like he was bleeding to death when love abandoned him? Who has not needed their Prince Charming to show up, but he never did?
Human beings possess a double-edged sword called imagination. Thanks to our imagination, we have been able to make discoveries, create marvelous stories, songs, etc…
But we often fall into the mistake of believing certain imaginary ideas, as if they were totally true and real, when this was never the case and never will be.
Our imagination is wonderful for fairy tales, but obviously real life is quite far from resembling a fairy tale.
Love and imagination
Nowadays, we have a problem with the subject of love. We have convinced ourselves that finding love is one of the most important goals in our lives because without this love, we will never be able to be happy people.
We have associated happiness with romantic love, with “true” love, with that feeling of “without you, I am nothing.”
Society and culture tell us that without our soul mate, we will be incomplete people, unlucky people condemned to unhappiness and solitude. And the problem is that we have bought these ideas and this is why we are suffering so much for love.
So great is our fear of being alone, of not having someone at our sides who loves us unconditionally, that we fall into the trap of certain irrational and harmful behaviors that will hurt us and our partners alike.
In the name of love, we are capable of abandoning ourselves, of treating ourselves with no respect, of committing acts that attack our own dignity, and of losing our individual freedom, our pleasures, our dreams…
Where do these hyper-romantic ideas come from?
In films and books, people in love even sacrifice their own lives for love, as if this were the only source of gratification in existence.
Since childhood, we have seen the princesses anxiously awaiting the arrival of their Prince Charming so that he could save them from such an unhappy life.
If that prince never arrived, they could not enjoy life under any circumstance. This has filled us with the harmful idea of dependence on others.
We can find another very clear example in songs. Almost every song talks about romantic love and says something like this: “Bring me back to life,” “Without you, I will die,” “If you leave, I will not be able to breathe,” etc…
I do not deny that they are precious songs that we can enjoy, but I insist that our imagination has to have a limit.
“I love you because I want to love you, because I have chosen you and I like being by your side; not because you are necessary for my happiness. I do not need you, I prefer you…”
We are neither princes nor princesses and we are not in a fairy tale. This is real life and if we want to be happy, we have to cling to what there is around us.
Love is neither more nor less than a combination of chemical reactions that one day, whether we like it or not, stops being produced. And this is neither good nor bad; it is normal.
Feelings do not last forever; they are not eternal like songs tell us. The figure of love forever, unbreakable and perfect does not exist and if we become obsessed by the idea we will suffer incredibly on the day that some crack shows up in our relationship.
These ideas create many possibilities to fall into emotional dependence, irrational jealousy, and depression.
Our mind is telling us that we need someone to be happy. We do not know how to separate the desire from the need and as a result of this, two very bad things take place:
- We will suffer great anxiety looking and looking for that special someone who has to “pull us from the depths,” which will lead us to many letdowns and failures, and feeling as if we are unlucky.
- If we have already found that special someone, we will always be very nervous about the possibility of losing them, which will make it more difficult for us to enjoy that relationship.
So how should we act?
We must become aware that nobody needs anybody else to be happy. Mature, lasting, and healthy relationships are not made of people who tell each other that either they are together forever or they are a failure.
They like each other, they want each other, they love each other, but they do not need each other at all. If things do not go well tomorrow, life will offer them thousands of other opportunities.
This is true love and this is what we should be telling ourselves: “I love you but I do not need you. I love you freely, because I like to be with you, because we have a good time together. Not because you have to complete me, for I am already a whole person, with my flaws and my virtues.
I do not care if you are present or absent. I do not need you, I just love you.
I love you, but I am the most important person for me. I will give you many things, but I will take care not to lose myself in the process. If we are happy walking side by side, helping and supporting one another, great, and if not, that is okay, too.
I want to kiss you each time we wake up and go to bed, I want to hug you intensely, I want to build a future by your side, I want to hear your lips say “I love you,” I want us to travel together and enjoy life…
I just want it… but I do not need it at all.