A wise man named Tanmay Bhat once said Pyaar Ek Dhoka Hai, which translates to Love Is A Hoax.
Love, as a notion, can be both enchanting and remarkably bizarre. While there’s a small majority of people who don’t care for this thought, most of us understand what love is, and a majority even add it to their checklist.
But do we know what love truly is? Is this a concept we have made up in our minds to have a grip or control over? Most of us believe that love is an emotion, feeling, or both. Yet, love is so much more than that.
However, love often blooms into something more and eventually blossoms into a relationship. And we will be discussing just that – one that includes two partners, of whatever gender they identify with, loving and co-existing with each other. But now, it is so much more than being in a relationship. It’s more about being in touch with how your mental state is.
Despite this, it’s a whole other thing on social media.
Relationships Ideal relationships or picture-perfect relationships have always been the rage! Influencers, Celebrities, and so much more flaunt their connection, nay, flawless relationship.
What Is Love?
Baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me, no more!
Love can be so many things – an emotion, a feeling, both, or more. It also means several things for many, from an intense feeling of deep affection to feel intense desire or sexual love for someone. Seeing how it has such a wide range, it would be crazy to have one particular expectation from it, right?
While it isn’t odd for most of us to have incredibly wild imaginations, and even though they don’t need help getting into La La Land, there’s always books and movies for that teensy little nudge. And yes, romance is a remarkably popular genre when it comes to literature. But they are also the very reason people have these highly unnecessary expectations of love, romance, and more.
If you know me, you know that I’m a hopeless romantic, so it’s no surprise that I love fiction and movies about love. And I remember how crazy I was about love – not about finding it, but the essence of it, the opportunity to obtain and possess something that I had only seen being a possibility in movies.
But it didn’t hit me until I watched a stream by one of my favourite internet personalities – Tanmay Bhat. What came across as an exasperated attempt of explaining a fact using satire, actually did its job by resonating with me. He stated something along the lines of how everything we know about love is solely due to the perception of it in movies and TV shows.
Is he wrong? Of course not. All of us have come across someone who grew up with the notion of finding true love. And while I may roll my eyes at that thought, despite craving love and affection myself, I’m surrounded by this perception of finding the one.
Love is quite prevalent in music, TV shows, movies, social media, and more. It finds a way of crawling into our cold, empty hearts and tries to illuminate it. But this makes me despise love. Because even though love is perfect, love is effortless, love drives you crazy, but it also grounds you, to me, it is anything but that. And that’s just it, even though we’re allowed to believe in whatever we want, this popular notion of love being perfect is just far stronger.
Liking someone enough to stan [an overzealous or obsessive fan of a particular celebrity] them isn’t weird, or unusual. It’s just eerie seeing how people idolize certain characters and their relationships from said TV shows and movies. I’ve been a part of this because I would look forward to having a relationship similar to Noah and Allie from The Notebook. But when I rewatched the movie as an adult, I realised just how toxic their whole relationship was. So I guess, in a way, I did get into relationships similar to theirs, toxic and messy.
It’s because of instances like this, I try to romanticize the worst of situations, and it’s not just me. Not only have we normalized this behaviour, but we have encouraged it to the point where we turn a blind eye towards it. But this also results in a majority of women having higher expectations from potential suitors or romantic relationships in general.
Why is that bad?
When The Spell Is Broken
Technology has been a blessing and a curse for all of us. We’ve gone from stone tools to having a remarkably powerful device that lets us do so much more than just making and receiving calls.
While I’d love to continue with this very technical review of a cellphone, that’s not what I was hinting towards. What I do want to talk about is this incredible phenomenon in our lives – Social Media. With the number of apps we see on there, it’s no surprise socialising feels like a breeze.
While movies and TV shows are incredibly notorious for feeding us romance, social media has given us a few altered versions of celebrities, online personalities and more. Even though I have nothing against that, it has only gone and poisoned my mind, making me believe that this perfection is all I want, and anything other than that is not worth my time.
Due to this, most believe that big gestures, no fights, extravagant dates and more is a reality they want.
Social media gives us false hope by dangling the bait of obtaining the forbidden fruit. In We Found Love In A Hopeless Place – I’ve talked about how most apps help with reconnecting with friends or acquaintances, but dating apps like Tinder, Hinge, OkCupid and more make it easier to find love.
While it is naive to assume that you can fall in love over the internet, it has helped create a secure environment for many to do whatever they please. Not only has this become a regular thing, but despite being wrong, they never get reprimanded.
You’re probably tired of reading about mental health so, but I’ve always believed that it is necessary to keep the conversation going. Especially when it can and has died down in the past.
No one truly understands what the term mental health means. People often use it to bad-mouth mental health in general, and this often leads to shame, confusion, trauma, and more. But mental health is the mental and psychological wellbeing of one’s mind. This means that mental health can be good or bad, and what most usually mean when they say mental health is mental illness.
What’s the difference?
While mental health refers to your mental wellness, mental illness is a when someone you’re diagnosed with a mental disorder.
However, while it is easy to bash on the possibility of having a mental disorder, or pretending it doesn’t exist – we’re only making it harder for the individuals who deal with it. Repeatedly saying how it is a sham or isn’t real, could trigger someone, hindering any development they’ve probably made.
Bad mental health can affect how you conduct yourself in your day-to-day life. It can vary from panic attacks, the urge to stay in bed, to the infinite loop of overthinking and more. However, many recognise these signs as an individual attempting to be unmanageable.
While many look at mental illnesses collectively, it can be segregated by how each of the contrasting effects it has on various individuals. And due to the lack of information and not being able to openly discuss it, any conversation regarding mental health feels misleading and harmful. And this makes seeking help come off as shameful and often uncomfortable for everyone involved, including the individual.
There isn’t just one mental illness, there are many, some of which we don’t know enough about. And with each of these, we get to distinguish and determine between each of them.
And while love does have people acting differently, is it mental illness?
We’ve all used lovesick as a term to describe someone we’ve known at some point. And in most contexts, we use it to point out how someone is crazy in love, but what does being lovesick mean?
When an affliction doesn’t return our emotions or produces negative feelings during the absence of a loved one is what we call lovesickness. Despite not being a well-known term in the medical field, it goes back to the medieval ages. A large majority don’t usually recognize it as a mental health issue, which leads to having symptoms almost always being misdiagnosed.
Oddly enough, the symptoms are very similar to Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) or ingesting illicit drugs like cocaine. But Frank Tallis, a researcher in the topic of love and lovesickness, came up with a list of common symptoms – depression, insomnia, loss of appetite or overeating, OCD, stress, nausea, and more.
Despite this, most psychologists wouldn’t refer to or consider diagnosing someone with lovesickness due to it not being considered an illness. And this can be incredibly dangerous seeing how lovesickness can truly wreck someone’s psyche, and push them to make drastic choices – some more life-threatening than others.
Don’t Bring Me Down
We love watching or reading about a love-challenged protagonist find love or a heartbroken individual working their way towards finally being happy with themselves. But that’s not how things usually work IRL. I’d love to look at the work through my rose-tinted glasses, but I ended up misplacing those years ago!
While it’s incredibly easy to brush this off as a joke, or shame someone for being oversensitive, heartbreaks aren’t fun, regardless of how emotional someone is. Everyone loves drama, and social media makes sure everyone gets their fix. So instead of adding fuel to the fire, we can leave it be and mind our own business.
We need to normalise the period between heartbreak and feeling better, mental illnesses, being empathetic in situations like these and concentrating on actually being better rather than projecting our insecurities and unhappiness on them.
Everyone has a different perception and understanding of love. And while this is incredibly naive of me to say, I’d like to believe that love can be pure, respectful, intense, and so much more.
If you feel that your love is in vain, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. If and when it starts affecting your mental health and self-esteem terribly, the best thing you can do for yourself is walk away. A loveless relationship does nothing for you, and if it is unrequited, then you’re only hurting yourself in the process.
So try and get some help, because that is step one towards healing and building yourself back up!
I hope you enjoyed this post! And if you’re looking for more of my work, you can find them here.