The pitfalls of passionate love

Mary-Stella Mangina, Sports Editor

In its purest form, boiled down to its essence as a holiday that revolves around passion, I think St. Valentine’s Day is a lovely thing. But if I’m asked upfront and unexpectedly whether or not I’m a fan of it, I’d probably be tempted to say no. It’s not my favorite holiday. Some people get lucky, and it unfolds nicely for them. Others don’t, and itdoesn’t. Those who are lucky are properly wined and dined, while those who are not whine and gripe. Neither type of person is someone whom I’d wanna spend an afternoon with.

What’s more, the celebration of romantic love in and of itself is one I’m skeptical of. Amatory feelings can be defined by a myriad of things. They are nearly as tough to identify as they are to personally have.

Most people I know have been to a wedding, but that’s not to say they’ve never helped a friend through a harsh breakup. For every friend I have with happily married parents, I have another whose parents divorced messily. Upon reflection, I’ve heard a considerably larger number of people complain about heartaches than I’ve witnessed laud their loving fixations.

We like to romanticize love that is hard to fully realize. Unrequited love sucks, but it’s almost perversely rewarding to lament an unreciprocated desire. Girls have willingly put themselves through the emotional wringer over the sheer concept of forbidden love my whole life, reading the Twilight Saga and lusting after a situation wherein despite someone’s physical attraction to them, they can’t be with them on account of some poetic force of nature. When I was a kid, I found stories about star-crossed lovers and sequestered inamoratas thrilling through and through.

I’m inclined to think it’s weird how everyone accepts the practical displeasure that’s brought about by doomed love and subconsciously chooses to idealize it. Like I said, though, true love is difficult to pinpoint. As a blanket statement, nobody really knows if they’re in love with the person they’re with. Likewise, nobody can look in on a given couple’s relationship and decipher definitively if they’re in love with one another. All anyone can do is believe in love and instinctively trust in human hot-bloodedness.

Without considering its variegated forms, love already has so many different subsets. There’s affectionate love, like the platonic love we harbor for our close friends and the pets we’ve had for years, and there’s the familiar love we experience when the family members we miss call us on the phone. Then of course, there’s romantic love, which in my opinion, is the most complicated and the hardest to explain. Confusingly, I’ve come to see it as being easiest to nail down when it’s characterized by conflict.

The few times I’ve thought, “I think I’m in love,” I’ve been involved with someone who had the capability to make me either as sad or as angry as possible.

Does it go without saying these were also the people I felt could make me as happy as I could’ve been? I’m unsure as to the significance of this reality.

Maybe romantic love is best discerned from any vehemence, regardless of its temperance. If this is the case, it’s reasonable to equivocate all instances of extreme emotional fervency with it. When we possess the depth required to thoroughly enjoy life’s high points, we leave ourselves open to its sucker punches and sour moments.

I’ve mulled over the probability that I’m wrong. It’s plausible a good, healthy relationship’s windfalls should outweigh its pitfalls, rather than match them. But there has to be something to our tendency to sentimentalize pain derived from love.