what is love

fuck polyamory, tinder and all these terms dipshit writers claim that “defines” how millennials approach love.

we may deal with that grey area which encompasses love, sex, (open) relationships, (casual) dating etc. differently, but love is still love. i don’t believe polyamory - “love with multiple people” is possible, or even real.

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let’s take out the hookup culture that so-dominates the college/post-college scene and focus solely on love. what is it, and how do you know when it happened?

cut to my story - i’ve been in a relationship for nearly a year and i’ve tried to break up three times already. 

the first two times were because i wasn’t used to living a “double” life. as an only child, i grew up coddled as the princess of the family - i did what i want when i want. but in a voluntary relationship? as opposed to your parents who love you unconditionally, your new bf doesn't, and i wasn't used to this.

i felt restricted, restrained. i blamed my lack of social life on him, my low grades, my eroding sense of identity and most of all, my inability to have other potential romantic flings/relationships.

wait, i’m in a relationship and I still want other guys? yup, i not only crushed on that smart guy in business class or that high school guy i never forgot, but also daydreamed/dreamt about them, and then i even made a tinder account one afternoon and couldn’t stop swiping.

people say that mental flings are okay, right? as long as you don’t act on them.

well, i crossed the line. with an ounce of doubt though, i did what all millennials do and googled whether going on tinder during a relationship is normal and to my surprise, was met with a range of comments lambasting this behavior, including "your boyfriend deserves someone better", and you’re “clearly not mature enough for a relationship.”

well, fuck.

we were doing long distance by then - summer was the longest we’ve ever been apart at two and a half months, and I was becoming used to living without him.

this swelling distance between us grew until i spilled during one of our nightly calls. everything. tinder, crushes, shit etc. and that's when i realized, i never really wanted to do anything with any of them.

those dreams, those eager desires of getting it on with some random guy were just defense mechanisms to make myself feel better. tinder was for assuring myself that i’m still “good enough” for the dating market out there, that i'm attractive to more than one person.

it was also a byproduct of greed, of perpetual dissatisfaction. this article explains that happiness = reality - expectations. i was just never satisfied.

i wanted more. and i didn’t realize how much i overlooked our relationship till a few days ago when i met up with one of my high school friends. he’s in a relationship but like me, he also cheated.

up to that point, i still assumed that open relationships were the norm, but as i was about to sleep that same night, i received three texts from him saying, “I swear from today on, I’ll be loyal to one person.”

and that’s when it all clicked.

sleeping around, leading many people on, and having “open/casual” relationships are just excuses for cheating, and for pretending that taking relationships seriously at this age is stupid.

growing up, millennials became habituated to making price comparisons before purchasing, and thanks to social media, we experience more FOMO than ever before. 

but it shouldn’t be like this with people. if two people love each other, there should be no “what if the next guy I date is better” mentality. people should not be seen as investments. they’re live.

so, what is love? you might ask.

this is what my boyfriend taught me: love is sacrifice.

it's knowing that committing to one relationship incurs a high opportunity cost - "what about all the other potential mates I could be with?" but scrapping that mentality anyways for this one relationship. 

it is thinking in terms of two people. it is thinking about him even when you’re fuck tired or sad or stressed. it’s wanting the best for him, and not necessarily asking for anything back. it’s being grateful for having him; it’s when he’s the first person you want to break any good or bad news to, and the one you want to be with at the end of the day.

thanks.