Defining True Love

1 January 2017

Through recent production of certain movies, books, and songs, people have started to adopt this certain perception that the culture has put forward and has completely trashed whatever opinion they had about true love because they assume that the world’s knowledge of love must be greater than one’s own beliefs. What many individuals tend to forget is that the movies, books, and songs that they see, hear, and read about are almost always fiction. In turn, the media makes the love they portray to be fiction as well.

In other words, people should not be striving towards this certain romance being illustrated by Hollywood actors when it is only a false, unrealistic fantasy of a certain individual’s view on love and what they wish they could experience themselves. Looking towards what culture has to say about love, individuals have slowly but surely, started to abandon their view of true love and what it truly means to love someone else. True love isn’t about the “fairytale ending,” although some may be fortunate enough to attain such romance.

The most true and honest love is about two people coming together and making a choice to respect one another and accept them as they are even with all of the baggage, flaws, and shortcomings they may bring into the relationship. Having a perfectly flawless love story is simply unattainable and must be accepted in order to love someone else to ones fullest capacity. Best expressed by Sam Keen, “You come to love not by finding the perfect person but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly. The most beautiful aspect about true love is the way two imperfect human beings can come together and choose to see past all of the mistakes one has made and the flaws one may have, yet still choose to love and accept that person unconditionally. Loving someone else is an everyday battle that requires work, sacrifice, and patience, but the end result far exceeds any trials one may face throughout a relationship. Troubles and obstacles are sure to arise in any relationship, but true love will overcome any circumstance no matter the sacrifice because that is what true love is about.

Although culture has somewhat distorted and perverted the meaning throughout time, love, in its truest form, is still a reality that remains to be one of the world’s most significant desires. One of the biggest factors that result in the distortion of true love is due to the influence of media and its effect on people’s view of what true love is supposed to look like. Even from the beginning of childhood, individuals are told about the unrealistic, fairytale stories of Prince Charming coming to save his princess.

Growing up with this point of view on love only creates foolish expectations for kids and this newfound perception hugely impacts the decision when choosing a partner later on in life. Through all of the movies, books, and music of today’s society, love is often portrayed as nothing more than a romance between two people. Many will strive throughout their entire life in search of this fairytale love story, but what most people don’t realize is that Hollywood has fabricated and distorted what true love actually looks like in an every day life.

The love stories of today are often shallow and consumed with the physical aspect, which was never meant to be a focal point of a relationship in the first place. Physical attraction is important to the beginning of a relationship; it is what sends off the initial spark of the relationship. Physical attraction to another person is what draws two people together, but how attractive someone is on the outside will never be able to compete with how attractive someone is on the inside. Although many agree with this fact, many more get so caught up in their need for affection.

Affection is needed by all, but was never meant to hold a relationship together. Hollywood has so convincingly brain washed people into thinking that pre-marital sex is normal and almost necessary in order for true love to last. Blinded by the glamorization of pre-marital sex, individuals are pressured into believing that they must conform to the world’s standards in order to attain attention from their significant other. In “To My Dear and Loving Husband,” Anne Bradstreet professes her undying love for her husband. Through this poem, she places the highest importance on man and woman becoming one.

Bradstreet states, “If ever two were one, then surely we” (1), expressing her goal of true love to be as one. She understands the value of the true love that her and her husband possess, and she believes that his great love she “can no way repay” (9). Anne Bradstreet gives the reader a realistic view on true love, in that it is beautiful and rewarding, yet only because of the struggles and obstacles. In the last line of the poem, Bradstreet highlights the gift of true love that lasts. Lasting love seems impossible to the people that Wislawa Szymborska portrays in her satiric poem, “True Love. Szymborska expresses true love as a difficult, unrealistic fantasy that people tend to get caught up in. Through her witty sarcasm, Szymborska communicates to the reader the difficulty that comes with finding true love and making it last. Szymborska says, “tact and common sense tell us to pass over” true love “in silence” (28). This shows that she understands the human heart and that the greatest gift of all, love, is sometimes illogical and heavy-handed. Though the journey may be long and treacherous, Wislawa Szymborska believes that the reward is exceedingly greater.

In the end, the greatest reward is the gift of true love through marriage. In William Shakespeare’s sonnet, “Let me not to the marriage of true minds,” he attempts to describe what love is and what love is not through the use of metaphors. Essentially, this sonnet is all about presenting the ultimate principles of romantic love: it never changes, never fades, outlasts death, and admits no flaw. In the first verse, the speaker describes love as being perfect and steadfast; it does not “admit impediments” and does not alter or change when change is found in a loved one.

People are bound to transform and adjust to different circumstances within their lifetime because it is just human nature. It may be transformations that one may not agree with or necessarily prefer, but if that individual truly loves his or her spouse, he or she will not allow their love for that person to change or alter. In the second verse, Shakespeare refers to love as a star that serves as a guide to every wandering ship and is not shaken or distorted by any storm that may come along.

There are going to be obstacles to face and arguments to work through every single day, but true love will work through those disagreements together and lift each other up with kind words of encouragement. In turn, this way of getting through things together will strengthen and build an even healthier relationship that others will want to look at and follow. In the third verse, the speaker describes how love is not vulnerable to time. Within time, beauty will fade and aging will begin to take over, but love should not just be rooted in physical attraction.

Rather than only seeing the outside appearance, true love searches much deeper within a soul in order to understand the heart of a person and what they’re all about. In the final verse, the speaker claims his previous statements about love cannot be proved by error and if they can be, then he disproves ever writing a word and that no man has ever loved. In full, Shakespeare does an excellent job at describing love and what it is and what it is not with simple metaphors that individuals can easily grasp hold of and understand how to truly love one another.

The three most powerful words in the English language, ‘I love you’, can mean one thing to one person and something completely different to another. Define love. Is it possible? 1 John 4:8 tells us, “Whoever does not know God does not know love because God is love. ” The simplest, truest form of love is Jesus Christ dying on the cross for the world. Throughout every time period, in every culture, and in every country, there is a constant search for true love. The reality is, the world just has the wrong definition.

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