What is this indescribable phenomenon of feelings that it keeps you up at night? And after a few weeks, or months, that feeling slowly fades away. We see fairy tales which says: “and they lived happily ever after”, Well, in this modern time, it’s just a part of our daily lives. But what do we really know about love? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, love is a strong affection, warm attraction, and based on a sexual desire. Most people would agree with the meaning, because in this “modern society”, love is an individualized emotion.
Emotion, as defined in Webster, is a very strong feeling. What about commitment? What about the effects of culture and media in our societal perception of love? Love for the most part is assumed to be an experience that has remained same throughout time, and therefore, one has not often considered its history. According to University of Leeds sociological research, references to love that has been found in poetry is dated as far back as 1,000 BC, but does this mean that love, back then, is already outdated in our modern time? For most, love is innate in human nature, which is experienced by everyone from western and non-western cultures. And since love has remained constant, what changed was how society sees the way as it is now, and there are some factors that influenced it.
In a recent Nielsen survey, the average American over the age of 2 spends more than 34 hours a week watching live television, plus another three to six hours watching taped programs. What do these figures imply? The media is powerful and influential in its nature. According to Jake and Melissa Kircher, writers for Relevant Magazine, “Romantic movies make you think your relationship is supposed to be so amazing, passionate and exciting all the time.” And so the problem, “movies usually end just as a relationship is beginning.” And as people continue to consume media’s view of love, it’s becoming more common for relationships to be primarily based on the desire for happiness and personal fulfillment. But when these feelings fade, people tend to think that love is gone.
In a study conducted by Dr. Helen Fisher, about 50% of Americans believe that they have the right to divorce, when romantic love fades. When feeling fades, that’s where commitment should kick in. And, what does commitment mean? Webster defines it as “an agreement or pledge to do something in the future”. In the article of psychologist Dr. Aaron Ben-Zeev, he said that, “Romantic love involves commitment. And commitment is enforced by marriage, which imposes constraints against any reduction to that commitment, and in this way, the chains of marriage may enhance love.” A long lasting relationship is kept not by being compatible, but by trying to work out the incompatibility of both. Commitment strengthens the relationship; it’s more than just feelings, but it’s where you take out the trash, take care of the kids, and other kinds of “boring” stuffs.
We’re not that much different from people who lived decades and centuries ago, because we still have the same desires and feelings. However, what has really changed is the society, which now has a different set of values that changed the way people perceive love and relationships. Many years ago, a wedding ring meant it was forever, and that this ring represents the vows of marriage that would not be broken no matter what. The key to making love and relationships last and be happy doesn’t involve any magic, or a ring; it’s about both people committing themselves to the fullest. Often people are so lost in their search for the stereotypes they believe, that they forget commitment and love is truly important to make things work. This is something that will remain the same over the years. (Janet Deanie, Ezine Articles 2011)
Courtney from Study Moose
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