Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Love, factually

A friend and I were debating whether the phrase “Since the seconds I laid eyes on you I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with you” is a good one to use when you propose. My friend’s an idiot, because of course it isn’t. It doesn’t even make sense. Let’s accept the premise. Let’s say the moment you saw Girl A you knew you wanted to spend the rest of your life with her. This means the only reason you didn’t ask her to marry you AT THAT MOMENT was because you were afraid she’d say no. Was that the real reason though? Of course not. It was because you barely knew her. Who marries someone they barely know? People who use mail-order brides, that’s who. And Indian people. Look at how life’s turned out for them. They’ve got hundreds of gods. They’re not efficient like we Western religions are.

It’s like “love at first sight.” Obviously there’s no such thing. I believe in "infatuation at first sight, which turns into love." But real, ACTUAL love? I do not think so. You obviously can’t actually love someone the first time you see them. If you met your “true love” on the street and she informed you, “Nice to meet you, but tomorrow I’m moving to Los Angeles!” would you get on a plane and move there, too? Of course you wouldn’t. You’d be crazy if you did. Because you don’t love her. You just met the girl. If you’re really head-over-heels you might send her a nicely-worded email. Isn’t that sweet? Get a little long-distance thing going.

Of course, that’s another myth. The long-distance relationship. I salute people in long-distance relationships. I salute their efforts to stay true to each other over long distances and wide spaces. It’s to your credit. It’s a feather in your cap. But nobody in a long-distance relationship really LOVES their S.O. You could wake up every morning next to the person who completes you…but instead you move to Omaha because you got a better job there? GOB Bluth says: come on! If you truly loved them, you’d rearrange your life to be with them. You’d put your money where your sweet nothings whispered in each other’s ears were.* You’d make a sacrifice. That’s what love is. St. Therese de Lisieux says: “True love grows by sacrifice”…although I imagine she said it in French.

* Which I guess means you’d put your money in your ear.


Blogger swamisays said...

This is going to come off as mean so I apologize for that. You have never written a more erroneous blog than this. Clearly you have never been in a meaningful relationship otherwise you would know this. You basically have no idea what 'love' is or what being in a relationship entails let alone being in a long distance one. After reading your blog I have to ask, have you ever been in a relationship? Have you ever been in love? Has anyone ever loved you back the same way you love them. I'd venture to say no to most of these judging by this blog.

If it was as easy as saying, "I'll move to wherever you are," then there would be no such thing as a LDR. For people our age it is impossible to predict the next years of ours lives. Are you telling me that if you had a girlfriend you loved but were offered a job in a law firm in your dream location, but your gf still had to stay where she was for another couple years, you wouldn't take the job? Nay, good sir. To be in a LDR you need a stronger bond than most because it is a commitment that even though you can't live in the same place now you will hold on and be faithful because one day you will be in the same place. And that is what you live for, that time when you finally live together.

When writing scripts and such they teach you to stick to what you know otherwise you sound like an idiot, but I suppose that applies to writing about anything that other people might read as well. Cheers.

4:49 PM  
Blogger swamisays said...

I will also hold off on your anti-hindu comic b/c I understand sarcasm. However, next time find a picture of Homer wearing the Ganesh head making fun of Apu instead of that lame comic.

4:51 PM  
Blogger Law Revue said...

Whoa, chillax. "Are you telling me that if you had a girlfriend you loved but were offered a job in a law firm in your dream location, but your gf still had to stay where she was for another couple years, you wouldn't take the job?" That's actually exactly what I'm saying. I actually had this exact conundrum as a senior in college. I had gotten into a decent law school that was in the same city as where my girlfriend had gotten her dream job and a far better law school that was 1200 miles away. I had a decision to make, and people who know me know in the end I chose the better law school. And the reason wasn’t some – forgive me, I’m going to call it some fantasy, but you can call it what you want – some fantasy that after three years at a better law school I’d move back with her and our reunion would be glorious and our lives would be better for it. It was a realization that I wasn’t really willing to sacrifice a better professional future FOR MYSELF to be with her.

In short, I recognized that I didn’t really, actually love her. I was in what I refer to as a “relationship of convenience”…or, since there’s nothing particularly convenient about a long-distance relationship, a “relationship of momentum”: a relationship where you really like the person, the sex is great, etc…but there’s nothing more to it. It’s a relationship that never feels like it’s going anywhere. I saw myself being with her tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day…but I didn’t particularly see myself being with her when I was 60. It was a truly hard decision to make, made all the more difficult by the fact that I ended up hating law school so much, but it’s nice to see (judging by your comments in your first paragraph) that you respect that.

Irrespective of your opinion on the validity of the long-distance relationship, surely you agree with St. Therese that true love requires sacrifice. Real, ACTUAL sacrifice. Yet your comment seems to propose that there are some things you aren’t willing to sacrifice for love, ie, a “dream job.” It’s a personal choice, and that’s fine, but forgive if I express skepticism based on my personal experiences.

Also, I don’t mean to be rude, but you actually don’t seem to understand sarcasm in this instance. That comic is actually anti-Christian, not anti-Hindu. It’s presenting the proposition that one should follow Christianity not because one believes that the Word of God is Truth, but rather because it’s easier to understand than Hinduism…which is, really, a pretty stupid basis to choose one religion over another.

Thanks to this comment, I don’t have to write a post today!

5:18 PM  
Anonymous Kelsey said...

I have to agree with my best friend here. As someone who has been in a loving relationship with the same man for 7 years, 3 of which have been long-distance, I can tell you that is entirely possible to be in love with someone who lives far away. It is certainly not easy and there have been many times when I wanted to throw in the towel on my Master's degree and move to where he is. He has wanted to do the same. However, we both had professional dreams we needed to accomplish which meant living apart for a while. I do not love him any less for not choosing to move where I am. In fact, I love him more. He has made me extremely proud that he finished his degree, accepted a wonderful position, and still manages to deal with me as his girlfriend. Love is not about sacrifice, is about compromise.
"Love is not enough. It must be the foundation, the cornerstone - but not the complete structure. It is much too pliable, too yielding". -Bette Davis

5:24 PM  
Blogger swamisays said...

Comprimise. Exactly. Nate, while you admitted you weren't in love with this girl, it still leaves me wondering whether or not you have been in love ever. And if you have, think about what you would have done for this girl. Whatever happened to that chick you used to blog about, i believe you called her 'dream girl?' Would you have done anything for her, waited a couple years until you could be together? You really can't speculate on a specific situation unless you have been there.

Apparently I do not understand sarcasm, duely noted (he said sarcastically...) Zing.

5:52 PM  
Blogger Law Revue said...

Ah, Dream Girl, it seems I hardly knew thee. Obviously my feelings towards Dream Girl are more complicated, because ultimately we weren’t (read: I wasn’t) able to establish a significant emotional/romantic relationship. As I think about it there are surprisingly few things I wouldn’t have been willing to do for her, which actually has me concerned, because given the depth (or lack thereof) of our relationship it feels more creepy than loving. I certainly would have given up my professional future to be with her.

At any rate I can’t say I truly loved Dream Girl because we didn’t establish that meaningful relationship; I’m not sure I can even say I was “in love” with her because, as I said a few posts ago, I’m not really sure what that distinction is anymore. But I feel comfortable saying that I WOULD have loved her more than I will probably love anyone. That’s a fair, accurate statement. This is actually a serious problem for me right now because I’m currently in the process of trying to move on and start dating again, and I’m afraid that I’ll never be able to say to any other girl that (if we accept the cliché) I love her with all my heart. Even if I whittle it down to the tiniest fraction, there will probably always be a portion of my heart that yearns for Dream Girl. I was reading this dating column where a guy wrote in saying he had been married for 20 years and had two kids but still spent a lot of time thinking about his high school sweetheart, which sucked for him, and I don’t want to be like that guy.

As for my college girlfriend…when I say I didn’t really love her I misspoke slightly. I cared about her, I had positive emotional feelings for her. But they didn’t add up to my conception of true love. I would say I “loved” her as much as, say, 85% of people who claim to be in “love” do. That’s my ultimately point, really, which is that such love isn’t “true love” and lots of people are living in delusion. Certainly you would agree that there is a certain percentage of people (I can say you’re one or not, you can say I’m one or not) who claim to be in love but clearly aren’t. I wrote on my old blog about guys who say “I love her, but I’m not willing to give up my youth for her”…which I hear with surprising frequency. And maybe these guys’ “youth” is really just THAT important to them. Maybe it’s important to them while they’re in their 20s and have still got lots of lead in their pencils to get shit-faced and pork lots of random babes. But as a mere observer I find myself very suspect of that. You love her but aren’t willing to sacrifice your youth for her? I can’t believe Shakespeare never wrote a play about that.

And I understand why you’re saying about career. You have the rest of your life to spend with whomever this girl you’re in an LDR with is, but right now we’re all at a point where we’re trying to jump-start out careers, and after a few years we’ll be able to machinate circumstances that allow the true lovers to return to each other. But when I had to make that decision, I felt that my choice of career over girl, even if only for a short time, reflected in the end that I didn’t really, actually love her.

This post has gotten very spicy.

7:02 PM  
Blogger Law Revue said...

I'm sorry, Kelsey, I just saw your comment. You're gonna have to explain your Bette Davis quote to me. I'm not familiar with it, so maybe it would make more sense if I knew the whole bit, but it seems like it contradicts itself. Love is the foundation, but also yielding? Isn't the point of a foundation that it's solid? If a foundation is yielding, doesn't the house fall into the ground?

8:25 PM  
Blogger swamisays said...

A home doesn't have to be on a foundation, what about mobile homes, RVs and tents? I think the point is that 'love' isn't the only thing to take into consideration. Take me for example. There are really only 2 cities in the country for me to try and break into the film industry and get connections and actually do it as my living. It was hard in NY so I moved to LA. Now, if I could do this career in any other city even on a lesser scale, I would. However, at this point in my life, I can't. I have to be out here and be the low man on the totem pole and pay my dues. I need to get the experience out here so I can take my expertise to any city I want to in order to be with a far away LDR. My point is that love isn't the only thing in life you need. Love doesn't pay the bills (except for the aforementioned mail-order brides and prostitutes though they make 'love' they don't posess it.) But I digress...Love is only one aspect of a LDR. There needs to be something keeping you apart that also makes you happy. Me chasing a dream of being a director makes me happy. Leaving behind loved ones does not. Living in LA has been shitty so far as everyone I love is 2500 miles away at the least, but as Kelsey reminded me, I moved out here for a reason.

I digressed to much and lost my train of thought but I think the point I was trying to make was that there is a reason people are in LDRs and that just because you can't be in the same city as someone doesn't mean you don't love them. And they all lived happily ever after.... or did they...

9:08 PM  
Anonymous Kelsey said...

I believe her point is that love can be yielding and it is plaible, it is subject to giving in with certain forces. This is why you must have more than love. Healthy LDRs (or any loving relationship for that matter) take work, determination and flexibilty in comibination with love. Intense love cannot be the only the only component. Love can be the foundation of the relationship, but it is not the only thing that keeps the relationship together. My LDR has worked because we are partners, friends, confidants, AND in love. That is not to say I don't first cherish how much I love him. Love is ultimately the reason I chose to be with him, but it has been more than love that has kept us going. Sorry if it sounds depressing and maybe Shakespeare didn't want to talk about it, but love is not the sole ingredient.

10:29 PM  

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