Friday, October 9, 2015

I Thought Love Didn't Cost a Thing?

“Some things in life are priceless, love isn't one of them.”

We all want love. We can pretend it doesn’t matter but we’d all be lying to ourselves. Waking up and falling in love with someone more and more everyday can be a beautiful thing. Something everyone deserves to experience in their lifetime. But is there a cost? Yes, people fall in love in mysterious ways but are our minds prematurely writing checks our hearts won’t be able to cash later? They say nothing in life is free so why would love be an exception? These things considered, how far should you go to find and experience love? How much of yourself should you be willing to sacrifice to discover your better half? Is there such a thing as giving up too much for companionship?  These are all questions that, in my opinion,  have no right or wrong answer. However when considering them, there are a few things you do need to keep in mind that will ultimately allow you to determine just how much is too much.

Sacrifice is universal. Life is all about give and take. When something isn’t naturally easy to give up, it’s a sacrifice; it’s when you give up something that is more meaningful or important to you than something else. So contrary to popular belief, sacrifices are not necessarily selfless acts. You are (or should be) getting something in return that you will ultimately value more than whatever it is that you sacrificed for it. For many, this is where love enters. Ideally we all would like to find an interaction with another individual that requires us to sacrifice the least. When searching for our soulmate we all start off with a typical laundry list of what makes up our ideal partner: He has to be attractive, with a great personality, has to be open to having an open relationship, has to be a great listener, has to older, has to be younger, has to have a great career, has to want children, has to be drug and disease free, has to be in shape, has to be “masculine”, has to be financially stable, has to be into sports, has to be a certain race, has to be “openly” gay.  Our perfect match is everything is minds that we aren’t. They if in existence in our minds can complete us. Once the search begins we find it difficult to find someone who even satisfies half of the requirements on our obnoxious and superficial list. This leaves us with questions of which things we can do without and which things we wouldn’t mind settling for or sacrificing in a sense. Some of the things we list initially on our laundry are things that show who we are as individuals so settling for someone who doesn’t necessarily satisfy every trait on our list means we are subconsciously beginning to change who we are already without even realizing it. But isn’t apart of truly being in love with someone partially changing who you are to better compliment the needs of your partner? Learning how to compromise in some retrospect?

One of the most complex, and interesting sacrifices some people make to experience companionship and love is giving up physical monogamy. So many people enter open relationships where being sexually monogamous with one person is out of the question. Now some people naturally want to be in open relationships, however the other half sacrifice physical monogamy just for the sake of having somebody to say that they’re in love. They ideally would want the love of their life to be content with them and only them sexually, but again because of love they would rather sacrifice being true to their partner for the sake of maintaining the companionship. They make themselves okay with a certain type of relationship to satisfy the needs of their lover. Whether or not this type of sacrifice in the long run is beneficial, it’s circumstantial at best. For some people, the love they experience ends up being worth the cost and for others it ends up being a complete and utter rip-off and waste of time. Would you sacrifice physical monogamy for the greater good if it means you meet the love of your life? Or would you expect the love of your life to be physically and emotionally content with being with you and only you?

Long distance relationships are another sacrifice people make for the sake of possibly experiencing love and companionship. People enter into these type of relationships for many different reasons. Some people meet others they really like and connect with who happen to live far away, and some just prefer to look for interactions with people who aren’t geographically located in close proximity to them. Long distance relationships aren’t easy though and having the patience to see them out is a sacrifice within itself. Things can get complicated in these types of interactions and your emotions can have you on an emotional rollercoaster feeling sad and lonely at times. However the extra distance some say also make the littlest things the most significant and in the long run help secure relationship stability. Like being able to hold your partner’s hand, eating together at the same table, feeling each other’s touch, or taking a walk together. These are all small things that are made more meaningful when someone is involved in a long distance relationship. Sexual tension is undoubtedly one of the most important things between couples and one of the most difficult things to sacrifice in a long distance relationship. Sexual desire is like a glue that keeps both parties in a relationship from drifting to far apart from each other. Not only is sex a biological need, it is an emotional one as well. Not being able to have sex with the person in your life you care most about can be frustrating. These frustrations can cause people in long distance relationships to put themselves into “dangerous situations” meaning situations that could influence the state of an individual’s relationship. These situations are distractors and can sometimes involve drugs, alcohol, and can also lead to infidelity. Giving up sex for most people is a sacrifice and for people in long distance relationships it’s a sacrifice they are willing to make to ensure the possibility of experiencing love.

Another thing that is sacrificed sometimes for companionship is our natural sense of judgment. The way we make decisions is clouded especially when we think the feelings we currently may be feeling for someone are “real”. We sacrifice our common sense in a way only choosing to believe what we want to as opposed to the reality of the situation. This may alter the perfect picture of love we have already painted in our subconscious. I believe we should all be leery of not sacrificing our sanity for the Ed Sheeran “Thinking Out Loud” fantasy of being in “love”. Your true soulmate shouldn’t make you insane and also shouldn’t have you constantly questioning your judgment when it comes to if they are the one or not. The one thing that’s worse than losing your sense of judgment because of being in love is being involved with someone who takes advantage of you because of the mindset your “feelings” currently have you in. These individuals in these situations are like kids in a candy store and will masquerade their affection as “love” only because they know your mind is in a weakened state because of how they know you feel about them. They make it their mission to warp your mind so that they can in a way, always keep some type of control over your emotions and the decisions you make because of them. This will allow them to maintain control over you even in the event that your feelings for them one day begin to fade and you begin to regain your sense of judgment of who they truly are as an individual. It’s sad and very much so counter-productive when people are done wrong and get their feelings hurt all just to return to the same person that hurt them in the first place. By returning you’re only telling yourself and that person that you can’t do any better, and that you’ll accept them possibly doing the same thing to you again in the future. You are in the end sacrificing your worth just to continue dealing with someone who probably doesn’t even truly love you. Nobody can truly love you if you don’t already love yourself.

All in all sacrifices are a part of life. There the things we give up because nobody was created to have it all. When it comes to what you give up to find that special someone I believe a balance is the solution to maintaining an even scale between how much of yourself you keep and how much of yourself you give up for ultimately someone else. You should get to know someone extensively before you determine if that individual’s companionship is worth whatever sacrifice being with them requires. Making sacrifices for love is a risky business that sometimes won’t yield any reward but you can be sure to always walk away with some sort of experience or insight on a person and or situation. This insight will be a tool you can utilize in the future to guarantee that you never sacrifice the same part of yourself for an unworthy suitor ever again.

M3 Guest Correspondent