Comparing ‘ideal love’ to personal definitions

By Kylie Corral, buzz Editor

Love is in the air. Feb. 14 approaches at a speed that leaves most scrambling to plan a special occasion for those they love or try to find a date for Valentine’s Day.

Love is most definitely everywhere, even in the frigid cold, but it can also be found on the screens of popular movies, social media and in popular and trendy novels. Our constant contact with the idea of love has affected us in many ways, one of which is by developing the idea of an “ideal love.”

Maya Raviv, junior in LAS, said that although it’s hard to compare love in the 21st century to other centuries we have not lived, expectations have certainly changed.

“It seems, to me like there is a higher emphasis on aesthetics nowadays,” Raviv said. “I think in the sense that you’d be seeing social media, reality TV shows and a lot of shows that romanticize love, but those love stories that you see are highly curated, and they have a certain aesthetic to them. You want to replicate that love story.”

Raviv said one example of this is how people go on Tinder and swipe left or right on potential matches based on the person’s bio, using information such as their favorite song to make the decision.

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    “You’d be going out on dating apps or going out into the world and looking for people that have a certain aesthetic to them instead of just looking to make connections,” Raviv said.

    Kelly White, junior in LAS, agreed, saying that fast-paced social media have played a part in hurting all kinds of relationships.

    “Since we’re all very connected now, with having social media and phones and being able to contact people basically whenever, I feel like in some ways, that can create the sense that you’re always connected, so you should always be together,” White said. “In a sense, you’re always talking, and I think in some instances, that can create codependency issues. I think that could definitely create some strain in romantic relationships and even platonic relationships too.”

    White said that in movies and novels, even the idea of a soulmate or a love that lasts forever has some impact on how we view relationships in real life.

    “You see a lot of this like, really ideal relationship where someone falls in love and you kind of expect them to get their happily ever after at the end, and you’re like, ‘Oh, they’re gonna stay together forever,’” White said. I think that can also be kind of negative in some instances, because sometimes, you could stay in a relationship that isn’t necessarily healthy.”

    Raviv added that some representations of what love should look like in the media can also be positive.

    “And then there’s also more representation of homosexual relationships and queer relationships which is very, very important for normalization for people,” Raviv said. “But at the end of the day, what I feel like I’m seeing, at least in the past few years compared to, like, my parents’ stories, is that it’s a lot harder to make romantic connections. Nowadays, people won’t be approaching you and asking you for coffee or to go out … (That) happens very rarely, (whereas) I think in the past, it used to happen a lot more.”

    However, White said that the most emphasis seems to be on the “perfect” relationship.

    “In general, I feel like (entertainment) just perpetuates the idea that, you know, relationships have to be perfect … (and there) usually isn’t a lot of arguments shown or conflict in a relationship after they get together,” White said. “That could also be perpetuating the idea that a relationship is always going to be perfect, too.”

    For White, she said that love is something based in understanding and trust.

    “I feel like love is finding a mutual understanding and trust with someone else,” White said. “Also finding someone who is willing to communicate with you and willing to meet your needs, or just compromise with you in general over any issues that you have.”

    For Raviv, she said love is something that is mutual between two people.

    “I feel like love would be, well, if we’re talking about romantic love that’s very different than other forms of love, but I see love as something that is mutual,” Raviv said. “To love someone means that you are their friend — you’re willing to listen and be there for them, lowering your guard, wanting to spend every minute with that person … (You love them) for who they are, not for some sort of image of who you think they might be.”


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