A “wise philosopher” once said, “We live in a generation of not being in love and not being together,” and regardless of how true this phrase is statistically, the overall sentiment and its pervasive approval is at the very minimum a collective agreement on the point that something about this generation, and the will to love in an exclusive fashion is thought to be, or may actually be, rare. Although it is possible that past generations weren’t much better, and/or that the negative orientation towards love in the millennial generation could be a direct reflection of a positive sexual politic wherein women, who were formerly trapped and chained down to unsuccessful and potentially harmful relationships with patriarchal men, now found themselves liberated from the pains of those love relationships, the question, is love still possible in this generation, still remains a question of considerable concern.
Perhaps the odds are stacked disproportionately against those who wish to love in this generation. Perhaps our generation is a generation overworked and overwhelmed to the point of seeing love relationships as fruitless pursuits; perhaps our generation is freedom-starved, and happily so, to the point of seeing love relationships as a form of enslavement; perhaps our generation is disenfranchised to the failures of our parents, and well aware of the pain and hurt that can result from an unsuccessful relationship; perhaps our generation has developed a rather revolutionary love wherein love cannot be broken down into a simple one-on-one relationship, and in the wake of an ever-connected planet, love has evolved into a communal polymorphous interaction; perhaps the information age has allowed for too much information to disconnect and disenchant the romantic sentimentality of the past generations, and our love for endless information has grown alongside our love for endless sexual-romantic relations, and because of this, perhaps, love has died. While we may never know which of these, or, if all of these are too blame, those of us who wish to believe that a monogamous love can still exist without the stains of the traditional oppressive structures must weed through the disenfranchised, the disengaged, and the unwilling to find a solid ground somewhere with someone.
This act, this desire to love among the disenchanted, is a revolutionary act for love. For in the moment you choose love, the world begins to watch and wait. All of those atheist of love begin to whisper and gamble. The question among the crowd is not so much how did you start to date, but how long will you last. And soon as the world knows that you have begun to embark on this journey with your partner, the world begins to turn against you. Your ex will send you a text message confessing an untapped will to be with you again. That person who you had been waiting to hear say that they are interested for years will start pursuing you in a relentless fashion. You’ll find out that you have to leave soon and the relationship may be heading towards long distance. Your parents will divorce and the model you had to follow for future success will begin to decimate before your eyes. And everything, everywhere will seem to be working against you.
A few months will go by and some of those early concerns will wither away. The ex and that relentless person of former infatuation will start to get the hint, you’ll work out the mechanics of the long-distance conundrum, your parents will tell you stories of how they failed and you will work to not fall into the same traps, and the world will begin to see that they placed their bets far too short. This is going to last. But this comforting sensation will begin to pry at the stability of love. And Love’s Paradox will begin to show: stability in love is unstable. Monotony will begin to desecrate the stable foundation on which your love was built upon; the will to more and the desire of spontaneity will begin to make you question why you started this in the first place. You were born to be free. You were born to explore. And somehow this love has stifled your growth. Your arguments are no longer about the world. Your arguments are about your partner. Everything you’ve built will become a question mark: Why am I doing this? Do I really love them? Do they really love me? Do I really want this right now? What could I be doing differently? When the questions emerge, the world will return. And you will begin the darkest part of your relationship. Whereas the first dilemma was solved by focusing your sights on the love of your life, this second dilemma is caused by them. And you don’t want to leave, but it’s harder to stay. You don’t want them to be with someone else, but you feel like you can’t be with them. It’s circle of love and a circle of hurt. And you begin to ask yourself: Are the tears worth it? Is the fighting worth it? Is the hurt worth it? Is the struggle worth it?
This is love. To love someone is to give someone permission to destroy you and believing that they won’t. And anyone who chooses love becomes an activist for it. For in every act of activism there will be tears, there will be fighting, there will be hurt, there will be pain, there will be a struggle against the world, with the people, persons, or in this case, the person you love the most. The task is to not fall too deep into despair, to understand that love is nothing but a power struggle where lovers must remain vulnerable and passionate to find the little ways to amend big issues. The task is to make love personal while understanding that it is universal in its concept and particular in its application. The task of love may be bigger than you, but like all activism it is possible for an “us.” Perhaps the odds are stacked against this “us.” Perhaps we do live in a generation of not being in love, but it is that very statement that makes those of us who choose love so important. We are possibility. We are opportunity. We are hope. To choose love is to choose love activism.