Our idea of love

Locks of Love, Singapore
Locks of Love, Singapore

You might find this weird, a 60-something asking a 20-something for love advice, she said. Age is just a number, I quipped.

I appreciate your views cos you are not one to judge, she added. I do not have the right to judge, I answered back.

A couple of hours passed and a number of love-related questions were raised. But we found ourselves on a stand still, we could not answer our questions. I told her, we are approaching this as one of our researches, and to be honest, it kinda sucks.

Then it hit me: I think we have been asking the wrong questions all along. We always ask what’s in it for me? What if it doesn’t work? What will other people say?

Love has always been a structured concept, or something romanticised by the hegemony. We have a preconceived notion of what love should and shouldn’t be. But come to think of it, love should be a unique experience for everyone.

One could not really pass moral or social judgment on one’s story, no matter how unconventional it may be from your perspective. That is the beauty (or not) of love. Sure, we may step on other people’s toes once in a while, or someone will step on ours. Whether we mean it or not, whose to say. But our idea of love is a social construct, and I have Slavoj Zizek in my head saying ‘love is an extremely violent act’ and ‘love is evil.’

They say, love is a gamble, but now I have come to realise it shouldn’t be. When you gamble, there are stakes, and you are set out to win. So one wins, and one loses. Love shouldn’t be like that.

Love should unfortunately consume you, she said. If it doesn’t then maybe that is not love at all, I added.

So now I am left to ask myself if I have been approaching love from the social-construct point of view all this time. Then there’s that question, have I even been in love before? Yeah, we’re back to the difficult question. Let me get back to you on that, hopefully within this lifetime.


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