A Millenial Deviation: Love is a Box

The most written about topic, I daresay, of all time. The most captured in photographs, film, and songs. The most fantasized and dreamed about. A visceral thing beyond emotion, albeit it is oft boxed in as such. Our inclinations are to wrap things up into pretty little categorical boxes, even for the things that simply refuse, with all their might, to fit.

It is a battle, it is fickle, it is tender and it is volatile. It is nourishing, it is warm and it is sensitive. It is deeply personal as it is overwhelmingly overt. It unites just as quickly as it destroys. How, then, do you know?!

The concept of, “you’ll just know,” chases me down without a moment’s notice. I was given the seemingly rare gift of viewing it daily, in all its grandeur and shortcomings, and in truth – could its well-oiled functioning have damaged me?

Does one have to feel a spark in order to know or can one pull a Miranda and simply write a list of pro’s and con’s? No one else can tell you or guide you through your feelings – with this, more than anything else, you have to rely entirely on yourself.

Is it in us innately or has nurture altered a whole generation? My opinion is the latter. As I sit here in this cramped, window, airplane seat, I have found myself in heavy contemplation after viewing the film Carol. I am stuck on love! In it, Therese was so utterly

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sought after by quality men– by those few that wanted nothing more than to simply breathe her air. Is it surprising then, that her choice was the difficult, tumultuous, and intense love? Why do we reject what is easy and comfortable? Further, if we do accept it, have we then “settled?”

I am not one to espouse the perpetual question of, “what if someone better is just around the corner?” I am very much willing to put in the effort into something that at present seems the most right choice for where I am at that moment (this was learned, definitely not a natural inclination). With this said, I search myself hungrily for my intuition to speak louder – I implore it to yell at me to make sense of this messy, yet also neat boxed-in emotion.

The advent of online dating and social media is both the downfall of relationships as they were and the rise of relationships as they now are. I won’t bore you with all the ways in which these two norms have numbed us, however I can’t help but to consider if I was around during a time where texting and Instagram were still just a seed of a thought for the future. What would this all look like?

Would men be so unwilling to speak up to you in public? So unwilling to meet you halfway, pay, send you a rose or two, open a door? I recognize that more than half of the issue is simply that of living in a major city, but should it be this hard? Should we simply be accepting the fact that cheating will probably happen in the course of our relationships because of the menu of women that Tinder and Bumble unabashedly provide?

As a result, expectations are severed. I can only speak for myself, however I feel that many city dwelling women would agree, that our standards have had to adjust significantly from what our mothers told us– to something much less appealing. For example, I don’t expect men to approach me in public, but I do expect them to (unfortunately) send a dirty text on the second day of even speaking. I don’t expect a man to come up with a plan for a date, pay for it, or set it in advance. I don’t expect clear communication, but I do expect feeling like I’m walking on eggshells to receive answers to queries as simple as, “so what are you up to this weekend?” I do expect to be ghosted on–well before putting out. I expect to be asked to engage in a game of sexual chess via textual message, before even meeting.

Those women that somehow have been able to either avoid the above situations or warrior-woman through them, are usually the ones to say “what’s going on inside that you’re attracting these guys,” or “well if you don’t have higher standards, then you won’t get quality,” and better yet, “you shouldn’t have any expectations!” Let us just say it as it is – my generation is abysmal in terms of dating, love and relationships. It is tragic.

In the event someone comes along that knows what I’m thinking, understands my eye cues, has manners, loves their mother, loves my mother, treats me as the Queen I am, and wants to express to the world that I am his and he is mine – but I receive no direct message from my intuition dictating to me that this is or isn’t the one. Do I presume that no news is good news? Do I get anxiety because they’re in love with me and I’m unsure if I am; which must mean that I’m not? Do I move on from this comfort and ease because someone better and more intense must be coming along?

How do you weigh the worth of commitment with one person when love varies so heavily with each person that you care for? Which love burdens you more securely? Which love hurts so good? What is love, really, if not an amalgam of dichotomy, confusion, and exploration?

I guess I have a ways to go yet.



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