Beyond Love’s Sentimentality

I hope that someday, February won’t be romanticized as the time of the year where love for somebody, if not for others, merits unnecessary attention. I’m disturbed by the sad reality that romantic dates, with matching flowers, chocolates, and other products that connote sentimentality and affection have strong sales in the market. Popular media should merit criticism for using love as its primary apparatus to obtain market for music downloads, and viewership for love-themed programs.

Through the presentation of love in popular media, it is no wonder that most of us have been conditioned to look for love in a person through his or her physical beauty, charm, wealth, or for whatever reason. Even the personal romantic , marital and extra-marital events of personalities are made objects of spectacle through the never-ending gaze of the public. The presentation of love and its consumption appears to devalue love from its beauty that can be expressed through practice.

I am not in the position either to give a comment on the nature of loving or how to know if one is in love or mere infatuation. If authentic love were possible, I am not in the position to elaborate on how should this be practiced by the lover. But I recognize that it is natural for people to try to build communities and look for companionship in order to survive the harsh realities brought by mere existence. Call it love or call it friendship but nevertheless it attempts to spare one from the reality that sometimes, life sucks. The creation of communities of trust and security can help ensure the protection of an individual from the aggression of others and other forms of human conflict. These communities of trust need to have its foundations rest on other similarities in order to make it cohesive and obtain commonly defined goals.

If love is one response for the natural need of an individual not to feel alone in facing contingencies, then let it be. If friendship offers perks which is not possible in a romantic relationship then I don't see any problem in relation to giving one the necessary support to make existence bearable. Before we get consummated by our passions, emotions and instincts, it is important to feel belongingness with the other, if not others. The conditions that allow us to interpret the phenomenon of loving or friendship provide a lens which may influence our definition of true love, among other labels that influence the kind of relationships we
create with others. The manner in which we build communities and how we should establish interpersonal relationships with others should be understood in relation to the bigger social reality that caters to its possibility. How we immerse ourselves to our relationships is just one of the many ways in which our potentials are realized.

The feeling of security that one can have someone to run to when things turn bad, and the construction of communities that offer support from different forms for existential dilemmas is possible, seems to me more than enough. For as long as existence is shared with others, it provides the neccessary energy to imagine joy, happiness and solidarity amidst contingencies.