Love is the most complex and elusive human emotion, more so if we are living in the millennial age.
We are a generation that wants the benefits of a relationship without putting in the energy, care, and effort required to nurture it.
We want instant gratification and to reach a few of our goals. We want a Facebook-official relationship that garners likes and comments. We want to show off a second pair of shoes on our travel posts, but we don’t want to walk alongside someone and get to know them better.
We want a second cup of coffee on our Instagram posts, but we don’t have time to sit and talk, to learn what’s happening in someone else’s life. We want someone to send us “good morning” and “good night” texts, but we don’t want to know what their dreams and hopes are. We want to hold someone’s hand, but we do not want to give someone the power to hurt us.
We want to go for happy hours and indulge in small talks and sexts, but we don’t want to help someone unpack their baggage—or worse, share our own baggage with them.
We want to make love with masks on. We don’t want to hug someone a minute longer than necessary—because maybe, we’re already thinking about Plan B.
We always have one foot out.
We think that there are a lot of fish in the sea, so we don’t want to commit or label anything. We just want to go with the flow and then leave at the slightest hitch.
We toy with other’s emotions, and even, ironically, with our own—because while we are all playing by the rules, we forget that in playing games, we will never find any real connection.
And the fact of the matter is: beneath this facade of playing it cool, of saying we don’t want a relationship, we actually do.
So how can we open ourselves to the possibility, the wonder, and the magic called love in this millennial’s generation, where we are losing the art of knowing each other layer by layer, and the only place of solace is where we’re swiping on Tinder?
I’ve found some guidance from two books that all millennials looking for love should read:
I stumbled upon these classics by accident: The Road less Travelled—The Classic Work on Relationships, Spiritual Growth and Life’s Meaning by M. Scott Peck and The Prophet by Khalil Gibran.
Peck, a psychiatrist, writer, and spiritual guide, has generously shared his lifelong wisdom in this book to help us build more loving relationships, distinguish between neediness and love, and become the highest possible versions of ourselves. And Gibran has beautifully explained the intricacies of love and relationships with such brevity; his wisdom gives us the strong foundation to build beautiful and interdependent relationship on without a hint of codependency
Three precious love lessons:
1. Love is not dependency.
In the romantic love ideal propositioned by Bollywood and fairy-tales, the delicate balance between intimacy and interdependence is lost, and love borders on the psychological condition of codependence.
The most common misconception about love is the notion that dependency is love.
According to psychology, those whose lives are governed by dependency needs are suffering from “passive dependent personality disorder.”
These people always feel a part of them is missing, and they tolerate loneliness poorly. Having no sense of identity, they define themselves solely by their relationships. It is as if it does not matter who they have, as long as they have someone.
Love is not dependency.
“Love is the free exercise of choice. Two people love each other only when they are quite capable of living without each other but choose to live with each other.” ~ M. Scott Peck
2. Love is not a feeling.
Mr. Peck has defined love as the will to extend oneself for the purpose of one’s own or another’s spiritual growth. The key words here are “will” and “growth.”
It means that true love requires effort and a willingness to act in loving ways—even if one does not feel like loving—for the ultimate purpose of our our partner’s (and our relationship’s) growth.
“Love is as love does.” ~ M. Scott Peck
3. Love is also separateness.
Kahlil Gibran on marriage:
“Let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another but make not a bond of love;
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”
Love is a beautiful companionship between two people who come together and help each other reach their highest potential—without losing their individuality in the process.
Each person has their own destiny to fulfill and identity to be carved. A genuine lover always acknowledges the significant of the other as a separate individual and encourages their unique individuality.
Both partners develop their own talents and gifts, stay in solitude, pursue their hobbies, work on fulfilling their purpose, and come back to the union to share their gifts and nurture each other.
“I hold this to be the highest task of a bond between two people: that each should stand guard over the solitude of the other.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a young poet.
I hope these gems of wisdom guide you on the path of love and help you build the most beautiful, authentic, and fulfilling relationship.