Let’s Get Real about Love, Please

There has always been a culture of love and romance. Always. You can’t turn on the radio without the crooning of heartbreak. You can’t go to the movies without some love interest being implied. You can’t read a novel without a character… well, you get the point. Thing is, reality TV and our culture today is thriving in a different kind of love. But really, it’s the furthest thing from real love. Here are 500 words on what’s going wrong.

Click on photo to see print version.

Click on photo to see print version.

Romance isn’t dead, it’s just been buried alive forced to dig its way out through bulky, wet sand. Today’s culture of love is hardly recognizable against that of generations past. Most are taking their love advice from whatever D-grade celebrity MTV is trying to push this month, not from their own emotional intuition. Seriously, if we don’t change things, one day we’ll come home to find our kids involved in some creepy pre-pubescent rose ceremony. You just never know.

Why does our culture think that the only way to find love is to skew the ratio 25 to 1, shove them into a room and force the majority to compete like starving hyenas? I’m exaggerating, of course, but love shouldn’t be this difficult; shit, love shouldn’t be this competitive! That’s not to say it should be easy – but it should never involve surprise twists like obstacle courses and lie detectors. 

Sure, we like to say that we know that television rarely reflects reality, so how can we tell where reality has an outlet in television? When the divorce rate has hit over 50 per cent doesn’t it seem that people might have a hard time understanding what love really is? Like, come on.

Love is commitment.  It’s not 15 minutes of fame. It’s not voted in or out, and it sure doesn’t say, “yes” from the pressures of an executive producer. For once I would just like a TV show to end in the pouring rain where both parties agree that they just can’t stand each other. That would real show commitment to finding love.

Love has no gimmicks, no audience, and no directors telling you what to do next. It’s just the most natural human emotion filled with ups and downs, successes and failures. We all know it, and still it needs to be repeated since it always seems that the idea is slipping away. There’s nothing natural or caring about the most intimate experiences of people’s lives being cut into 60-minute segments and sold for the sole purpose of making money. When did love become so cheap?

Yet again it would seem Hollywood has pulled the wool (or cashmere) over our eyes. For them, love isn’t cheap; it’s filled with diamonds, vacations and clothes.  Cars and big houses are the 21st century’s way of expressing how you truly feel and act.  We know love is in our hearts, but our hearts are in our wallets.

Chocolates and flowers have become an acceptable gift when clearly 90 per cent of the time, they’re given prove that no thought went into the gift at all. I mean, I’ve bought flowers as much as the next guy, but something that actually indicates you know some detail about the person’s life would be much better. Take the mix tape, for example. That needs to have a serious comeback! Never has something so inexpensive and easy been so good at showing someone you know who they are.

Here’s where it becomes obvious what reality love lacks most. These people don’t know each other. Television can’t replicate love because love doesn’t follow a production schedule or an editing format. The time it takes to produce love is abstract; whereas the time it takes to produce your average network program is already defined, in writing, and in a signed legal contact.

It’s time we acknowledge that the real love that exists in the world today is much different than the real world love we know simply doesn’t exist at all.

text by scottmcmanus

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