When one thinks of Love, they usually don’t picture Cupid as a junkie.
They think of that silly little cherub reposing on a cloud and shooting his brilliant little arrows at unknowing mortals who are searching for some divine intervention to a very human problem: What to do with love?
In the Broadway show Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, the character Pepa, who is one of the unluckiest women in the world when it comes to love, sings a song called, simply, “Lovesick,” which includes the following quip:
You think that Cupid’s got a bow?
Well no, Cupid’s got a needle.
When I first heard that, I was taken aback a bit. The images of Cupid that poetry and music had ingrained in my mind couldn’t fathom the thought of a malicious Cupid.
We are taught that when it comes to love, we should always believe in the ideal: the perfect mate, the perfect situation, the perfect intention. But in a world as flawed as this, perfection is certainly a myth. To obtain perfection would be like swimming across an ocean of thumbtacks. In other words: impossible.
I may be young, but when it comes to love I’m as cynical as they get. In High School, I wrote poetry and mused about how perfection the emotion of love could be. I wrote down my thoughts, in the hopes that someone other than myself may stumble upon them one day and feel exactly the same way. Of course, it didn’t help that the book I wrote them in was hidden under my bed, where only the dust bunnies could find them.
As I continue through life, life has severely hindered those ideals. Where once bloomed perfect roses, now reside glorified crabgrass chunks. Where once I ate Ambrosia, now I eat McDonald’s. In other terms: when it comes to love, the taste has gone from pleasantly sweet to lip-puckering sour.
I have become cynical. But is cynical really a bad thing? Cynical is a more realistic emotion that thinking you can obtain perfection. It’s a healthy emotion; one I think more people should embrace.
Love has toppled some of the greatest people in the world, from Courtesans to Presidents. From Peasants to Kings. From idiots to geniuses. Why should we continue a trend where love reduces us to nothing more than a crushed pile of bricks, which once comprised to make a beautiful and sane home.
I think that we should embrace something I like to coin Anti-Love. Anti-Love doesn’t mean to totally shun love and live a life of sullen celibacy. Anti-Love is a more innocent thing.
Anti-Love is a person coming to the realization that love isn’t perfect. It promotes relying on the “self” more; tapping into our own personality to realize what our personal representation of love is and not relying on our representations of love coming from books or movies or television. It’s coming to reality with the fact that our true selves don’t want perfection in love; We want reality.
Anti-Love is a mindset which leads to a healthier person overall. If we all stop trudging through the proverbial snow to the warm cabin that is so-called “true love”, we can stop by a pleasant oak tree that, while not perfect, may provide better shelter than a perfect setting can provide. Love can survive without pretense or perfection.
Once we accept that striving towards an image of perfection is a sick and dangerous habit, only then can we truly expect to be happy with the love that we receive in our lives.
And what happens when we do find someone who loves us? Because we accepted the theory of Anti-Love, we now known that no relationship is perfect. We can accept the person we love as being flawed, but loving the flaws just as much as the positive aspects. Living in Anti-Love with another person will be a rewarding, relaxing and superlative experience, because you have accepted what it means to be two insignificant humans in love: flawed, but accepting and loving the flaws that define our imperfection. There’s no Nicholas Sparks in an Anti-Love relationship (and I think we can all be thankful for that…)
That’s the main point of this: embracing Anti-Love so we can be content and happy with what God and life gives us.
As a culture, we are lovesick: doubled over on our beds clutching our cramped stomachs until we pass out from frustration. But, life doesn’t need to be that dour. Life can be happiness indeed, if only we trust in our true selves and define love by our own terms.
Only through Anti-Love can we be cured of lovesickness.