Hopeless Romantic: What is love?

Julio Silva
Julio Silva

My name is Julio F. Silva and I am a hopeless romantic. Although that is not how I introduce myself in person, the people who get to know me find out this fact.

This column will explore my ideas on love and anything that surrounds that topic such as: whether cheating is or is not a deal breaker, why gay love is just love and if hook-up culture is devouring our generation and others. I am no expert on love; however, I have witnessed accounts of love that were breathtaking, and many that have been tragic enough to become a movie. For this first column, I will discuss the general idea of what love is and offer some insights.

The truth is that we have inadvertently created the hook-up culture, as most of us have lost focus on what it means to “love” and what “love” actually is.

The good news is that love is alive and well, but we are all seeking unrealistic expectations of love.

In his famous novel “Anna Karenina,” Leo Tolstoy once said, “If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.” “Anna Karenina” is a very relatable novel, especially in the sense that none of us are perfect and neither are the people with whom we fall in love. For those who do not know Tolstoy’s heartwrenching novel, Anna Karenina finds herself trapped in a loveless marriage, eventually finding herself falling for Count Vronsky. Although she knows what she is feeling is wrong, she cannot fight her desires and feelings for the Count.

This is one of my favorite books because it is the perfect example of what love really is; it is not perfect, it is not pure. In love and even life, you will have to make sacrifices that may hurt. As a hopeless romantic, I know this as I am one who is not afraid to be honest about my experiences with love.

In my short twenty years of life, I have fallen in love only twice. Unfortunately, neither lasted, but I would never take back what I learned: love is fragile and takes time. Being a hopeless romantic can create a lot of expectations that may fall flat at the end of the day. Between social media, romantic-comedy movies and ideals of what relationships should entail, our minds have been reset to believe that love has a formula that is the same for everyone.

We’re told that you start a successful relationship by hating the person at first, or by realizing that they have been under our noses the whole time. We seek grand gestures like waiting in the pouring rain, ready for the final kiss. This is not realistic. In fact, love is nowhere close to being a formula. It cannot be divided into parts and it does not end when the credits roll. Love goes on and can change at any moment.

Falling in love is not simple. It is confusing, terrifying and dangerous. For all those out there who do not agree, let me explain why. When you love, you are not only risking your heart being broken, you are risking your entire self. You risk being hurt emotionally, physically and mentally. These are all parts of us that when one is broken, part of us becomes broken.

Although love may be the most dangerous thing a person can do, it is also one of the most amazing acts a person can commit. We as people want to be loved and give our love to others. At the end of the day love is meant to be worked on day by day. It is up to both people to stay on track.