I love you. Those simple three words. Some people might never hear them, some may hear them so often that they lose meaning entirely. In Beauty and the Beast those three words were enough to lift the spell and for everyone to “live happily ever after”. Belle uttered them and the beast survived and transformed into a prince. Three words. If only it were so simple (once you factor out living with talking candle sticks, being chased in the woods by wolves, and being trapped forever of course). Love. Although it is intangible and technically immeasurable it is a part of out lives whether we want it there or not.
It is important to see we do not choose love, rather it chooses us. It hears all sees all, but also is blind. It can be the best feeling or perhaps the worst when not returned for money reasons, status differences, ethical, religion or they just can’t love you back.. Although nowadays one can match themselves up on a dating website or go speed dating, or perhaps if you’re really bold go on a reality T.V. show looking for love, therefore the basic building blocks of love have far from changed, but rather people’s approach to love have shifted. I suppose it is when one can say “I love you” and know the other person might not respond, they have let down the wall and allowed themselves feelings. Well, in the time of my grandparents (although there were still arranged marriages) there was a key element that reigned true. This element of true love being forever may not be the same as the blind eye of love but perhaps a helping factor is that lack of sight. Although love itself has not changed between now and my grandparent’s time, some of the components of the game have.
A key building block in love that remains even though it has changed is not perhaps love itself, but the way it is expressed. People seem to feel a need to act well not themselves for reasons of scrutiny by their peers or others. It seems that old-fashioned love is exactly that – old fashion. Wearing your heart on your sleeve especially for males seems not to be the case but even more so in today’s times men will downplay how much they care about someone in front of their friends because it has become socially acceptable. Women on the other hand, seem to be carried away with having a boyfriend, although they may feel the world about someone else the following week. Saying “I love you” or how far you go in a relationship based on time seems to have changed. Although sometimes it is “love”, my grandparents would never behave so impulsively and indiscreetly about their love. My grandparent’s time had something which was unheard but soon became common place now which is P.A.D. (public display of affection) Most people are not interested in watching a couple exchange saliva in public. Although I believe this has changed more from my grandparent’s time to now, courtship has changed a lot recently and such be noticed.
The way we “court” our love is also something that has changed immensely. We know have the internet, personal ads in the newspaper, even speed dating all new different things people try as a means of frankly finding love I don’t know is there. They have success stories, but speed dating – jeez. It is definitely different then the time my grandparents met by chance when my grandmother went to visit a farm for work and he was the employer. Now, the ways in which we go about finding love have even found their way onto the internet where youtube.com was recently how a woman declared her divorce. Can you imagine something like that? Although over 50% of marriages do end in divorce in America they are painful and placing it on the internet seems indecent. This would not be done in my grandparent’s time, computers or not. From the time of my grandparents to today’s time, looking for love seems to have definitely altered its general view. Sure the old options of dating, of meeting people through friends or by chance are there, I think those opportunities are overshadowed by people thinking that they can just find love like it is a tangible, easy attainable thing.
The satiety of marriage no longer seems to bare its mark on love either. Getting married in my grandparent’s time was more than just about love. It was a bond, it meant forever. It just seems that back then people were much less inclined to marry for the wrong reasons. Not to say all people of today’s times marry for the wrong reasons but some do. There is the classic marrying for love, marrying too soon, or marrying thinking that having a child will mend the marriage. People seem to be marrying for thousands of crazy reasons and my rationale behind that is the divorce rate in this country. Besides ourselves, I believe the times can also be blamed for love just not being all it was once cracked up to be. Like in Jane Austen novels, love seemed like a magic spell and it is very reminiscent of my grandparents and perhaps a now old-dated version of love.
So it is really not love that has changed, but the way we view it, the sanctity of marriage, and our means of courtship that have altered love and furthermore marriage “for better or worse”. Real love although it will always be changing the basic concept or intention always will say the same. For, in the end love is a language we are all desperate but not quick to learn. It is this learning that forever changes the meaning of love.