CANTA, Issue #11 2018

Page 30

Urban Dictionary defines it as “the greatest and the worst thing that could ever happen to a person” and in a similar vein, according to Oscar Wilde, it’s “a misunderstanding between two fools.” Love. A simple, unassuming, four letter word, that the whole world tends to go crazy for. Unsurprisingly, as we all have an innate need to be loved and to love in return. So, it seems we have two ideas here. Either that love’s an illusion, a mere misunderstanding bound to fail, and only idiots believe they have it, or alternatively an experience that is both the most amazing and most painful in existence. Woah. We see love in movies, in music, advertising, books: the happy endings and the fairy-tale kisses, but often the way media illustrates love comes across as fantastical and cheesy. So, what exactly is love? Real love, the kind that dwells in the day to day, that sticks around through all the tough stuff, and isn’t all candlelit dinners and rose bouquets… Furthermore, where do we find it, how do we obtain it, and when do we know it’s ‘the real thing’? I definitely cannot claim to answer all these questions in just a few short pages (not even remotely close), but they’re definitely worth exploring!

Dealing the Love Drug AFTER THE FALL We go through a honeymoon phase when we first fall in love. It’s the whole rose-tinted glasses scenario, where the sun shines out their ass and they’re genuinely perfect, right? Sound familiar? Sure, that’s falling in love. Our brains do a great job at pumping some strong hormones through our bodies (like oxytocin) that make falling in love the wonderful and powerful feeling that it is. But what happens when you’ve fallen, hit the ground, the brain fuzziness clears, and you stand up to greet the person you fell for in the first place. If you still want to stick around, that’s a great start. So, what comes next? I’ll be honest, sitting down to write this article I was confronted: I mean shit, what do I know about such a massive and complex topic – one that has both plagued and inspired writers for millennia, a theme that saturates our lives, stretching across almost all forms of media? We are socialised to pursue the supposed good life of a loving marriage, comfortable townhouse, 2.5 kids and maybe a happy Labrador on the side. Love: a thing to strive for, the main thing people tend to be referring to when they say, ‘the best things in life are free’. Obviously, I am no expert: I thought I’d investigate what the experts had to say, and who better than good ol’ ma and pa? Considering they’re still going strong after 22 years of marriage, surely, they’ve been doing something right. I asked them both what they considered to be important in order to maintain a healthy relationship, and while Dad wasn’t able to get back to me in time, here’s what my mother dearest had to say…