Fundamental of intimacy
Longing something constant and new in life
I believe that love and belonging are identified as a rather crucial aspect of motivation for human beings in life. As we slowly step closer into adulthood, the desire to be involved in a romantic love relationship arises.
Being surrounded by groups of friends who have coupled up, experiencing ‘interrogations’ by family and relatives, you’ll find the loneliness creeps in at night before you fall asleep and invokes in the obligation to find a romantic partner.
In our current community, it seems common to include a happy marriage into the list of successful life goals. This idea has been naturalised and most appear to dislike the concept of being alone. For instance, many may feel uncomfortable or even ashamed when sitting alone in a crowded place.
This goes to say that even though it is totally fine being by yourself in a place full of people, sometimes, if not most of the time, the emotion just overwhelms you and leave to the mercy of overthinking and anxiety because you compare with someone that is in a relationship when you are not in one.
Is this why (almost) everyone is working hard to look for a boyfriend/girlfriend?
Romanticising romance in TV shows and movies
From the happily-ever-after fairy tales to K-dramas, love relationships are often portrayed as a solution to unhappy lives.
Other than enforcing the standard beauty of physical appearances, they shape the image of a romantic life partner as someone who will get you through all the life adversities anytime, anywhere.
I don’t mean that happy couples on screens don’t exist in real life, and I don’t deny that these entertaining movies and dramas brought colours to our lives.
However, as human beings, we normally would not have the emotional capacity to maintain positive and supportive to the people around us all the time as dramatized on the media.
Because of these magnified moments of romance and excitements, the audience may then withhold higher expectations and label these exaggerated dedication and effort as the only signs of ‘true love’. For instance, if you did not take the effort to bring your partner to a fancy dinner on a special day or you forget about the 10th anniversary, you don’t really love them.
The list of what is expected to be done continues. While romanticised love on the media suggests some references to strengthen romantic relationships with surprises and actions to display affection, it is important to stay conscious and avoid projecting these unrealistic expectations on those around us.
Happiness starts with loving ourselves
“People are more in love with the idea of love than the person they are with”Daniel Sloss
I believe it is normal for humans to crave for connection, and that, most of the time, is essential to happiness. Nonetheless, being comfortable with ourselves can guide us on an easier path towards that goal. Instead of diving into a love relationship recklessly and having a break-up right after, it is vital to take some ‘alone time’ to reflect and understand yourself.
Although the idea of loneliness is commonly known by the public, many might have subconsciously denied this feeling and jumped into a love relationship as a strategy to cure the uneasiness. Thus, exploring our inner self plays a critical role in avoiding these impulsive decisions.
Striking the Balance
Of course, the amount of alone time needed for each person varies depending on personal preferences. We are always encouraged to strike a balance by spending an appropriate amount of time with both ourselves and other people. The time spent with one self can then be utilised to communicate with ourselves and stay connected with our own thoughts and feelings.
Once we have reached a consensus with ourselves, I believe that it will be less taxing when attempting to connect with others. In other words, self-understanding can serve as a bridge to a more effective communication and interaction with friends and family. Eventually, when the time comes, a romantic partner may occur.
But until then, we can try to be our own partner.
Written by Yu Huan
Views expressed in this article are those of the author and they do not necessarily represent the position of UNMC IGNITE.