Since I was a teenager, I dreamed of falling in love. I hoped a hot papi would sweep me off my feet, love me and marry me — but only after I endured a wild chase to prove that I was “the one.” This lustful, passionate love would not come easy. That type of love rarely does, I thought. Consequently, for most of my 20s, I chose to be with boys who stirred my libido, played with my head and, often times, broke my heart.
I can blame Hollywood for my desire for romantic love. Movies like How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and The Wedding Planner have convinced women that playing games wins the guy, and he may even leave his mujer for you. Still, I take full responsibility for my choices. Yes, we are fed fairy tales desde niñas, but we must be accountable for our actions.
So, here's five reasons we should all stop chasing romantic love:
1. Chasing Love: Romantic Love Fades
Romantic love fades.
In the book Existentialism and Romantic Love, author Skye Cleary shares that romantic love often fades after only six months. It doesn’t mean that you no longer love the person; the love just changes. “Nietzsche (a philosopher) says that this is because love is deceptive. The brilliance and beauty of it dazzles lovers, intoxicates them, and deludes them into overestimating each other’s virtues," Cleary writes. But underneath the fanfare and euphoric lust, there is a person! Over time you notice flaws and imperfections, and it becomes much more difficult to be lovey dovey.
2. Chasing Love: Commitment
Romantic love doesn’t always foster commitment.
When you get hooked on someone, the way they makes you feel, the way they move, and, oh, the sex! — it is easy to think that you will be with them forever. However, “too much time together, habits, and familiarity makes it easy for lovers to get bored with one another,” said Cleary. Just because it feels good in the beginning, doesn’t mean that the romantic love will evolve into a committed love and relationship.
3. Chasing Love: Impulsive/Immature
Romantic love can be impulsive and immature.
While in the throes of romantic love, it is difficult to manage our impulses. Think of all the times that you sent a drunk sext because you were madly in love — y te mueres sin el! “Being a Don Juan is always an option,” Cleary opined, “but it’s immature because it means that one is a slave to one’s passions.” Moving on from romantic love to a more mature love allows us to make meaningful choices, so we don’t just think with our private parts.
4. Chasing Love: Power Games
Romantic love contributes to power games.
He didn’t call me, so I won’t call him. He needs to say that he loves me first.
These are just some of the power games that we play when chasing romantic love. When love is mature, it’s not about who did this or who did that. According to Cleary, existential philosophers believed in loving freely, which means that “we are free to choose how to act upon our attraction.” “Sometimes we want the grand gestures,” Cleary continued, “but often it’s the little things that lovers do that show how much they love each other.” We should feel grateful for receiving love, and not abide by power struggles and rules.
5. Chasing Love: Jealous Behavior
Romantic love can lend to jealous behavior.
They say it’s a Latina thing to be jealous and possessive. That may not be the case if you love maturely. Existential philosophers believed that mature love could move us past the ego. That way you don’t throw a fit when your guy greets another woman. Instead you choose to love freely — without limitations, restrictions or rules. You decide as a couple what you want in your relationship. “The key is finding someone who either wants the same things as you do, and is willing to figure it out together as life changes,” Clearly added.
And life will change. You will continue to grow. So choose to love freely and stop chasing fairy tales. They don’t last forever and you deserve a much more meaningful love.