Love—a concept that is often thought of as something grand and life-changing. But what most of us overlook is how that grand and life-changing love often arrives in the form subtle gestures and soft-spoken words, say most of the people The Week spoke to.
Rashmi Tuladhar, 33, believes how romance is portrayed in books and films has us all wanting that kind of crazy, can’t-live-a-minute-without-you love in our lives as well.
“But movies are two hours long and life is much longer,” she jokes. “Imagine having to deal with someone who stares at your face or wants to be besides you all the time.”
However, Tuladhar feels that we still want grand gestures and declarations time and again and though there is nothing wrong in that, it usually makes us overlook the simple joys of love.
27-year-old Manzil Deuja says he used to believe that love was all about happiness, peace and a sense of completeness. What he never thought was that it would also bring in chaos. “Love isn’t effortless. It’s unstable, sometimes reckless. It begs for tenuous work on both parties. When you’re young, you tend to be careless with love,” he says.
Deuja highlights the fact that during his teenage years love was all about bragging and showing off.
“I never thought I would find anyone who would completely change how I looked at the world. Until I did. Now, I know that love only remains lovely when it’s stable. To keep that stability, you need to make some sacrifices along the way. And compromise,” he says adding that love is only love when it’s accompanied by trust and faith.
“Love is very complex. It teaches you respect, support and what it means to be a better companion,” says Deuja. “It encompasses a lot of things. It’s not one thing alone.”
He isn’t alone in having a different opinion about love now than his younger self.
Belina Shrestha, 29, agrees that romance novels and rom-com movies have completely hyped up our expectations about being in love and/or in a relationship.
“For me, love used to be all about finding the perfect guy and being on the receiving end of grand gestures. But as I grew older, I came to realize that there is no such thing as perfect.”
She says she has come to accept the frayed edges of love.
“As an adult, love for me is all about being with someone who is imperfect, but perfect for me. It’s about understanding the other’s flaws and compromising in order to be together—because you want to be together, for whatever inexplicable reasons.”
“For example, if my partner says that How I Met Your Mother is better than FRIENDS, and I am still with him, it means I love that person despite his questionable taste,” she says with a laugh.
Prakash Giri, 26, shares his insight of love after you’ve tied the knot.
“Marriage changes a lot of dynamics in a relationship. When you are dating, it’s more about spending quality time with each other, exchanging gifts, and long phone calls. Sometimes, you even go as far as avoiding touchy subjects even though it’s important just to keep the peace,” says Giri.
And now, as Taylor Swift sings, everything has changed.
“We are together all the time now. It’s unavoidable. And we argue a lot too. But, even if we’re fighting, I still refuse to have dinner without her. I see our affection for each other in small things. Now, the pleasure of a relationship isn’t just in being together, it’s also being there for each other. My wife is busy with her studies and job, and she still texts me to ask if I had lunch. And even those little questions make me feel infinitely better,” says Giri.
He also confesses to have seen changes in himself. He cares more about her success and happiness. He avoids buying things for himself and saves up instead to surprise her. He never thought his love life would be so simple and monotonous. And yet he couldn’t be any happier with how things are.
Monika Rajbhandary, 27, used to think of love as we have come to know of it in the fairytales. She knows that they are simply stories that exist to make you feel happy and hopeful for the future. But she confesses that there’s still that part of her who wants the lovey-dovey butterflies, the romantic lights, and being head over heels in love.
“What I also know is that love doesn’t come neatly wrapped and tied with bows. There are ups and downs. There are no happy endings, but rather happy days when you’re in love. And sad ones too. Love calls for persistence, patience, compromise and respect. It’s something that needs to be cherished and nurtured,” she explains.
Her expectations from love have also changed because of her experiences.
“The real test begins when you have stay in love without expectations. Love calls you to let go of things that make you unhappy. And the way to do that is to love yourself first. It will make you love the world around you. It will teach you to value people and be with whom you need the most,” she says.
It seems that the biggest transformation on people’s perceptions of love has been letting go of the fantasies that various forms of stories—be it through books or television—have ingrained in them and accepting love for what it is: a rollercoaster of emotions where simple joys are valued over all else and you [try to] put your loved one first.