Love Is an Obligation

Eric - austin, Texas
Entered on October 21, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: love, question
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I believe love has become an obligation. People have made three words into a meaningless phrase which everyone has said to their spouse, girlfriend or boyfriend, parents, relatives, etc. “I love you” – three words that have destroyed people’s lives, that have caused a divorce rate of 50 percent, and have brought people to rebel against what’s best for their own well-being.

Six months into a relationship, both partners have met each other’s parents; they’ve both spent hundreds of dollars on dates, gifts, junk, you know — the usual. This must be love. Thanksgiving Dinner comes along and daddy’s little girl has a special announcement: “We’re getting married!” Oh, what joy! All of the couple’s hard work has finally paid off! The first year of marriage is great. Their parents have helped them buy a new house, they’re planning on having kids of their own soon, and they even have a dog named Spot. This must be love. A few months pass by and their “love” seems to dull. The couple’s fire for each other has seemed to become extinguished by the responsibilities of marriage.

So, what is it that caused this divorce? Was it the constant arguing? The financial problems? The differences in living styles? No. It was the realization that their love was merely a contract known as marriage – an event caused by obligation. The couple mentioned earlier spent six months of their lives dating, believing the more time they spent with each other – the more they would fall in love. However, this is not the case. The more time they spent with each other meant the more distant they became from reality. Every weekend this couple would dress their best, smell their best, wallets are full of cash, and the kiss at the girl’s front door was full of excitement and passion. This escape from reality and responsibilities will without a doubt give someone joy. The couple has placed so much time and effort into escaping from reality that they feel the need for something in return – therefore, obligating themselves to fall in love.

This obligation is a two step process. First – many men ruin their budget to take their crush on a wonderful date to knock her off her feet from reality and eventually fall in love. Second – the girl sees a fancy dinner, expensive wine, a clean shave, and compares it to happiness. This is obligation. This is the final step of the process. This is placing a sense of guilt into the girl’s heart in order to receive a gift for the “happiness” he has given – love.

It’s quite sad that such a wonderful emotion has come to this. People, including myself, try to find the most positive attributes in our partners by closing our eyes and covering our ears to the fact that it is not always love. Love is not something we have to pursue, it is not something which we fall into from the absence of responsibility, and it is certainly not something which should be an obligation.

I am guilty of this all. Every month, my wallet is empty from the dates, gifts, junk, you know – the usual. I have changed my personality, habits, budget, and even my appearance to accommodate to my partner’s wants and “needs.” It is my objective to help her escape from all reality and responsibilities. This is nonsense. This is nothing more than a ridiculous notion. This is obligation.

It must be love.