I was talking to a friend about relationships. I have known this friend for more than 10 years now. We’ve been each other’s agony aunts for over a decade, seeing each other through various relationships, and other personal and professional situations. We both wondered why it is so hard for one to be in ‘love.’ She pointed out that the only time she’s seen me in the throes of that pitiful emotion is when it was the hardest to actualize. It was a poignant observation, which got me thinking.
Some of us tend to be subconsciously Marxist when it comes to love. Groucho Marx had famously joked that he wouldn’t want to be part of a club that will take him as a member. We suffer from same contradiction. It is not usual for us to want what we have. Love is a pursuit that fades on attaining the subject of our affection. As such, true love can only be unrequited. Love, when returned, challenges the Marx in us, and we end up devaluing that gift.
A deeper undertone of this ideology is that we all are broken in some ways or the other. When we ‘fall in love,’ we idealize the person whom we pursue. Such person is supposed to rid us of our shortcomings. In our idealization, we fail to view them just as human as we are. We fail to realize that they too are just as broken, albeit in different ways than us; that they too are looking toward us to mend them.
What’s the solution? How to rid ourselves of this Marxism? I don’t know!