on our contemporary definition of love

| 1 Comment | No TrackBacks

I've been researching a paper that I'm doing for my film studies class. I'm thinking about Legally Blonde, the general category of movies aimed at young women, romance novels, and how all of those media influence gender construction. It's interesting stuff, but puzzling. The problem is that all of this research is making me constantly have to run up against the concept of romantic love. And that's something that I have trouble processing, even outside of the academic context.

Think about it: we have this massive collection of expectations. We expect the undefinable spark that we call love. We expect someone compatible enough to be a very good friend. We expect to find someone who can do those two thing, and then we expect them to stay and make a life as a unit. That alone is an awful lot to expect.

There's more, though. At this point in time, we expect the compatibility, the spark, the life, and a whole other set of things. We expect an environment of mutual respect, which is a fairly new condition. We expect to find our partners interesting. We expect them to fit into our existing lifestyle. We expect all of these things, but we don't seem, as a society, to have a very good track record when it comes to holding it all together.

Even if it doesn't work out a lot of the time, we're fiercely tied to our happily ever after definition of love. From fairy tales, on through happy-ending-girly movies, up to chick lit and series romances, the stories women get told are jammed full of perfect, considerate, attractive, nice men who want to make breakfast in bed and then grow old together

When I think it through, I wonder how much of that ideal is really necessary. And then, because I'm a product of my culture, I kick myself for even imagining settling for less.

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL: http://www.adaptstudio.ca/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.cgi/6

1 Comment

interesting post. Especially considering the mix of friend/lover, spark, expectation of spending "forever" with the one other person, and the element of financial stress...-shrug-I'm too tired to form anything terribly coherent, but liked reading this post.

Leave a comment