Hana Shafi The Truth About Love*

In the immortal words of Haddaway, what is love?

But really? From Romeo and Juliet to The Notebook, artists of all media have tried to express this tricky thing called love. But if you’re in a relationship right now, just ask yourself: is Ryan Gosling building a house for me? Nope. Is Leonardo DiCaprio drawing me like one of his French girls? No? I thought so.

What is it with romantic dramas or perpetually shitty blockbuster rom coms and their stunningly bad representations of love? I’ll admit that I do spend the occasional loner night quietly sobbing to Moulin Rouge, and I can really be a sucker for Shakespeare and all that old poetic lovey-dovey shit. 

But rather than star cross’d lovers' death scenes or grossly corny confessions of love worthy of something starring Katherine Heigl, I think true love is something hidden in the little (and often less charming) things. 

Love is when you go on a fancy date and get food poisoning, and your significant other cares for you through your storm of explosive diarrhea. Love is when, somehow, a condom gets lost in your mysterious cavern of darkness and your partner is helping you get it out. Love is when you’re having hot sex, but something really awkward or funny happens, so you just decide to laugh and fuck at the same time. 

Yeah, it’s not awfully poetic, and some of it is pretty fucking gross. But let’s be real here: when someone sees you at your absolute worst and is still there for you, then you know they’re a keeper.  

By all means, I’m not suggesting we put a damper on dramatic storytelling, and I do believe that in real-life love, there are some truly cinematic bursts of passion and devotion. But let’s come back down to earth for a second and realize that as much as the love in our favorite stories looks so much better than the real thing, nothing - and I mean nothing - can replace the real thing. 

And if that doesn’t convince you, then I can assure you, the day you get food-poisoning on a date will be the day that you discover what love actually is. Yeah, it’s gonna happen. 

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