Shaun Phillip Naylor
So today is Valentine’s day and every year it gets me thinking.
This year I have been thinking about how love and relationships change from generation to generation. We live in an ever changing world and with more and more people coming into it, change is inevitable.
I have been reflecting on my grandparents generation and their versions of love and relationships. The generations of people who were around during WWII perhaps have a very different way of viewing love. They definitely experienced a lot of loss and saw some of the worst humanity had to offer. I believe that could be something that helped that generation of people really understand the hard work that goes into making relationships last.
For our generation it is so easy to marry and then get a divorce if you need or want one. I believe that sometimes, we give up too easily. Particularly with love. We are now a society that thrives on instant gratification and what better way to get that with dating apps and hook up sites. we have made it so easy for ourselves to get what we want. in a world with Uber Eats bringing you whatever food you desire to your door or the ability to continually swipe until we find someone we might want to hook up with. The world is a very different playground for this generation. T.V shows like the bachelor and Married at first site really make a mockery of marriage.
I don’t believe that humans are naturally monogamous creatures. I mean, we are animals and animals (for the most part) breed for survival and then move on to the next. What we have over animals though, is our ability to connect and commit to another person. Once we have found that soul that mirrors our own we want to make the gesture of giving up all others for that one person. We will create a tapestry of emotions and experiences that we will call ‘a life’ together. To share a life together relies on hard work and a lot of love. Our grandparents were really good at the hard work part of it. They stuck it out together and created beautiful lives together.
People are dramatically flawed, relationships are hard work but the love should come easy. My mum told me recently that if the love is there, then no problem can’t be worked through. I believe her to be correct with this. If you love someone enough and both people are willing, you can put in the hard graft and with time, hopefully you both will come out the other side, stronger and better for the experience. Of course all people have limits to how much they are willing to forgive and how much they can continue on a journey before it becomes too damaging to themselves and they inevitably move on.
With that said love should be considerate, kind and rarely selfish. Before we can show love to another we need to love ourselves first. So I guess what I am ranting about is that I hope with the new generation of people coming up there will be more love in the world. We stand in the wake of the Me Too movement and countless other indiscretions of man kind. Everyday we see people fighting for equality and acceptance. This isn’t a new narrative by any means, it’s just that some of the players have changed. We have more and more people identifying in more and more different ways. I see this as more people who are loving themselves better and in turn looking for others who love and except them for who they are. We all want to be wanted and even those who fear love still desire it on some level. Love hurts and love is hard. loving ourselves can be much harder than showing love to someone else, but that is where the story should start. It’s never easy, it’s always a journey but the destination is beautiful. Imagine looking back on a lifetime of love and adventure that you shared with that one person who loved you the way you love yourself.
This Valentines day be kind, forgive, and share love. Not only with others but also with yourselves. Happy Valentine’s day x