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article imageOp-Ed: The deceitful message behind Valentine's Day

By Milad Doroudian     Feb 12, 2015 in Lifestyle
Love is something that can only be earned, yet we live in an age when sometimes love comes as easy as a second date. Something which has undoubtedly depreciated its meaning, and purpose. In other words we live in an age of tindering, not burning desire.
Sally meets Kevin, they hit it off immediately and then they find themselves in a three-month relationship, from which point Sally meets Tom, and Kevin is done for. The preponderance of people that engage in such relationships is very high, which is absolutely normal, yet the problem is when they say that they fall in love, or that they were swept of their feet, it is hard sometimes not to be dubious of their understanding of their own feelings.
Love has been proven to be a case of chemicals that intermingle in our brains whenever we form a social connection to someone we are attracted to. Yet, there are a few issues with understanding the difference between short-term chemicals and the ones that have led to long sustaining relationships between people. Is there a difference between short-period love, and the one in the long term? To be honest I am not qualified to tell you, but I can be sure of one thing: Valentine’s Day is guilty of something far more perplexing.
It has become obvious that, despite the driven need for profit-which is completely normal and understandable- it promotes love as an ubiquitous quality that should be shared with all people, and that it is an universal, god-given right to all of us. This in itself is the biggest lie, and I fear that it has led to the depreciation of individuals’ self-esteem.
As Poe once said “We loved with a love that was more than love” to denote the exactitude of human nature. We are prone to believing that we must love everyone, and that everyone is worthy of it, when the truth is for those of us who have experienced it, that the only kind of love is the kind that is earned through trust, and prudent caring. The kind that is based on values, not on whims.
Science has proven countless times that falling in love is very similar to a drug. We need it, and sometimes people are exuberantly addicted to it. In fact Prof. Stephanie Ortigue of Syracuse University, has mapped the brains of people in love, in a study named "The Neuroimaging of Love," where she postulates that when we fall in love the same areas in our brain are activated as when using cocaine, or other egregious chemicals-meaning that the same euphoria takes over the body.
Yet, there is a difference in the type of drug that each and one of us chooses to get hooked on. Some find it in as many flings as possible, with a number of highs and lows, some find it in constant and stable relationships, while others do not get any part of it because they are the kind that love everyone. They usually are the ones that call themselves the "friends of all of humanity". People that are "addicted" to love, need it more and more, and with each use the effect wears off, and they need a higher dose, thus going through a horrible downward spiral. Thus they begin to love everyone, hoping the feeling would be returned to them.
This has become most prevalent in pop-culture — the need to show that everyone is loved- just so no one is excluded. This wild idea stems out of the mentality that no child should feel left out, and that everyone should receive a medal- because everyone wins, and everyone is the same. In the real world however, just as in someone's love life, not everyone wins. Many end up alone because they have chosen to. These, mind you, are the men and women who expect to be loved totally, despite their flaws. These are the people we classify as "needy". They are the ones who think that everyone should receive a Valentine's card because everyone needs love.
Yet, there are a great deal of different types of love that are not romantic, the unconditional love between a mother and child-something that is not always so unconditional, that of siblings, and even friendship. These are all forms of love that to an extent or another must be earned, even those relationships between family which most think are innate- even they must be fostered.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember this Valentine's day is as Rand said: “To say ‘I love you’ one must first know how to say the ‘I" to denote the importance of first loving oneself, thus creating the self-esteem which is worthy of the love of others.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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