Valentine’s Day fast approaches and this is my first one where I have a girlfriend. Needless to say, it’s exciting. And, while for her privacy, and mine, I’m not going to talk much about my personal relationship—except that it’s going well, and I love her so much—I figured I’d do a little ruminating.
Nothing too pretentious, mind, but I have noticed a few things, a few perception shifts. Again, not going to discuss anything too heavy, but this one change in myself I find interesting to me as a writer and a fan of media.
You know how a lot of stories have the main character doing something for the sake of a wife or girlfriend? Sometimes that being the main defining aspect of an entire quest? Video games especially do this?
Yeah, I get that a lot more now. While objectively I understood the idea before, nowadays those types of plots resonate a lot stronger with me. I see why characters go to the lengths they do to protect a significant other.
It extends past that, too. All stories that contain romance or have something in them that relates to romance suddenly make more sense. Seeing an aspect of yourself in a character is a fundamental part of plot engagement, and, before I had experience with dating, it was simply out of my mental frame of reference—at least in a concrete way.
Love songs got clearer. Romance novel plots got either more or less relatable (depending on how accurate they portray relationships).
I even feel like, out in the real world, I’m better at spotting crushes and relationships had by people around me. When someone looks at someone else with fondness and affection, I know that look; I know those mannerisms. That’s how I look at my significant other.
And that’s obviously only one facet of the changes to my life. Love, as cliché as it sounds, does appear to have something to it that’s beyond the physical, and chemical, and scientific. I don’t fully understand it—I’m still learning the full scope of what it means—but it’s got a power to it. It’s something a lot like joy, and creativity, and chaos and calm, and a sudden shift in yourself to be a part of something.
And, even if Valentine’s Day might be a commercialized ploy to sell products, I do agree that humanity should have a holiday devoted to love, to celebrating love, to being lucky enough to find it.
Love is beyond any singular emotion, and it deserves a day celebrating its existence.
Special thanks to: Bob Gerkin, Collin Pearman, Dylan Alexander, Jerry Banfield, and Michael The Comic Nerd.
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