Every generation seems to love differently. Our grandparents married young, and for many, divorce wasn’t an option. Their love was disrupted by wars, famine, and economic downturn. They only knew hard work, so a marriage wasn’t any different. They worked hard in life, and in love. They fought in wars, and for love. Many of our parents were the products of war-torn love. And our parents loved a little differently than their parents. Divorce was more acceptable, so many of them fought and fought, and forgot what they were fighting for, or why it even mattered, and so the fights ended the marriage. Some, of course, still fought for the love they saw in their own parents. Our generation are products of blended families, second marriages, and still, a lucky few, of a love that endures all other hardships.
Our generation loves differently. We hardly even acknowledge love. We stare at our screens when we should be staring into each other’s eyes. We don’t even look up enough to see a certain someone cross our path. We refuse to label anything so we wander around, unwilling to just commit. And we say it’s because we’re scared of getting hurt. That too is just another mask for us to hide behind. A label-less love can be just as hurtful, if not even more so, than a love that is clearly defined. We say we’re scared of someone leaving, but we don’t do anything to keep them around. We use all the excuses we can to justify bad behavior, even when we know we deserve better.
We avoid awkward conversations, or moments of silence by just pulling out our phones and entering our own world. Family dinners have become collective electronic time. We face so many distractions that we fear missing out on something, so we stay distant. And then we complain about our anxiety and depression and wonder why we don’t feel whole. Because we’re scared. And while we have good reason to be, with all the tragedies we’ve seen in our lives, we’re the generation that won’t face those fears. Because we don’t have to. We face our phones and our false sense of importance through social media. It’s so easy to hit a button to show that we “love” something that we don’t understand why real love isn’t that easy.
I don’t think it’s easy for our generation to find love. We have all sorts of apps and websites and hang outs designed specifically to help us find people, and feel connected. But what do we do with them? We take them for granted. We take each other for granted. And that’s why if you’re one of the lucky few to find a true, meaningful love, you fight for it. Things get tough. In today’s society, the distractions are seemingly endless and it makes it easy to be distracted from our love. But we fight through that. We fight for what we want and what we deserve because we don’t want to go back to swiping through images that have been edited to show our best selves, or going on more terrible first dates, or trying to decipher emojis and text messages from someone who won’t even tell us how they really feel. So when we find our someone, our generation fights. And yes, we take longer than our grandparents to find someone, and no, we’re not as traditional as our parents in the way we find and keep someone. No, we may not do everything in the “right” order, or even handle difficulties in the best manner, but we fight for love, just as much as we yearn for it. We don’t care what society tells us to do, or who to love, or how to meet someone, we do it our own way. And we love in our own way.