Our loveless generation should take some advice from the Greeks, about what they call an agapé love.
So, what is love?
I think there is a weird blurriness when it comes to love. Love is a dangerous word. People don't understand what it means to really love someone these days. Societal standards have changed.
I constantly find myself wishing I was born in a different time; a time where I would get a letterman jacket for going steady and the words "we are talking" don't exist.
This generation is afraid of love, and I blame it on the lack of traditions and culture. I have found that being a Greek-American is a great barrier when I date. But I'm so proud to be Greek.
Perhaps, it's my loud, screaming family scares the boys away. We can't help that our normal talking voice sounds more like an elevated yell. Maybe it's because my mom offers you 100 different choices when it comes to meals, and forces you to eat even if you aren't hungry.
It could be because I can eat feta cheese by the tub. Or maybe it's because boys need to ask for my father's permission to date me. (Nothing scares a boy like a firm handshake from your Spartan father, as he drinks a glass of scotch.)
However, it made perfect sense that the first boy I loved will never understand the way this Greek girl loved him.
He was American, a super white boy. We both had different beliefs in love, and he couldn't understand why I did what I did. I myself could never understand or believe he truly loved me because, to me, his actions didn't match up to what an "I love you" holds.
Those are three words that shouldn't just be thrown around.
The customs and culture you are brought up with affect the way you view things. The culture I have grown up with is the reason why I struggle in this generation; it's also why I'm so happy the way I am with my heart on my sleeve.
I learned from my heart being shattered that culture has a big impact on how we connect with others.
My agapé love is a love most people don't seem to understand. I have grown up in an old-school Greek household where tradition is everything. Today, I feel that tradition and values seem to have gone down the drain; if you have them, you are the minority.
So, my loveless generation, immerse yourself in some knowledge and learn about what love really is; beyond your Man Crush Mondays and the highlight reels of your (most likely) mediocre relationships.
What is an agapé love?
Agapé (ag-ah'-pay) is a Greek word for love. The definition is below:
"Unconditional love that is always giving and impossible to take or be a taker. It devotes total commitment to seek your highest best, no matter how anyone may respond. This form of love is totally selfless and does not change, whether the love given is returned or not."
Now, let's check out the word "love" as defined by the Webster Dictionary:
“Profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.”
I look at that and I'm not even sure why it's a definition; that is a dry-as-toast way to describe something so complex.
This why I believe in an agapé love:
Love is much more than just feelings and emotions; love is in actions and behaviors. Agapé love is about the values we embrace as a way of life as well.
This is the problem with today's generation: We have such a superficial view of love. People today are accustomed to thinking of love as only a feeling, but that is not the case with agapé love.
Agapé is love because of what it does, not just because of how it feels.
Real love goes beyond the vanity and beyond the body. This is a love that can bring two people together forever -- two souls, two spirits.
To find that love is a rare gift. To find that unexplainable spark, those butterflies in the pit of your stomach; to just look at each other and sense home, it's truly remarkable.
This generation is scared -- scared of the rejection, scared of not being loved back, scared of the broken heart. So we hold back; we hide these feelings. But for what? To appear tougher? Or maybe it's to keep a wall up.
I think once we admit we love someone, we abandon the walls we spend our lives building, and we are out in the open: exposed and naked.
Once we admit to love, it scares us that another person could mean so much. No one wants to feel pain and hurt, so we keep our walls up. It seems easier to shut someone out than to let them in.
Because what if you realize you need that person? And what happens when you realize that person doesn't need you? Now that's going to take a long time to recover from.
Maybe unconditional love is not about being in love with someone forever. Perhaps, it's simply about caring for their well-being forever.
People say love should be easy. But real, passionate, beautiful love will never be easy. It will be challenging; it will be consuming.
Love is going to be different for everyone who comes along. There is no right answer or correct definition. It's why songs are written about it, why there are poems and movies about it. Love is just something that can never be truly defined.
Trying to find love in this world, where commitment has become feared and marriage is a second thought, is not an easy task.
But I do think the idea of finding another person to share your life with is the most amazing, beautiful journey you can go through. Let's bring back love, traditions and culture. Let's understand others, and understand that not everyone has the same heart as you do.
I hope you find an agapé love.