Paradox of (Non-)Commitment

This is not a love story.
This is a story about love.

– Movie tagline

“This is a story of boy meets girl. The boy, Tom Hansen of Margate, New Jersey, grew up believing that he’d never truly be happy until the day he met the one. This belief stemmed from early exposure to sad British pop music and a total mis-reading of the movie ‘The Graduate’. The girl, Summer Finn of Shinnecock, Michigan, did not share this belief. Since the disintegration of her parent’s marriage she’d only love two things. The first was her long dark hair. The second was how easily she could cut it off and not feel a thing. Tom meets Summer on January 8th. He knows almost immediately she is who he has been searching for. This is a story of boy meets girl, but you should know upfront, this is not a love story.”

Thus quipped the narrator of ‘(500) Days of Summer’. The story is a rom-com of the tensions between expectations and reality in love relationships, of the difficulty (or rather, impossibility) of living the paradox of being ‘committed’ to ‘casual romantic love without commitment’. Most of the time, at least one heart is going to break when attachment and hopes grow.

Be we guys or girls, I think many of us have had at least one experience of assuming our lives would be complete and perfect once we meet the one true love of our lives. (But why should all of our happiness be one huge egg in one basket?) We might even have encountered this one person, who could be our first loves, through whom our first crushes were crushed… as we wonder how could something that seemed so right go so wrong. I suspect many of of us have yet to fully realise the pain that is guaranteed from assuming that our happiness pivots upon one unenlightened person’s love of us. Our True Happiness actually pivots upon something else – how well we can love as many of the unenlightened as possible, in ways as enlightened as possible, with the least craving for reciprocation. This is when being loving is already its own lovely reward.

To find True Love,
be True Love.

True Love is not being loved truly;
True Love is being truly loving.

– Stonepeace

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