Editor’s note — The following was submitted by Fairfield High School senior Kylie Stroop:
The definition of love is an intense feeling of affection or interest in something. Too often, you hear this word spoken without meaning, other times you don’t hear it spoken.
Love is a chemical, phenyl ethylamine, and this is a stimulant that causes the release of dopamine and norepinephrine. Love is chemical, not logical. You can love anything if you try hard enough. Without effort there is not love, and without love there is not life.
It is easy to become addicted to being in love, after all it releases dopamine. Dopamine is one of four chemicals that contribute to happiness. Therefore, when we are in love we are happier because of dopamine. One heartbreak after another just for a small chance to increase dopamine, pain for pleasure. We need dopamine and think the easiest way to get it is to fall in love easily. Our generation no longer understands the meaning of love. It’s a game.
We watch movies like “Dirty Dancing,” “10 Things I Hate About You” and “The Notebook” and see romances that we want to have when we grow up. We watch as they fall in love in the span of what seems to be two hours and we carry that with us. We don’t understand at that age how patient love really is. We want to immediately have what our favorite movies showed us and we can never live up to those expectations because those movies aren’t real.
Love is caring about someone even when they can’t care for themselves. The end result of dating is marriage or breaking up, therefore don’t date someone you can’t see yourself being with for years to come. Love is doing simple things for someone hoping to see them smile or brighten a bad day. You can make a fool of yourself and laugh at it together, you can write cute notes for your partner. Romance is simple when you care enough to show it can be real instead of like the movies.
I’ve always been in love with the idea of loving someone, of making every day an adventure you experience together — keeping things interesting and learning new things to keep the relationship healthy and happy. Going through the motions isn’t love. That’s just a pattern. Picture the way they move their hair, their lopsided smile that makes the world brighter, the cute laugh they do when you do something nice for them, think of the feeling you get when you hug them or look at them and how warm you feel when they are near you. Think of the little things you love about someone and write them why, talk to them and let them see every day how important they are to you.
This is what love is, not like the movies and not how my generation does it.
I wrote this article not because I understand this word, but because I believe we should all one day understand it. Love is easy and it is also very difficult. It is patient and takes a long time to develop properly. I have never felt this, but I look forward to the day I feel it and immediately know that it’s how it was meant to be.