The most prevalent theme in our culture is heard in nearly every song, seen in practically every movie and read about in almost every book. People have studied it, erected monuments to it, lived and died for it. Love. Love, it appears, is what we as a society eats, sleeps and breathes. It seems as though it is what literally makes the world go round. Love is probably the most lucrative idea our world has ever tapped into. It is the most integral thing that defines us as human beings.
What is it about love that captures us so? I think the answer to that question is as elusive as the subject matter. It’s as if a well in each of is touched with every glance, with every fluttering or caress; and that feeling that is produced in those moments has become our greatest addiction. We will go to the ends of the earth and beyond in the name of love. We will give all the wealth of our house for love. And like Romeo and Juliet, though fiction, we will give our very lives for love.
Such a lofty concept, it seems it can never be confined to a box, no matter how hard we try; and yet, there are those that claim to be experts of it. Individuals that carry an extremely high opinion of their knowledge, as it pertains to matters of the heart. As if they have bottled it or discovered the infallible formula for it. Such faith in their ability to give you that one thing you desire most that they charge a fee for their services.
I googled “love expert” just to see what I was dealing with and 28,700,000 results were produced. My jaw nearly dropped to the floor. On the first page alone, every website listed was a different person claiming they had the golden ticket. How can this be? When the Johnny and Junes of the world seem so rare.
I did a little research and though the divorce rate has dropped from a whooping 50% in the 80s to about 40% in present time, some say that this is only because people are getting married less and less. In my continued research, I found this to be true. One article in the Huffington Post claims that the marriage rate is sitting at 31.1 at the moment, which means for every 1,000 women only 31 of them will get married this year. As a comparison, they stated that in the 1920s the marriage rate was at a staggering 92.3. My how the mighty have fallen.
After finding out all this information, the first question to pop into my mind is, how do love experts measure their success? Is it simply getting couples to the altar? If so, to that I say, big deal. You could get Britney Spears and her childhood friend to a Vegas chapel for a marriage that lasts exactly one day. I could care less how many people you can get to say I do. What matters is how many of those people that say I do actually stay married. Now, I’m a bit of a realist, so while I believe that marriage should last for the rest of your life, I know the culture we live in. So, for me a success for someone in this profession should be a marriage with a ten year minimum. That may sound harsh, but anyone can fake it for a few years to save face. Longevity implies work, sacrifice and true sustained emotion.
So what does this all mean? I think it means that there really is no such thing as a love expert. Not because love is so mysterious and unpredictable, as many would claim, but because we are. Love isn’t what changes, we do. Love doesn’t throw in the towel and give up, we do. It isn’t flighty or unreliable, we are. If love were any of those things it would be contradicting itself. Any person with an ounce of wisdom will tell you that love isn’t uncontrollable. It isn’t something you can just fall in and out of. Love is more than just a sentiment, it is a choice. It’s why so many of these so-called love experts have degrees in psychology. They studied the science of the mind and behavior, of what? Not love, of humans. We are the controllers of love; and because of that there will never be a formula, or potion or golden ticket. So, my advice to you is keep your money. Spend it on something that makes you happy today, not on the false hope of a happy tomorrow.