Life Outside Social Media

Choosing to Love

            I’ve never been one to idealize relationships because of my firm realist outlook of love. To me, meeting “the one” in a grand, elaborate manner always seemed like a delusional idea instilled by unrealistic romantic comedies. But still, to some extent, I believe that everything happens for a reason and fate plays some kind of role in our pursuit of love. However, that extent only lies in finding each other when you’re both at a good place with yourselves, not in a perfectly coincidental, romantic encounter that people like to call “destiny.” I’m still trying to dissect the idea of “the one” and whether I truly believe in it or not, but for now, I most definitely think the right person exists in many points of our lives. It’s just that staying with that person depends on whether you continue to choose each other.

            Black Mirror’s “Hang the DJ” actually inspired me to write this entry. The episode revolves around a digital world of dating, in which a device ("The System") matches you up with someone and assigns an expiration date – much like online dating minus the limited time feature. Needless to say, I was furious throughout most of the episode because the fundamental foundation of these matchmade relationships is the idea of fate, which is illustrated by The System playing God and determining your "ultimate match" based on your interactions with previous partners. In a sense, you rely on some other force to find the perfect person for you. It entirely rules out individual choice, which is what frames my personal philosophy of dating.

            I believe that if the strongest asset in your relationship is that you're "meant to be" because of some inexplicable action of the universe, then you're in love with the idea of the person. You become content or comfortable because you're done searching and trying after the universe did it all for you, but from personal preference, I don't think that will ever be enough because that ultimately leads you to settle. I may not have much dating experience, but one thing I've always told myself whenever I do get into a serious relationship is that loving someone is a constant, deliberate choice, whether you met in a magical, romantic way or through a dating app. The way you meet is as far as "destiny" has in store for you, and the fate of the rest of your relationship lies in your conscious decision to love each other. 

            By the end of the episode (*SPOILER ALERT*), The System ends up being a test, in which the central couple is meant to override it by choosing to want each other despite the impending consequences. Every encounter turns out to be a repeating simulation that they have undergone a thousand times. The cycle repeats as their memory gets wiped out, and every single time, they would choose to run away together instead of complying with the system. Essentially, all along, the promising 99.8% match is determined by the couple's perpetual choice to love each other, and that's where the episode truly resonates with my personal philosophy.

            There's nothing wrong with being a hopeless romantic – perceiving the world through rose-colored lenses fuels hope in finding the right one. It only becomes problematic when you idealize that person and try to mold them into your vision of the perfect partner because that's when you know you're looped in a fabricated reality. The underlying message of this episode is that when some force tells you that you're not meant to be with someone who you think is right for you, find the courage to rebel against it because the only decision that should matter is yours and your significant other's. Love is raw and deeply irrational and only a human mind is stupid enough to consciously choose it despite the antithetical choice of everything else in the universe. 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

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