Pretty love looks good on papers. It has a list of attributes, successes, and upstanding qualities that entice your ego. Like the smell of desserts baking fresh in the oven, slowly filling the air, creeping toward your nose. It’s gratifying, leaves you craving sweetness of its sugar.
Pretty love is enough to give you butterflies. So much so as to to make you question how one person could send you on such a tailspin. Pretty love is the crush that you had in middle school that you never actually got to know. It’s the guy at the party that talks to every girl the same, but still manages to leave them feeling like they are the only girl he has eyes for. Pretty love is the business executive whose only lovers are his paycheck and free spirited approach to dating.
Pretty love is beautiful in a special way, but pretty love was never meant to be tamed; it was only meant to behold. Pretty love is endlessly chasing refinement, and fine crafted perfection. It looks like everything you ever wanted. Too good to be true even; pure happiness on a silver platter. Clean cut, strong, attractive, piercing gaze, stern expression.
It fools you into thinking it’s real, because what else could make you feel so strongly besides falling in love? Everyone wants an Instagram love. The idea that all of your life, love can be glamorous and full of blissful smiles, wealth and prestige, consistent admiration, laughter and never ending romance.
But a real love does not do this to us, or for us. Instagram love is just a pretty love that keeps us lustful and greedy and never satisfied. I don’t want this false depiction of love in my life, or it’s insincerity in the lives of others. An Instagram love never impressed me because that’s all it ever tried to do.
Real love is different. Real love is like the quiet echo of an ocean. Vast and beautiful, serene yet entirely unpredictable. You would never try to tame an ocean, for you know this is far beyond your control. You are hyper-aware of its capability to cause destruction. And it is for this exact reason you respect it, by finding new ways to work with it.
It’s beauty doesn’t reside only in the reflections of the sun, the wind in its ripples, the boats it carries, the life it fosters. The depths of its waters harbor secrets and darkness for miles and miles. You will never know the fear provoking creatures that could be lurking beneath. And equally, all the hidden treasures yet to be uncovered.
Real love is the girl you’ve known from a long time ago that scared you with her transparency. It is the girl that never lets you settle for less than you deserve. Real love is the girl who makes you laugh in the most mundane situations, and her gentle presence when everything comes crashing around you. Real love is the consistency that, despite the comfort, keeps you on your toes with its spontaneity.
Because real love requires incredible amounts of hard work to sustain. Real love is hard because it has substance. It is not a two dimensional depiction of the many highlights that come. It is also the relapse, the torture, the dependence, the weakness, the shame of love that makes it powerful enough to move us. Real love is not a possession; it is a gift.
To experience a love like this, you must submit to it: move with it, change for it, and allow it to impact you in all ways. Good and bad, timid and loud, beautiful and ugly, tranquil and frightening. Most of us are not ready for this kind of love. But this is the kind of love we should never give up searching for, because it is the kind of love we all deserve.