Tag Archives: love

The Bachelor or Waiting to be Romeo

Jake Pavelka, the 2010 Bachelor. Photo Credit: Agirlygirl.wordpress

Females of America are ready to go over to a girlfriend’s apartment tonight to enact a little sisterhood ritual that takes place over one season each year. They’ll be sitting around the couch, eyes getting watery, and tissues at hand as they fall helplessly in love with pilot Jake Pavelka and get jealous over the 25 women who get to spend time with him.  Don’t worry, I won’t be talking about “The Bachelor,” premiering tonight on ABC at  8/7 Central nor will I be discussing the recent “scandal,” if you can even call it that.

No, I’m talking about being a bachelor, or rather, my identity as one. Despite not having my own TV show or 25 beautiful women vying for my attention, I too, am a bachelor. And I’m not the only one. Back in October, I wrote about my anxiety of being single, and how it seemed that my circle of single friends is getting smaller and smaller. Nothing has changed. I still feel like I’m living in a real-life “What About Brian,” and I’m Brian, the character who is the only one of his friends to be single. Odd man out.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I like the bachelor life. There are some things I don’t have to worry or stress about that committed guys have to. I could ask my married fraternity brothers Kyle, Michael, Jason, Nick, and Brandon M. or the recent engaged guys, Brandon K. and Dustin about the challenges they’re facing in their relationships right now. But I’d like to imagine, that as a post-grad, one of the biggest obstacles for every marriage often relates to money. In this economy, where getting a job is like getting into Harvard, money can cause stress on young couples. Couples are asking themselves whether they have jobs that can provide for their new family, whether it can pay for the rent, the phone, electricity, gas, car, and insurance bills, or even basic necessities like food. No, I don’t have to worry about all that. As a bachelor, all I worry about is for myself.

*Sighs, and nervously laughs* And boy, do I worry. Where is my Juliet? I want to “take her somewhere we can be alone” and share in this “Love Story.” And as my friend, Georgia (who is like my older sister), gets married this Saturday, I can’t help but understand Taylor Swift’s own anxiety of waiting. Is this what it’s going to like for the next couple years, every time I attend a wedding? I hope not. Guys aren’t supposed to worry about stuff like that. All I have to look forward to is the fact that the people of my generation tend to marry a lot later in life, as we continue to further our education.

But luckily, I have a great model for marriage. Ironically, as “The Bachelor” premieres today, my own parents celebrate their 27th wedding anniversary. Sure, there are other marriages that have lasted longer, but my parents are there for my own two eyes to see. They have survived a lot, from relocating their family to another country, to at times struggling to meet ends meet, to experiencing the deaths of two children (my siblings).

I can’t help but try to understand why theirs is a marriage that works. And I realize that despite the fact that my parents are opposites (my dad’s shy, and my mom’s out-going), they’ve displayed an incredible sense of patience and understanding. They’ve learned to compromise, and when they fight or argue, they don’t do it in front of their children. They usually go to separate parts of the house until they’ve calmed down. And most importantly, their marriage is selfless and a constant reminder that love is an act of humility, a willingness to serve and be served. The funny part of all this is that my parents are children of divorced parents, and according to various psychological studies, children of divorced parents are more likely to end their own marriages. Known as the vicious divorce cycle, my parents (and other children of divorced parents), have vowed to show that a marriage can be healthy and successful. So here’s to you, mom and dad. Thank you for being a great example in my life, of what a marriage could be and should be.

So as I ponder over my bachelor identity, I leave you being entertained by this guy version of Taylor Swift’s “Love Story,” to remind you that I’m not the only guy waiting to be some girl’s Romeo. Are you my Juliet?

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Wedding Pressure? Me Too

Photo Credit: Azildalions

Photo Credit: Azildalions

I can hear the church bells. Cue the violins. Don’t forget the candle procession. Oh, and the flowers–the bouquets have to be prominently displayed all around the church. The flower girls better get this right. The ring bearer better not be picking his nose. Where are the crying mothers? Oh, there they are…

I’ve been in a lot of weddings as a child, but also as an adult. Well, the adult part  invokes a tremendous sense of independence and freedom from having to hold a stupid pillow with symbolic rings on it. Strike that, being a groomsman is just as bad. With all the standing I have to do, I have to make sure I won’t pass out from exhaustion as the priest talks on and on about love and how a husband and wife should behave.

As a twenty-three-year-old, I’ve had the pleasure of being in many weddings since I started out as a cute little ring bearer and worked my way up to groomsmen. With so many of my friends getting married so young, I can’t wait to get promoted to Best Man. That was sarcasm–extreme sarcasm. Now, don’t get me wrong–I’m quite happy for my friends who have found true love and happiness. I can’t help the fact that their marriages make me feel like I’m way behind, despite my young age. Darn. And my parents are already asking, “When are you getting married?” Double darn. To all those who are under the same wedding pressure, I feel you. I’m living it. Triple darn.

Why do people get married anyway? Is marriage still relevant in our culture today? Sometimes, it doesn’t look so, as evidence by HBO’s “Californication.” Compared to a hundred years ago, it’s now more acceptable to live with your significant other without the dreaded M word.

Some people argue that marriage is for the children–having them. Sure, it definitely was many years ago when pregnant teens were rejected and were often pushed to marry the guy that got them pregnant in the first place. The thought of an unwed pregnant teen in an era like the 1950s was disturbing; it brought shame to the family. Now, you can argue that the stigma it still  the same today, but there’s definitely more degrees of acceptance. And I’ve seen functioning families where the parents aren’t even married–they live together under the same roof and do as other married couples do. They just don’t have the “marriage” title. Who needs it, right?

Other people argue that marriage shows commitment and validates the relationship. Does that mean we get married to make it harder to leave the other? What about all those divorces? You don’t have to get married to show commitment–you do that just by being committed. Your actions will speak for itself that other people know you are in a committed relationship.

So if we don’t get married for the children or for the commitment or to validate the relationship, why spend those thousands of dollars to say “I do” when you can say it every day of your life?

Again, are marriages even relevant today? I think marriages are even more relevant today than years before. For several hundred years, marriage was inevitable. But in today’s society, that’s still up in the air. Today, we have the choice to get married, or to live together and enjoy all that married life has to offer without the title. That choice makes marriages all that more relevant. But that still leaves the question: why get married today?

Maybe I’m a romantic Christian at heart, but I think marriage makes the relationship spiritually divine. Something bigger than the both of you–the author of love–that same Being has brought you together. God has blessed your relationship. As much as you chose to get married, God has agreed with you and He’s had a hand in it. I think that’s a beautiful view of marriage–that makes me want to get married even more. Alas, the wedding pressure. In the words of my best friend, “It’s time to go wife-hunting.”

Photo Credit: Azildalions

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A Life-Changing Love

love

Photo Credit: Flickr

What exactly is love? Countless of people from philosophers to psychologists to poets and musicians have tried to define it, but perhaps the concept is just too difficult to define or to grasp. Yet it exists somehow. Some define it as a “strong positive emotion of regard and affection”  (Source 1). Authors Lewis, Amini, and Lannon (2000) attempted a more biological definition, that love is an essential human drive, like hunger or thirst and may occur in the form of oxytocin, neurotrophins, and pheromones. The field of psychology looks at love as more of a sociocultural phenomenon.

Hollywood thrives over those sappy films filled with love and romance. They’ve become classics in our homes–movies like “Ghost,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” and “While You Were Sleeping.”  Unfortunately, sometimes Hollywood’s portrayal of love is really not about love at all. It’s more about lust. You know, those American Pie films that are supposedly about “young love” is really about the pursuit to “score.” Have we forgotten what love is? Or is love just purely “sex and candy” (Marcy Playground)?

The music world, is never without love songs. Nat King Cole cleverly created initials for love (“L is for the way you look at me. O is for the only one I see. V is very, very extraordinary. E is even more than anyone that you adore”). The Everly Brothers sang that “love hurts, love scars, love wounds and mars.” Singers Joan Jett and Hadaway as well as the bands Incubus and Nazareth would agree that love is painful. But although love may be painful, it may be well worth it, as Taylor Swift reminds us with “Love Song,” a song about two modern-day star-crossed lovers. How romantic. The Backstreet Boys are willing to do anything “as long as you love [them].” But they are not alone. Heck, we’ll do anything for love, or at least to feel love.

Sometimes, this pursuit for love or to feel loved leads us to a downward spiral as we find it in the wrong places. We want intimacy, and not in the sexual sense, but in the sense that only love can provide. Intimacy is the feeling of mutual affection. It’s what genuine friendships are made of. And we aren’t getting enough of it. Perhaps our lack of love and intimacy makes us cheat on our spouses, instead of doing our best to examine the problem and communicate it with our spouses. Perhaps our lack of love and intimacy leads us to an addiction to drugs and alcohol–we end up drowning our sorrows away because the temporary high and buzz makes us feel better about our lives. Perhaps our lack of love and intimacy leads us to harm ourselves, believing that no one in the world cares about us, so it is better to just end our lives right here right now. The tragedy is that we deceive ourselves and that we allow ourselves to be deceived.

Love is out there and it’s not about cute little pink and red hearts. Just recently, I heard a song from Jaeson Ma which basically inspired me to write about this. Jaeson is an outspoken individual who is a culture changer, world shaker, and history maker.

His new song, “Love,” is refreshing because it provides a different message from all those songs and movies about love. What is love? Love is about sacrifice–it’ selfless. It’s thinking about others before yourself. What a radical idea! Perhaps it’s only radical because in our society, we use the word love so much, that it’s lost its meaning: “I love what you’re wearing.” “Do you love the Fray’s new song?” Perhaps it’s only radical in our society because love is self-centered instead of others-centered. We do things because it’ll make us look better. We do things for another only if they do something for us.

I want a love that is life-changing. I think that’s the only sort of love that’s worth it. So why don’t you take a minute and check out this unique message about love, and if you love it, then spread the love:

Photo Credit: Flickr

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Filed under Christianity, Life, Music