Arijit Singh croons about it endlessly, while various actors form today and yesterday have acted out sad ballads dedicated to one-sided love. We are so much in love with one-sided romance, we often forget that it is much more painful and difficult to endure in real life, than in films that last 150 minutes or books you can read over a lazy weekend Do we ever wonder how glamourisation of one-sided love, in general diatribe or pop-culture is in fact toxic for us? It could act as validation for a man to pursue a woman against her will. It could also trick someone into staying in a loveless relationship.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • One-sided love is glamourised in pop culture and books.
  • The notion encourages people to keep pining for those who are not interested in them.
  • Does it also trick us into staying in loveless relationships?
  • The conversation around one-sided love should be more about finding strength and motivation to move on. And not wallow in self-pity for eternity.

Do we ever wonder how glamourisation of one sided love, in general diatribe or pop-culture is infact toxic for us? It could act as a validation for a man to pursue a woman against her will. It could also trick someone into staying in a loveless relationship.

In 2016, director Karan Johar gave us Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, a film which according to me is ultimate representation of modern one-sided love for entitled millennial men. This film painted over the bitter truth of one-sided love with soul stirring melodies and enchanting European locations. But this wasn’t the first film to do so. Who can forget the debacle of Raanjhanaa, a slick take on one-sided love, which alarmingly justifies stalking and male entitlement? Or the eternal tragedy of Devdas, a story immortalised both in books and on screen. My problem isn’t with the existence of this specific kind of love. I am grown-up enough to know that love happens, you cannot choose who you want to love and it is foolish to think that your feelings will always be reciprocated. The issue I have is how pop culture encourages people to wallow in self-pity induced by unreciprocated love, rather than talk about moving on.

ALSO READ: Devdas And Our Soft Corner For Self Destructive Lovers

Barring the 2012 film Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu, which is a personal favourite, not many Hindi films deal with one-sided love minus the self-pity element. The hero must break vases, the heroine must cry her eyes red. They must look at their beloved longingly while the said person basks in a happy relationship. The common message in all the situations though is to hold on to love. To not stop loving the person, mostly in hopes of winning them sooner or later. In real life though, the inclination to stay put rather than move one can keep you stuck in a loveless relationship, with no good outcome for you.

Perhaps if pop-culture spoke more about happily moving on, or pulling the plug on your one sided romance, people would find it easier to walk away.

What happens after one gets their happy ending in a relationship? Do people stay in love forever, for years and decades, through marriage and endless tiffs? No, they don’t. Often relationships lose their steam and people fall out of love. Or worse, one partner falls out of love while the other stays put. It could be such a painful situation to be in, to keep loving someone back, knowing that they do not feel the same way about you and may be looking for an exit route. What should a person do in such a situation? Pursue their loved one? Emotionally blackmail them to stay back because you love them? Refuse to let go because true lovers never give up? Test your own endurance levels by continuing to love the person despite them turning their back at you, hoping that they’ll have a change of heart someday?

Perhaps if pop-culture spoke more about happily moving on, or pulling the plug on your one sided romance, people would find it easier to walk away. Yes, loving someone is a beautiful feeling and unrequited love is bittersweet. It has its moments of joy just as much it has its pangs of unfulfillment. However, it is not necessary that it should bring you unhappiness. You can keep loving someone, despite not being with them, and you can do that happily. The priority shouldn’t be the idea of love ingrained in your head that glamourises suffering but realising the value of your own well-being and happiness.

Picture Credit: lovelivehealth.com

ALSO READ: Kuch Kuch Hota Hai: A Timeless Classic Or Highly Problematic Film?

Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.

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