True Love: Fantasy or Reality?


“Do you believe true love exists?” asked Aileen with her heavy Barsgahye (Persian Armenian) accent as she sat across from me at a candlelit table on a cool summer night.  In her mid fifties, Aileen is immaculately turned out for the evening’s festivities. The conversation till then had been light and polite chit chat that is usual amongst people who had just met.  That’s why I was started by her rather personal question.

“How do you define ‘true love?” I asked in return.

Aileen paused a moment, never having contemplated the thought that there may be other definitions of these two harmless sounding words which together have a power greater than their individual meanings.

The answers to the definition of true love can be as varied as there are waves in the ocean.  A random sampling of answers to the question of “What is true love?” yielded the following:

“True love is when you put your partner’s interests above your own. It is when you will do anything to see them happy, even things that may go against what you believe. It is called sacrifice and true love is nothing without it.”

“To me, true love is something that is hard to explain. Sometimes people think that it is there. Some people know that it is there…”

“I think true love is when two people cannot help but spend a day without any contact whatsoever. They have to do it. They’ll suffer if they don’t have the person that they love. They love each other 110. Their love is never-ending for one another. They cannot have anyone better and they are perfect for each other.”

“There are so many more things that tie into ‘true love’ for me. There are so many things I’d write about, and I could go on and on, but I guess true love is, well, true love!”

“True love is the conviction to forgive the one whom you love…unconditionally.”

“When you’re away from her you think of her. When you’re with her you want to please her. When you laugh or cry you want to do it with her.”

“True love is when two people know each other’s imperfections, limitations, shortcomings, and flaws, and in spite of that they accept without hesitation and without hope for a change.”

“Do anything but without EXPECTATIONS !!!”

True love seems to be unconditional love, acceptance and sacrifice. It also seems to be obsessive, co-dependent and indefinable.

Aileen’s definition was not much different. Her words were “It’s unconditional and you don’t mind the other person’s faults.” She said this sitting next to her husband of over 30 years who was politely listening to the discussion with a badly veiled curiosity. After all, who doesn’t want to know their wives’ hidden thoughts about love, sex and everything else that makes a marriage?

“But that exists only in the movies,” I exclaimed when I heard her response. “Life is not a page out of Princess Bride or The Proposal,” I said referring to popular romantic movies. Isn’t it completely normal for the people we live with – be it our siblings, parents, spouses or roommates – to have annoying habits that occasionally drive us up the wall? Is it reasonable to expect that life should be like a fairy tale where everyone lives in harmony happily ever after?

Statistics on rising divorce rates clearly indicate that such a thing, apart from Walt Disney movies, does not exist. In the other extreme, disposable relationships are also disconcerting. A new reality television program, with billboards throughout the city, features a young woman with the tagline “You know this ring can come off,” an implication that a marriage is conditional and temporary, based on the whims of the ring wearer. This certainly goes against the above listed definitions of true love that include acceptance and unconditional love.

This dichotomy of existence, between fantasy and reality, of the definition of love and what is expected of a relationship, that has created a myriad of social ills such as divorce, fear of commitment, temporary relationships and the believe that one can “always do better” and why settle for anything less.

“There are no values in this country,” is Razmig’s constant complaint when talking about the epidemic of divorce. “They still have them in the Middle East,” he says in comparison. Perhaps. But upon closer inspection it is evident that the Middle East, Europe and all the points in between, are also experiencing rising divorce rates and many of the other relationship problems evident in our own backyard.

As children, fairy tales are necessary to help us acclimate to adult ideas, therefore the depictions of true love and happy endings help us learn about the themes of good and evil, of marriage and long term commitments. But now that we are adults, it is time to dispose of the childish notion of “happily ever after” and accept that life is a journey and the loving relationships in them make for a richer experience. There will be times when a spouse’s inability to put dirty socks in the hamper that is six inches away will be maddening or the obsessive worry about the floors cleanliness will make one long for a long walk on a very short pier but it doesn’t stop them from being the people we love.

Ultimately true love is about respect for another, cherishing their individuality, supporting their efforts, applauding their achievements, caring for their wounds while they heal and allowing room for them to grow into better human beings. And this takes a very long time.


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  1. Paul said:

    When you live in America ,yes it is fantacy, I lived 30 yr in America, and most of the world now money talk bulshit ( LOVE) walks they saying ,and after that they call this is life !! and they end it,respect love only if you have money other wise you walk way and you don’t look back.

  2. ArdeVast Atheian said:

    Unfortunately the Jews have crafted artificial conflict in this country to profit from other people’s breakups. They concocted this sick concept of feminism that only what happens to women matters. What happens to men? Who cares, what should they suffer since they have been designated as the perpetually evil party anyway, by this Jewish feminist mindset.
    No marriage can ever survive this kind of Jewdiciary that rules the divorce courts nowadays. All marriages are doomed unless the wife is able to resist the divorce court’s inducements to get rid of the husband and split his largess with the court minions.

  3. Garen Yegparian said:

    Two things:
    1- I suggest reading the february 2006 National Geographic article about love- it’s biological basis. That material will inform all else we think about love, true or otherwise.
    2- Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease, whoever “ArdeVast Atheian” is, spare us the absurd anti-Jewish, conspiracy mongering foolishness.

    • ArdeVast Atheian said:

      Garen, I wish you luck getting your divorce thru a Jew judge. For myself, after my divorce experience at the hands of Jew judge and the entourage of her Jew court minions, I shall always wish for an Armenian judge. Somehow I have this delusion that an Armenian judge would not dispatch an Armenian family to a dustbin the way my lot, a strictly Jew-staffed court did.

      • Armen said:

        Wake up. This has nothing to do with one’s religion and don’t forget that our religion is based on Judaism and the Old Testament. A judge must apply the law. Don’t like the law? Elect politicians who will change it. Your irrational hatred will not help you.

        • ArdeVast Atheian said:

          Armen, the question should be asked: Is there a mindset in Family Court AGAINST the preservation of Marriage and Family. I say yes there is. Family court judges and lawyers make a living NOT from preserving the family but from destroying it. Check out the websites on Family courts. See how those who have experienced it describe them. The significant question here is NOT whether there is a Jewish element it but why so many divorces now, when there were so few of them only four decades ago.

  4. Armen said:

    Now the Jews are responsible for divorce!!! Those damn Jews!!! I was just thinking about it and I think it is those greedy Armenian jewelers who are responsible for divorce. After all, by telling us we have to buy our soon to be brides larger and more expensive rings to keep up with the Janjigians or the Kardashians, we have little money left to support our wives’ lavish lifestyles!

    If you did not pick up on my written sarcasm above, I apologize for not doing a good enough job. Seriously, can a moderator please clean this kind of BS up? It is sickening. It is the kind of mentality that led to the Armenian Genocide after all it was those “corrupt” Armenian merchants who drove “honest” Turkish businesses out and who needed to be rubbed off the face of the Earth. While free speech is all well and good, I worry that morons like Mr. “Atheian” will be deemed to be speaking for the rest of us.

    • ArdeVast Atheian said:

      I worry about the fate of Armenian families in this country. The inducements for divorce and taking it all are always prodded at them, courtesy of the divorce industry comprised of lawyers and psych counselors who are willing to manufacture any pretext to end an otherwise viable family and marriage out of existence. I lament your impetuously temperamental, immature and self-righteous attitude to describe your own ignorance and inexperience in this realm.

  5. Robert Davidian said:

    It’s fascinating, and the subject of my next documentary. So many people have differing definitions! Another related question I ask is: Why do people get married? I am surprised at how many answers there are! I am ALSO surprised at how many of them do not include the word LOVE!

  6. Skye said:

    What an excellent article and so nteretsing, I actually read it twice! True love does exist and although some believe not, there are some lucky few out there. Shame I’m not one, but I do believe.