As we move through life, get older, and have different experiences, our definition of love continues to evolve. Many things in our lives can shape what we think of when we hear the word ‘love’ – whether it’s romantic, platonic, or familial.

Being raised having both of our grandparents guiding us at each stage of our lives, can be very challenging. It can have both a positive and a negative impact on us for many reasons. It can teach us a lot of things and most importantly it can teach us how to appreciate true love. Due to their age, and the experiences they have had in life, their view in love has evolved. Furthermore, they are wise enough to know the meaning of life.

A few days ago, my grandparents celebrated their 57th anniversary of being together. Afterward, I approached my grandmother and asked her how they managed to last so many years. She looked down for a moment, and lost in thought she replied ‘’your grandfather is not the same man I fell in love with all those years ago, and I’m not the same woman he met. People change. You can’t keep running from change, love. You have to embrace it, or you’ll end up running forever. For a moment of comfort, is never worth losing a lifetime of happiness.’’ Then she smiled, and continued, ‘’when something was broken, we managed to fix it and not throw it away. Until you see love as the meaning of life, life seems to have no meaning at all. This sense of meaningless produces chaos, and the chaos produces fear. There is only one way out of this, and that is, to see every moment and every situation as an invitation to love. ‘’ Furthermore, she gave me the most precious advice I have received so far in life. ‘’Relationships are work, honey and they aren’t 50/50. Some days when I get up, I only feel like giving 10% and then your grandparent has to give 90% that day. That’s how there’s always 100% love.’’

Old people have a different approach to love. A romantic approach that doesn’t have anything similar to what we call love nowadays. Being raised having our grandparents next to us throughout every stage of the way, can be a blessing since we get to know how to appreciate love and we learn how to love unconditionally, without any second thoughts or regrets. It can help us have a more romantic approach to love. It can make us have a type of love that most people label it “old-fashioned” nowadays. This type of love has nothing to do with the ‘love’ we met at a party while we were drunk or with the guy/girl that we met at a nightclub. This type of love is more unique. More challenging, and more real than the modern relationships in its own ways.

Today we don’t marry our neighbor or high-school sweetheart. We want to explore the world and ourselves before settling down. We are used in creating complicated relationships, and even though we wish to meet the guy or girl that will make our worlds beautiful when we find them, we miss the complicated situations that we once were in. Nowadays, people are attracted by difficult and complicated situations, because they like being challenged. We can’t see clearly that the real challenge is keeping the love of our life, next to us, our whole life. It’s not easy to grow with someone and spend our lives with them forever. It’s not easy to avoid any temptations. It’s easier to jump from one relationship to another, so are you sure you are ready for a real challenge?

We don’t like knowing that someone loves us enough to give their all to us. Love is not complicated, people are. People nowadays are never satisfied with what they have in their lives, they are always swiping and looking for an upgrade. We should accept that ‘perfect’ doesn’t exist and we are always going to miss out on something. Although, isn’t it worth losing that ‘something’ in order to attract real love?

If we don’t give real love a shot or another chance, we will never get to know the beauty of committing to someone and having that person commit to us. We will never get to know values such as commitment, sacrifice, responsibility, purity, and love. We will never get to experience an honest and patient love.

Our grandparents have taught us that the meaning of life is to watch every sunrise with our other half until the sunset of our lives. Finding real love is finding someone that will fight for us when things get rough and not just try to escape at the first sign of hardship. Finding someone that will not just get up and walk out the door because problems are inevitable, but always find a solution to work things out. Our grandparents knew the key to a successful relationship, which was to fix something if it was broken and never throw it away. These days, we don’t treasure our relationships enough to want to make sacrifices to keep them. Working towards fixing our relationships, seems to be too much of an effort for our generation. Real relationships are hard to come by, and love is losing its value.

Forever must not be an easy word to say. Sometimes it even seems unreal.

But sometimes, just sometimes, when people say ‘forever’ they mean it.

Author: Elle Karapanou

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