“You’re whole life waiting on a ring to prove you’re not alone” are the words that P!nk wails in her hit song, Glitter in the Air (Moore). It’s an accurate lyric depicting our culture’s near obsession with the search for true love. Our desire to bring it to fruition here and now, no matter what the cost. Most importantly, true love sells. Write the next big wedding song and you can count on royalties for years to come. Sing it and your voice becomes iconic. As long as it feels good, who cares if true love isn’t told in the truest fashion.
“Unconditional, unconditionally, I will love you, unconditionally” is the chorus from Katy Perry’s latest song, Unconditional (Perry). Ideally, this song is meant to be an ode to finding that perfect someone who can accept and love us for who we really are, but real love can often tell a different story. Peterson and Thompson explain that “failure to understand the differences between ‘falling in love’ and ‘real love’ and how the transition from the former to the latter occurs have resulted in many broken and unhappy marriages” (Petersen 16). This idea of unconditional love seems ideal, but brings a darker side with it. In our current pop culture, Rihanna has demonstrated what could be called a form of unconditional love. After her partner, Chris Brown, physically abused her, a few years later, she walked back into a relationship with him. The decision of returning was made on the basis of love and emotions. Most people would look at this situation and say “Run!”, but, with emotions in play, a different decision is made. In the song My Man sung by Billie Holiday, we’re again struck by the darker side of unconditional love - He beats her and she has no choice, but to love him. It seems unconditional love has its flaws (Edyvayne 59-60).
“When you touch me I die, just a little inside. I wonder if this could be love” is from the most recent single Venus from Lady Gaga (Germanotta). Along with the rise of club music in the top 40 has come a rise in lyrics associating love with euphoric physical touch. Enrique Iglesias’ hit from 2011, Tonight (I’m Loving You) was the clean version of Tonight (I’m F**kin’ You). Love and sex have become interchangeable. Consequently, we have reduced the word “love” to have very little value. With the rise of sexual freedom has come a rise in misunderstanding what love really means. On the flip side, there is the case of the widely successful Twilight series, in which the main characters avoided sex until after marriage. With the Twilight movies came the hit song A Thousand Years by Christina Perri with the lyrics “I have died every day waiting for you” (Perri). Caught in the emotion of love, it’s a sweeping gesture of love. Caught in the realities of life, these lyrics are a simpering ode of a life not fully lived.
In a recent confessional, Elad Nehorai explains his love story as one of redefining his definition of love. Like most people, he believed love was based on a...