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I <3 U

“I think I like him a lot. It’s bad. it’s very bad.” add to this line a reluctant and frightful yet relieved tone, and you’ll get a decent vision of the ill young gal a good friend of mine sounded like a few days ago.

She had started dating a great guy a couple of weeks back and was getting more infatuated by the day. One might deem this to be your average high school love story, some kind of modern-day Grease without the cool leather jackets and tight pants, and with a whole lot of making out in the dark after a few illicit drinks, birds chirping in the background and so on.

The point of the fact that my girlfriend’s fearful vision of “liking” someone is nothing but the common reaction of many youngsters, is precisely what struck me. God knows I understand how the idea of falling in love may seem shattering: it can often be. However, why is it that so much in modern-day love, from the way we express this fear to the shy text messages we exchange hinting towards some kind of appreciation rather than admitting our feelings outright, seems restrained?

Although we could argue that History’s main goal isn’t to testify of the evolution of love and the codes that go along with it, and therefore that the evidence we have to support this thesis is rather tenuous, literature, cinema, and granny’s anecdotes quite clearly hint towards the same conclusion : people are way less inclined now to declare their feelings outright, clear and bright, as they used to be. This obviously is no scientific theory but rather the impression of a millennial who has seen the tinder usage rate skyrocket, acquaintances start relationships with people they had never met in real life before, and many friends including herself try to “play it cool”.

The thrilling perspective of the chase in a romantic relationship has and always will be essential to many, for various understandable reasons that have to do with the excitement of the unknown. Your grandparents just like mine probably tried to play it cool at some point in order to create a much-needed tension that would mesmerize the other and finally win them over. However, the growing feeling we seem to get is that the ancestral tactic of “playing it cool” is now turning is some sort of rule to play by for as long as you are in a relationship. Or, at least, the half-ironic half playful “I <3 u” and “ ur cute”, which can now be addressed to anyone ranging from your adorable puppy to the love of your life, can confuse us into trying to understand where the era of instant messaging and online meetings has left us in terms of relationship. The fact that the universal feeling of love is still as widely endured or adored, is obvious. Just talk to basically anyone who’ll accept to openly elaborate on the theme of romance, and you’ll see that love is all around.

Nowadays, especially in rather privileged communities and moreover with the simplicity of access to anything from food, to news, to movies, to people via the internet, we aren’t used to the tough reality of the quest. You know, that feeling when you want something so bad yet are afraid to seek it in case anything happened, in case it disappeared, in case you didn’t obtain it or maybe just because you are afraid that your expectations are higher than reality? Well, that is the way going up to someone to tell them that you have any kind of feelings for them, whether it is strong infatuation or outright true love, feels. It’s scary as hell and God are we not used to it anymore. Taking the leap is probably one of the hardest things one ever has to do, because the humility and vulnerability the act implies, is enormous. And this is exactly why we should dare. The thing is that no one except for us can express the internal explosion of delight that the sight of someone in particular triggers. Spreading your love will always be the bravest and most beautiful thing you do, regardless of the response that sometimes will seem inappropriate, degrading, humiliating or unfair. You’ll never be as quick, as efficient and as knowledgeable as the internet but your capacity of shaping your life and learning from your feelings and the ones of others will make life worth it.

You might wonder why this sudden romantically cheesy crisis has taken hold of me, don’t despair, no one has swept me off my feet ( feel free to do so). I discovered yesterday, the heartwarming, soul awakening and a whole lot of other adjectives in –ing, Instagram account:”amours_solitaires”. On this brave page are posted modern day love letters: text messages. The beauty and sophistication of many of them, written in English or in French, not only fuels the hope I have for the come back of brave declarations, but also proves that despite the perverse effect our reliance on technology can have, it is totally up to us to adapt to it and use it to share the most beautiful, clear, and honest message: I L O V E Y O U.