Do we love less?
“Love knows no age”. At ages 16 or 60, we believe that we are just as likely to be caught off guard by love. I don’t blame you, if I weren’t already married, I would be inspired by Amitabh Bachchan in Cheeni Kum or Dimple Kapadia in Dil Chahta Hai as well. I am not saying it’s impossible but I am merely making an argument for why it is less likely. Lack of correlation between age and likelihood of falling in love is a self fulfilling misnomer. The thing about love is, we most appreciate it and acknowledge it when it happens when we least expect it.
At 15 or 16, our parents provide for financial and moral insurance, friends act as emotional insurers and we have ourselves for sexual discoveries. Then when all of a sudden, this one amazing person comes along, who can provide for most of this and that too, undivided, we go all dizzy (from love and attention) because we never expected to feel the way this person makes us feel. This feeling then gets benchmarked for the definition of love without being tested for durability or sustainability.
When we have fallen in love once, we go looking for that elusive feeling we felt for the very first time and it never really comes back. This is because every experience is different, every lover is different and most importantly, expectations always go hand in hand with disappointments. For those of us who haven’t fallen in love yet, stories and movies etch this fuzzy and warm definition of love fairly strongly in us. So, when our ecosystem of love and attention begins to collapse with age (parents get old, friends get busy and our hands get weak!), this is when the need for a soulmate or a single individual who satisfies every need of ours, arises.
While the need is justified, the problem is with expecting for it to happen and looking for it everywhere all the time. When this doesn’t happen, we naturally get disappointed, making us cynical and desperate, further reducing the chances of someone finding us attractive. This is besides the fact that after a certain age (early 20s for women and late 20s for men), physical attractiveness is inversely correlated with age. No, we don’t age like wine. Sorry.
Then there are all these logistical issues of our social circle growing smaller because most friends are married, people have hardly any time to go out and also, it’s weird to hook up with people in office. So, it’s in situations like these that the institution of arranged marriage comes to our rescue. Market clearance happens on dry checklists and pure logic and you don’t expect to fall in love over a plate of upittu kesaribath.
What this institution does is to set your expectations right and clarify your chances of landing a partner unlike Tinder which makes you believe that your possibilities are endless. Anyway, with experience, this warm and fuzzy definition of love eventually crumbles and we realise that love is beyond all of this and actually knows no age.