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Is True Love Real?

Ali Hellerman
Scenes from the movies: “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” and “The Notebook”

If you have watched The Notebook, you might expect your significant other to build you a house that you described to them many years ago; if you have watched The Summer I Turned Pretty, you might think the person you have a crush on will fight over you with someone else. Unfortunately, that is not the case, and if it is for the rare few of you, all power to you. 

Snapping back to the real world, here comes TikTok, where advice on situationships runs rampant, and YouTubers run perfect family channels while also juggling their problems. The world of romance in the twenty-first century is not what movies, shows, or social media pretend it is, and is especially not what you daydream about. 

Hook-up culture has been a part of American society for many years, long before the introduction of the internet. However, young adults have started noticing its negative impact concerning actual relationships. “Commitment is something that teenagers have a real issue with,” Senior Stephanie Navarette explained. “People lead others on, and that’s not okay.” In this generation, teenagers are less responsible and less wary of people’s feelings, which causes a lot of conflict. Students complain about not getting enough sleep, eating junk food, or missing their bus in the morning. If teenagers have issues keeping up with the little things in everyday life, hook-ups might be a way of cutting out the adult responsibilities of a committed relationship. Navarette continued, “We are young, so I don’t judge what you want to do as long as it’s consensual. If you let the other person know that the hook-up is nothing more, then that’s perfectly fine.” 

Showcasing your life and becoming relevant on TikTok is crucial to most teenagers, while younger tweens use the app for inspiration. Many videos concerning love and relationships are of young women or men glorifying the experience of using people for entertainment and leaving. True love isn’t displayed as much as these late-night appointments. “People expect so much out of a relationship that the likelihood that someone believes true love is real right now has decreased a ton,” commented Junior Roxan Diaz, when asked why people resort to hook-ups. “People don’t want to try to work with the other person in the relationship because that’s the boring, hard part of relationships, and I think that’s why it’s not talked about.” 

Although the couples in pop culture may attempt to hide the truth of how relationships can be difficult to maintain, family YouTube channels, like the Ace Family or 8 Passengers, have begun to bring down the curtain of deception. Whether that be voluntary or not, it’s one of the more recent examples of reality and the possible damages occurring behind the screen. Diaz continued, “When people think of relationships, they think it will be all cute and fun. But there will be times when you argue and disagree with each other, and people don’t think that’s normal when it is.” For example, Austin and Catherine from The Ace Family recently broke the news that they are getting a divorce due to speculation of lying and cheating between the two. Their seemingly perfect marriage of over seven years all seemed to come to a crashing halt to the public because their problems were swept under the rug. Additionally, The Guardian revealed that the mother of the well-loved channel, 8 Passenger, was abusive. Unexpectedly, this model family was on blast after years of deceit. 

In this time of social media, where diverging opinions are often lost to a held tongue, being careful is extremely important. Not everything is as it seemed when growing up with Disney princess movies where a prince sweeps her off her feet. What you see on your phone should not be mistaken for actual experiences. Be wary of what you do with the information given to you by random people on the Internet. More than that, when experiencing hook-ups, be cautious of other people’s feelings. No one is a read-minder. And for true love, some younger people still believe in a happy ever after. According to Navarette: “I think true love still exists, but you shouldn’t have to try so hard to prove your love to other people, just be there for your partner and communicate. So, I think it’s real if you do that.”

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About the Contributors
Eileen Cobb
Eileen Cobb, Staff Reporter
I started in the opinion column in sophomore year and hope to continue to write into college. I love cheeseburgers and anything chocolate.
Ali Hellerman, Staff Photographer

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