At first I planned to entitle this piece, “Summer Love.” It seemed fitting considering the movie I was employing. Things changed. Not the focal film, but the title as you can see. Why? Not for fear I’d inspire scorn from my audience, but rather because summer love is fleeting. Seasonal affection falls like leafs. Once it gets a little cold lovers struggle to hold onto the branches they believed in.

Bronzed skin pales and carnivals leave town. Times get tough is what I am really trying to say. And though we may imagine that our affection can endure such difficulties, often they don’t. Whether it be pride, opportunity, or any other reasonable excuse we end a good thing for something seemingly better.

Romantics may argue that this is the easy way out. That nothing can be better than love, and though I may agree with them this bias cannot be branded truth… or at least not the only truth. Security is important. So are family, a career, and several other things as well. If love was all we needed it would pay the bills and cook dinner. It doesn’t. So whether we add it to a time of year or leave it all together love is not a necessity.

How could I come to such a conclusion after watching The Notebook of all movies? It’s not because I’m heartless; nor is it because my heart is broken. I rather like film even if every other man does not. But be that as it may I don’t buy into the idea that Noah and Allie end the film in each other’s arms because love triumphs over all. Once upon a time perhaps I may have, but like the title of this piece, I’ve changed.

Love isn’t what we need. Necessities are things without which we’d die.  Love instead is something that we want. Wanting something seems straight forward, but in fact it is everything but. Oft times today’s wants are tomorrow’s regrets. Thus, we sometimes want to be with someone that later we can’t stand to be around. It’s natural. What isn’t, wanting to stay after finding a reason to go. Or, forgiving someone for a mistake they promised they’d never make. Add honoring your word to that list, because none of these things are natural. Love is the most unnatural want there is, and that is why we all struggle with it.

You have to really want it, even on the days you don’t. I never expected this when I was younger. Like Noah and his house, I had a dream I planned to build a certain way. Things have changed. What good is an empty house even if it’s a dream come true? Love includes another’s wants, like painting the shutters blue.

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