Falling in Love Should Not Make You Sleepless
As a young 12-year-old kid, like every other Indian kid my age, I have laughed and cried watching the evergreen Bollywood movie, Ishq. I jammed to the tunes of “Neend Churai Meri, Kisne O Sanam” guilt-free (Still do). Now that I look back at it, just like every other human who is learning and unlearning whatever has been conditioned in their minds through the years, did I realize that Bollywood was the flagbearer of a new trend. Namely, “Sleepless in Love.”
A quick recap through songs we heard growing up. Ranging from “Mujhe Neend Na Aaye, Mujhe chain na aaye, Na jane kahan dil kho gaya” to “Jin Raaton mein neend udd jaati hai” to “Meri Neend Chura le, mera chain chura le, Dil mein basaake mujhko le jaa”. Notice the common pattern. Bollywood taught us that love and sleep just don’t belong together. What’s the big deal, you ask? Well, for one, being unable to sleep continuously has more to do with insomnia than love. Secondly, isn’t it high time we stop romanticizing the butterflies and sparks in a relationship? A good match should make you feel calm and comfortable. Here’s the thing about a healthy relationship, you don’t necessarily get butterflies and trust me on this, you don’t want them either. So don’t mind it if I find a bucket to puke every time I watch a lead actor or actress fall in love at first sight while violins play in the background.
I won’t solely blame Bollywood for this. Google search “Sleepless in Love” and just have your own share of facepalm moments as you see the number of articles that talk about how ‘love’ means saying goodbye to sleep as your ‘reality is finally better than your dreams’ (tries hard not to roll eyes). One of the articles also states how being in love also means you finally have someone to stay up all night with and let me quote, “Because when you’ve found someone you love, someone you want to be with every day and every night, sleep just seems like a waste of time.” As an adult with her fair share of experience in different kinds of relationships, let me tell you this, being in love and having someone to talk to is great but sleep is more important. Period.
Love or any form of a healthy relationship for that matter isn’t an entry into finding your purpose in life. Repeat after me, “It’s a healthy space where you share a sense of companionship with someone while allowing yourself to grow individually as a person.” You are not a possession, just like your partner is not yours. It’s companionship, not ownership. It’s important to question a culture that promotes a sense of superficial love. The kinds that trivialize possible health issues that need to be addressed, the kinds that make you feel intimidated with an air of insecurity throughout, and above all, the kinds that constantly make you seek for external validation from your partner (AKA your sole purpose in life).
Trust me when I say this, love is not when you run into someone with books in your hands and you cannot take your eyes off them. Love is not when a single message from someone makes your day while waiting for that text message puts you through severe anxiety. Love is not the constant fear of losing someone if you’re not good enough for them. Love is definitely not sleepless nights. Love is more like the mutual comfort you find while sharing a certain sense of void with someone at 2 am while having the 400th conversation. And you know what happens right after that? You sleep peacefully.
IN SERVICE OF SISTERHOOD, BY BHUVENESWARI