Information overload overcomplicates love

Journal entry — 8:16 p.m. Girl gets home from aerobics practice two minutes later than yesterday. The restraining order tells me I’m not supposed to see her anymore, but the voices in my head tell me differently.
As I hide in the bushes outside her apartment, cloaked in camouflage, I can’t help but think, what’s happened to love in America?
Scholarly research in the areas of psychology, communication studies and sociology have filled my head to the point where I don’t know what love is anymore.
I still want to believe that love is simply a feeling in your heart. Assuming the love is pure, marriage and procreation will follow.
But how can any of us still hold onto this when it’s been proven that feelings of love and lust can actually be traced to chemicals that your brain produces? Am I sitting in these bushes with my sack lunch and night-vision goggles because I’m in love or because my brain is producing a chemical that tells me so?
Cosmopolitan, Playboy and FHM have articles dedicated to pleasing your partner, keeping your partner or finding a partner. Has it always been so confusing? Did previous generations put up with this kind of confusion, or is this a product of our self-help society?
My parents met on a blind date. My mother didn’t analyze my father using a Cosmo quiz or by following “The Rules.” It simply felt like love. It still feels like love more than 30 years later.
But every time you turn on the TV, listen to the radio or read something, the message tells you to follow a certain rule to be successful in a relationship. De Beers tells us that diamonds are forever and even uses the slogan, “How often will you give her something she’ll cherish for the rest of her life?” I guess your soul isn’t good enough.
Durex condoms tells us: “The human body has more than 45 miles of nerves.” (Guys are neglecting about 44.99 miles.)
Avia states: “She knows true beauty come from inside, but she doesn’t mind finding it in the mirror.”
The ad should say: “She knows true beauty is staring at her in the mirror, so she’d better get her fat ass on the StairMaster.”
Journal entry — 8:45 p.m. Girl is on phone with a friend. Need to brush up on lip-reading skills because I’m not sure if she’s talking to Nathan or Satan.
Let’s go over a few tidbits of information concerning relationships that I have been able to gather from sources a little more reliable than advertisements.
Strength of commitment is a better indicator of a couple’s ability to remain together than strength of love (Mary Lund, 1985).
Someone may choose to remain in an unsatisfying relationship if no better alternatives are observed (Julia Wood, 2000).
Everyone has a unique odor signature. Scientists believe its purpose is to help us determine if a potential mate has a sufficiently different genetic makeup (Playboy, 2000). I read this to help with my research, not for any other reason.
Apparently, pick-up lines such as “Why don’t we go back to my place and play G.I. Joe? I’ll lie down, and you can blow the hell out of me” don’t work. (Common sense should have told me so, but being the dedicated columnist that I am, I tested it anyway, and damn, does my face still hurt.)
Men and women had better get moving. They have to go out and find someone who smells genetically good, commit to that person and then make damn sure they don’t find anyone else appealing. Also, don’t use that G.I. Joe line.
Journal entry – 8:56 p.m. Girl I’m stalking — I mean loving — moves from the couch to the floor.
Wasn’t there a time in your life when you just trusted your heart and something truly wonderful happened? What happened to that optimistic person?
I’m guessing you started listening to all of this propaganda and have become someone who analyzes interactions with a negative attitude. We look at every situation by breaking it down into a set of rules or relationship secrets. What we need to start doing is to stop listening to all of this information and start thinking for ourselves.
Stop trying to find a successful relationship at the news stand; it will only leave you with 25 sex secrets and nobody to use them on. Stop watching porn for tips; it will only leave you with the disillusionment that all women want to be spanked or have sex with the gardener or be spanked while having sex with the gardener.
Journal entry — 9:33 p.m. Girl’s brother comes over and investigates noise in bushes. Must be very still, so very still.
It’s really simple; God created man and woman. He didn’t tell them how to love and procreate. It happened naturally. For the evolutionists out there, we basically came from monkeys right? Well, I’ll bet they never read an article called “How to Please Your Little Monkey in Bed.” No matter what your perspective, society has given us this world where love has been replaced by rules.
I for one am not going to sell out. I’m going to continue to sit here and wait for the woman of my dreams to walk out of her security-enforced front gate and say to me: “Take off that ski mask, and let me get a good look at you.”
Then, and only then, will love truly win.

Mark Zmarzly’s column originally appeared in the University of Nebraska’s Daily Nebraskan. Send comments to [email protected]