Why are modern day theories of empowerment not helping us practically?

3 years of law school taught me more than I’d learnt in 2 decades of my life. Heck I’d go as far as to claim that these years changed my perception of the entire goddamn world, a feat no family member could have ever achieved. I’ve perfected the theories that grant me a sense of empowerment (especially since I identify myself as a woman), and a belief that I’m capable of doing just about anything I set my mind to. But somewhere down the process of implementation, this is all they tend to remain, mere theories.

Why is it that when most of us get romantically involved with a partner, we end up compromising on all kinds of theories that law school tries to chip into our brains? Through the two serious relationships I’ve had in these 3 years, I realize the end of each one was sporadically spread out with short and long intervals of emotional abuse. And each time it happened, each time one of us walked away, each time one of us broke up or suggested it, we thought to ourselves, “Oh but this time was an exception, it’ll get better henceforth”; Except it never really got anywhere close to getting better.

I’ve read all kinds of feminist theories, radical, liberal etc., and none were in favour of what my cycle of relationships went through. I realize that real life relationships, especially those that are romantic in nature, aren’t simple enough to perfectly fit into a specific theory. But does that mean we don’t implement these theories at all? While the complexities of a human mind will always pave ways for irrationalities, can we not try and suppress it by the knowledge we gain through texts? If I can take abuse from my partner on irregular intervals that only get more and more regular, and preach feminism on social media, does that make me a hypocrite? Does the fact that I don’t want anyone else to go through anything remotely akin to my situation and I keep going through it anyway, make me a hypocrite? Do I need to really implement all that I preach or do I give my relationships certain amount of leverage because well, “He and I are going to last forever”.

I think our generation is the loneliest and campus lives are the hardest. Once you’re out of the comfortably monotonous routine you live by for all your life at home and are put in a hostel with people of your own age group, the place starts getting intimidating. Every other person seems so much more happier, every other instagram/facebook profile seems so perfect, and soon enough, every other relationship seems straight out of freaking Hollywood. But wait, stop for a second and analyze this situation. That picture which portrays such a happy couple was taken right after they had one of their ugliest fights. So why is it up on social media then? Oh because getting approval from our peer is the latest way to determine how good our private lives are. We’ve all done this. I have too. Guilty as charged.

This loneliness that stems from our unwillingness to embrace our own company is probably what is harming most of us at this very moment. Broke up with your partner? Get on tinder already! Why? Because Friday night was date night, what do I do alone now? How about get some pizza and wine and have a date with yourself? You might be pleasantly surprised with just how fun you can be. A close friend of mine told me this and ever since, my Friday nights have not been lonely. I think the only way we will stop taking someone else’s shit is when we stop brushing off everything under the supreme umbrella of “love”.

I heard my 19 year old sister tell me how she couldn’t break up with her boyfriend even though she realized and recognized the toxicity in her relationship. “But why can’t you?” I asked her. “Because I love him and I can’t imagine my life without him”, she answered. Is this really love? Being hurt over and over again, crying so much that you become comfortably numb, alienating yourself from everything that once gave you joy, making your whole life about caring for someone else, is that really what love requires?

Because honey, if that’s love and you’re expected to invest so much of your emotions into it simply because you can’t be alone, I’m out. If love requires hypocrisy, then maybe it’s time to redefine love. How about we try placing ourselves before any partner we might ever have and then see how another human fits into our lives? How about, for once, we give ourselves a break and breathe at a pace that suits us? I’ve seen way too many socially and politically empowered persons completely switching their stances when it came down to their personal lives and that is just sad. So how about this, let’s try and practice the theories that once impressed us so much that we defined ourselves using them? Let’s try. Please.

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