What is love? Love is an intense feeling of deep affection for someone or something. I wish love was that simple. Love is a complicated word that can have a different meaning from one individual to another. Our experiences affect our behavior, actions, and our perceptions of the world around us. Through the course of one’s life, their perception of the world around them will change numerous times. Depending on our experiences with love, we may perceive “love as a dream” or “love as a nightmare”. From my experience and that of others, I learned that love can be a sweet dream, a horrible nightmare, or an ugly combination of the two and how we perceive love will reflect in our beliefs and actions. “Love is a dream” is a metaphor that people often use to describe how much they are enjoying the experience of love. When we feel that love is very beautiful because of the positive emotions that entail with loving and being loved, we often compare it to a dream. In a sweet dream, everything seems close to perfect. We want to enjoy every moment that passes us by and we never want to wake up from that sweet dream. At that moment, “Love is a dream”. For example, some individuals may have experienced the “love at first sight” effect at least once in their lifetime. In an instant, a person can fall in love by looking into one’s eyes.
That love can grow so quickly that it might feel as if we are in a dream. The lovers find it hard to stay away from each other and think about one another in every waking moment. It is at that stage that everything is the way they want it to be. To those lovers, love is a beautiful dream. On the other hand, “Love is a nightmare” is a metaphor that people often use to describe how excruciating and heart-breaking love can be. In a horrible nightmare, everything seems to fall apart around you. We feel as if every moment that passes us by is very painful and we wish to wake from that horrible nightmare as soon as possible. Whether it is because one is betrayed by their lover or their love is unrequited, love can sometimes feel like a nightmare. Love that was once a sweet dream can quickly become a nightmare that we wish to wake up from. For example, when a woman finds out that her husband is cheating on her, her whole world is turned upside down. The dream she once experienced became a nightmare full of pain and misery.
No matter how she approaches the situation, the damage has been done. Whether she chooses to suffer with her husband or without him, to her, love has become a nightmare. There are several similarities and differences that lay within the two metaphors. A major similarity between the two metaphors is the fear we experience when dealing with love. When perceiving love as a dream or a nightmare, an individual is often fearful of falling in love, being in love and losing love. Love is such a powerful emotion that can have a major impact on our lives. Like many things, one will be fearful when dealing with anything that has that much of an impact on their life. For example, when two individuals are in a relationship, they might fear that their love will end or that their love will never recover from the damage that has been caused by a betrayal. A major difference between the two metaphors is the connotation attached to each metaphor. “Love is a dream” has a positive connotation because dreams are usually things we look forward to when we sleep at night.
Dreams are perceived to be a wonderful experience that we wish would come true. When we think of a dream, we think of being happy and filled with joy. So when we view love as a dream, we view it as a positive experience. In contrast to the first metaphor, “Life is a nightmare” has a negative connotation because nightmares are experiences that we do not wish to go through. If we had to experience a nightmare, we want it to end as soon as possible. We experience pain and misery when having a nightmare and that is why some people wake up in tears after a nightmare. When we view love as nightmare, we view it as a negative experience that we just want to forget. Our beliefs, perceptions and actions are affected differently based on whether we view “love as a dream” or “love as a nightmare”. When we view love as a dream, we believe love is a wonderful feeling that everyone should experience. One that views love as a dream might be happy and smiling most of the time. They might be more courteous and caring towards other. They might look forward to what the next day has to bring. The positive actions, beliefs and perceptions will reflect the individual’s view that “love is a dream”.
When we view love as a nightmare, we tend to believe that love is an excruciating experience that interferes with our life. One that views love as a nightmare might be sad and frowning most of the time. They might be rude to others as they try to express their negative emotions in unhealthy ways. They might not look forward to what the future brings. They also might feel pain when they think of love and what it has done to them. All the negative actions, beliefs and perceptions will reflect the individual’s view that “love is a nightmare”. Depending on how we view love, our beliefs, actions and perceptions will reflect it. We have all felt both the passionate romance that can seem surreal and the sting of betrayal that is followed by heartbreak. Anyone that has fallen in love can relate to both metaphors and have had different perceptions of love depending on what they experience with their loved ones. While both metaphors have their similarities, the metaphors’ connotations give them completely opposite meanings. Our beliefs and actions reflect whether we perceive love as a sweet dream or as a horrible nightmare. Based on your experiences, do you see “love as a dream” or do you see “love as a nightmare”?