What true love feels like.

And what true love definitely is not.

Sometimes I blame it on my friends, sometimes on the movies I saw growing up, and sometimes on the particular genetic makeup that I have — I am not sure who or what to blame, but because of some reason or some wrong influence, I developed a very wrong view on love.

At first, it may sound absurd — wrong views on love? How it is even possible. Isn’t love is one thing that is so absolute, so pure, so universal that it can’t be confused or misinterpreted.

Isn’t love is the basic characteristic that evolution has endowed us that is so fundamental to existence, like breathing, or like our eyes, ears and nose, that even the mutest and primitive of the animals know it.

I thought so too, but it is not right; people get love confused with all types of emotions; at least I did, many times.

For a long time, I thought. Night and day, we think about that one person — or one aspect of them.

The way they smile, the way dimples grow on their peachy cheeks. How their eyes twinkle when they laugh or show that one naughty strand of hair sometimes fall in front of their face and the carelessness with which they move it away.

But all these physical markers that we think and get obsessed with, these things that make our mind drugged and heart swell, are not love. This feeling that makes our blood rush and mind race is not love.

This is only a drug that makes us high, makes us see stars, fly high, colourful patterns floating in front of our eyes.

And like any drug, the effect of this feeling will also wane off. And the hangover will be bad, the urge for the next kick acute.

Real love is not like this at all.

This doesn’t mean that the first attraction we feel for someone is entirely misleading or without any purpose. No, it has its purpose. It does make finding love easy. The markers working at our sub-conscious level does help to single out one from the many. It is a guide that helps us reduce the sample size, which we must explore to find our love.

But the challenge is in today’s time of mass media, what constitutes the right person to fall in love is so narrowly defined that most of us can only feel suffocated falling that.

Impressed by the faces on the billboards and those on the TV screen, we learn to suppress our internal instincts and guide and instead follow what is popular.

If your girlfriend doesn’t look like Heidi Klum or your boyfriend like Brad Pitt, then you are doomed. You are out of that league. You are scoffed.

Most of us fall into the trap of this. Only some people by chance or by the will of their characters escape and are the lucky ones, they are the one who ends up finding true love.

I learnt it the hard way when I fell repeatedly and repeatedly chasing faces and not hearts, pursuing the rush of adrenaline instead of the calm of true love.

Joseph A. Cornacchia