Title text: Or love in general, for that matter. It just leads to the idea that either your love is pure, perfect, and eternal, and you are storybook-compatible in every way with no problems, or you're LYING when you say 'I love you'.
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This comic points out the absurdity of our ideals about "Young Love" through an exaggerated snippet of a conversation between Megan and Cueball. Randall suggests in this comic that most idealized versions of romance are unrealistic, and that expecting these ideals [as young lovers often do] can damage real relationships.
"True Love" and "Love at First Sight" are common tropes in western books, plays, and movies. These tropes present love as occurring passionately, spontaneously, and immediately, between two previously unacquainted people who are "destined" to be together in a story-book romance. The more these people learn about each other, the more they realize how perfectly they are suited for each other, and their relationship never experiences any serious internal conflict thanks to their perfect compatibility. Think of Romeo and Juliet, Titanic, or [nearly] every Disney Princess movie. This version of love is idealized in popular culture.
The realities of developing a relationship are a lot more complicated, of course. Relationships depend far more on each partner's ability to adapt to each other than they do on being a "perfect match" to begin with. Relationships grow more substantial with age as people get to know and work with each other better. And people who enter into a relationship expecting a story-book version of events, where they don't have to change and neither does their partner, often find themselves feeling confused or disappointed. Young lovers who get all of their knowledge about romance from popular culture are much more likely to expect a story-book "true love" style relationship than people with more experience.
This comic shows a young Megan discovering that she and [her boyfriend] Cueball share an interest in a particular song. The ridiculous conclusion she draws from this coincidence ["I bet no two people in the history of the world have ever been so connected!"] suggests that she naively imagines herself to be in "true love" style storybook romance. The evidence for her conclusion is laughable, of course, since any given person likes dozens or even hundreds of different songs, and there is inevitable overlap between the musical tastes of any two given people [even moreso when both people are in the same culture, region, and age-group]. Furthermore, liking a single song, or even an entire genre of music, has almost no bearing on romantic compatibility–it's the sort of ridiculous thing one finds in a storybook, not in real life. The conversation in the comic is representative of a lot of the flaws with young love.
The caption for the comic questions why anyone would romanticize young love, given how many young lovers behave like Megan does here, making exaggerated claims about how "connected" they are based on terrible evidence while failing to show any real compatibility with their partner. The implication of this question is that we *shouldn't* idealize young love, because most of the "perfect connection" young lovers often profess comes from self-delusion [as in the comic] rather than actual depth.
The alt-text broadens this criticism to apply all forms of idealized romance, stating that idealizing love "just leads to the idea that either your love is pure, perfect, and eternal, and you are storybook-compatible in every way with no problems, or you're LYING when you say 'I love you'." In other words, expecting your relationship to be perfect at the outset is absurd, and it leads to dissatisfaction when reality fails to match up. Love is something that should grow from time spent together and effort invested, rather than springing out fully formed the moment two people meet.
The comic is funny because it highlights the absurdity of the "young love" and uses an exaggerated conversation to point out the flaws in our popular narrative of romance. It also makes a thoughtful argument against idealizing love in general.
- Megan: Seriously? I like that song too!
- Megan: I bet no two people in the history of the world have ever been so connected!
- I'm not sure why we romanticize "young love."