Essay About Love. What Is Love in Real Life?

Love is rarely how television portrays it: innocent cuddles on park benches and holding hands under the stars. Especially for teenagers, that image of the perfect relationship can be harmful to their psyche. They’ll ask, “Why don’t they love me like that?” or “How can I get them to love me like that?”. Some people are actually in love, and in healthy relationships, but many are toxic without either party realizing it. Manipulation and extortion are commonplace in today’s relationships.

The phrase, “If you love me then you will…” is thrown around quite often in today’s relationships. If you love me then you will do this for me, buy this for me, go here for me. Many people fall into the unhealthy cycle of doing things they don’t want to for the one they love because of guilt-tripping. They will try things they don’t want to, go places they don’t want to, all because of a “If you love me”.

One of the more common things that people get pressured into doing is sexting. Sexting, a mashup of the words sex and texting, is when two people exchange pictures or words that are sexual in nature. Many people swear that oh, they would never do that! That said is all well and good, but when someone that they love drops the “Oh well if you love me,” that can change their mind easily. Manipulation is one of the main causes of why teenagers especially send explicit pictures to one another, often without any idea of the possible repercussions. Many teenagers do not realize that when they send nudes to their partner that they are commiting a crime— two crimes of the same nature, actually. They could be found guilty of possession and distribution of child pornography; the dangerous thing is that teenagers are unaware of this or think that it doesn’t count because they are both minors.

Sometimes the manipulation is not directly from their partner, but from friends or even social media. The thought of giving ‘something nice’ to a significant other in the form of provocative pictures is something that is thrown around often. One nasty thing about relationships, especially those of younger people, is that they usually do not last very long and typically end badly. Sexts are sent with trust for the recipient, but often they do not stay with just that person. They don’t have to be posted anywhere to be spread around— nothing stops them from showing explicit pictures or texts to their friends. Many times these ‘gifts’ that are sent out of love are taken and used as blackmail, also known as ‘revenge porn’, which is increasingly popular among celebrities.

Social media has done wonderful things, but sometimes the bad things can outweigh them. People having their nudes leaked by people they thought they could trust has started so much drama not only between celebrities but among normal high school kids. People’s lives can be affected or even ruined by their nudes being spread all over social media. Pictures are easily spread from a trusted partner to their friends to the entire internet then to possible future employers and parents— and those pictures can never be completely erased. Sometimes, these pictures being spread can lead to not only ruining someone’s life, but ending it too. Stories upon stories of teenagers self-harming or attempting/commiting suicide because of their nudes being spread around have sprung up in the past few years. Many people think that spreading around nudes as a way to hurt someone will not have long term effects, but sometimes the effects of sending a single picture can be absolutely disastrous.

Manipulation is only one of the reasons for people to sext, but another is for validation or attention. People can take and send nudes to feel better about themselves, to show off their body to someone who will appreciate it. Many people will send nudes to the person they have a crush on to try to get their attention and affection, almost as a way of buying their love, which typically will lead to a toxic relationship.

People can argue that sexting is a good way of exploring one’s sexuality, and maybe so after the age of eighteen, but absolutely not before. There are not only legal repercussions for sexting as a minor, but social as well. The risks are far higher than the rewards. Whether the cause be manipulation or seeking attention, sexting is not a good option.


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