The Season 1 Finale of OWN’s Love Is aired on Tuesday, August 28th, and if you missed it or if you haven’t been watching the show at all…you’re missing out! The show is inspired by the real life love story of the show’s Creator and Director, Mara Brock Akil and her husband Salim Akil. The story is told from the perspective of the couple in present day, as they look back on how their love has grown since when they first met in the 90’s. Aside from the intrigue of diving into the lives of this Hollywood couple; This show differs from most Romantic Dramedy’s in that it doesn’t just focus on the butterflies and rainbows side of love, but the many challenges and strife it also brings along with it. It’s not just about falling in love, but staying in it.
This show speaks volumes to me because it has the essence of a past relationship of mine that was (and still is) very near and dear to my heart. The pace at which this couple forms their relationship appears to be at lightening speed, causing those around them to constantly advise them that their love “isn’t real,” to “slow down and think clearly.” Yet these lovers feel so instantly connected, that to them it’s as if they’ve been waiting their whole lives to meet. In fact one of the most famous lines of the show occurs at the end of the couple’s first date when Yasir (the male lead) asks Nuri (the female lead) how she would say goodbye to him if they had been together for a year. “I would say….I love you” she says. “I love you, too” he replies, “So let’s cut the bullshit and get on with living this life together.” Now I have to admit that was a bit of a stretch even for a romantic like me, but putting judgement aside – This moment sets the tone of the show and guides the audience to understand what love is from this couple’s perspective.
Throughout the series there is commentary from Brock Akil about her thoughts on pivotal moments of the show and a description of what love is to her. She uses many phrases to describe “what love is” including commitment (as in the daily decision to show up for the other person and not leave when the going gets tough). It’s letting go of past relationships in order to make space for a new one, and it’s complicated (to name a few). Out of the many ways she depicts love, the word that touched my heart the most is achievable.
“Love is achievable if you define it and design it for yourself based upon your values and what’s important to you.”
– MARA BROCK AKIL
There are many reasons why this stands out to me, but I think the main reason is because she is pointing out that love can be attained at a time when society is telling us otherwise. When the topic of love comes up most people I know immediately jump to the statistics of the divorce rate, single people over 30, and the imbalanced ratio of men to women. There’s a lot of fear and disappointment surrounding love these days, but it’s because we’re all trying to compare our dynamics of love with one another, using a “one size fits all” type of mindset. Sure there are basic characteristics of love that most of us display to those we love such as – acceptance, mutual respect, kindness, forgiveness, etc. but those actions alone do not define what love is.
Can I let you in on a little secret? There isn’t one true definition for love (don’t believe me – Google it), and there is no blueprint for love; this show does a great job of showcasing that. Though the title suggests that it will explain what love is, it’s true intent is to inspire others to define love for themselves. Love is within all of us and when we meet someone whose understanding of love matches ours, then our hearts feel inclined to make space for this person and build from there. In the context of intimate relationships, love is just a word until you share a bond with someone that gives it definition. So when the time comes for my heart to align with my man, I too will say “I love you” and will be ready to “just cut the bullshit and get on with living this life together.”Loading Likes...