Empty Cage | Credit: Travis Forsyth

Sabrina Aripen makes her LoyarBurok debut, examining on how if we want to be loved, we should learn how to love first.

LOVE | Credit: Nina Matthews

In the hopeless search for the ‘one’, I used to subscribe to an online dating website. It was a very interesting experience for me, not only from scouring the online personal ads, and getting my responses, but from the many thought-provoking online conversations in their forums.

‘Would men date women in their 30’s?’, ‘Creepiest online pick-up lines’, ‘What would you do if……’ or even just sharing hilarious videos and jokes online.

It helps a lot in portraying an iDater’s real personality: are they shallow, are they intelligent, are they funny? Yes, online daters are not all crazed love-deprived beings, we are humans too. And we do enjoy discussing the one thing that brought us together – the topic of ‘LOVE’.

It’s been over 3 years since I left the online community, but I do still miss the jolly camaraderie of the large extended online family.

It’s the same story year after year. The moment February arrives, and as Valentine’s Day draws closer, the topic of L.O.V.E. engulfs  us through e-mail invasions, online advertisements, expensive dinner advertisements, declarations from love hopefuls, you get the drift. I can’t help but wonder if people truly understand the meaning of love.

Love is such a cheap word today. I have seen 12 year old girls apply it lavishly to boys they barely know. We are surrounded by corny movies that make huge box office hits, like the Twilight Saga that implies when you love someone you will give up everything for them, including life (but maybe also because you are just so spineless, needy, boring, and actually don’t have a life to begin with anyway).

The media publishes news of yet another youth who died or attempted suicide ala Romeo & Juliet style after breaking up with their boyfriend or girlfriend. Or people being murdered for rejecting love proposals. Frankly, it’s ridiculous! It’s a complete dishonor to the true meaning of love.

Does love mean owning someone, or blackmailing them with your ideas of suicide if they leave you? No dear, that is how abusive relationships are defined as such. Giving up everything to be with someone isn’t being unselfish, or romantic.

It’s just plain dumb.

To me, Love is about caring for someone deeply enough to want the best for them. With or without you.

I am reminded of a story shared by one of the iDaters for us to ponder upon:-

Once upon a time, there was a lady living alone in an apartment in the city. She didn’t have many friends and preferred to keep to herself. Her evenings were mostly spent alone at home, and at times she felt lonely.

One evening, while she was sitting alone at home, a bird flew in and perched on her balcony, and started singing a beautiful song. The lady sat in her living room, mesmerized. ‘Oh how wonderful!’ she thought. When the bird finished his song, he flew away.

Every evening for 2 weeks, the bird came to her balcony and sang the same sweet song. And every time the bird finished, he would fly away again. The lady loved the song so much, and began to long for the evenings when the bird would come to visit. But whenever the bird left, there was only silence, and loneliness could be felt even more strongly in the apartment she lived in.

Empty Cage | Credit: Travis Forsyth

The bird started to come less frequently than those first 2 weeks, and the lady started worrying that he might never return again.

One day she thought, why not capture the bird and keep it here? That way she would hear his song all day and all night, whenever she wished.

That evening, the bird came and started his song. She crept quietly up to the bird, and dropped a net over him to capture the poor bird. ‘Don’t worry’, she said as she put him into a birdcage. ‘Now you have a nice and safe home, with lots to eat, and we will be good company for each other’.

His heart broken from having his freedom taken away, the bird stopped singing, and refused to eat or drink for 3 days. The lady found him dead one morning, and she felt incredibly sad. She wondered, was it worth it. If she had let him be free to come as he wished, would he still have come back to sing his beautiful song?


The moral of the story was that no matter how much you loved someone, trying to own his/ her will somehow smother this love and cause its untimely death. I would say yes, it is true.

No matter how incredibly in love you are with someone, let them be their own person. You don’t always have to agree on everything, and you don’t always have to be with them all the time, knowing their whereabouts. It’s about trust, and the true measure of love is how much you accept and enjoy being with the person they really are, the good and the bad.

The thing about Love is, even if you have it, and all the great things that come with it, there is no guarantee that it will be there forever. Love can always be taken away in a split second, for example, in death. So enjoy it while you still have it (just not in the stalker, smothering type of way of course!)

Love is life. And if you miss love, you miss life. /Leo Buscaglia/

Involved in many causes, many NGOs including Sabah Women's Action-Resource Group (SAWO) and many events at once, but it is a choice and just something she cannot resist. According to her, life is too short...

One reply on “The four-letter word that is L.O.V.E. #LoyarBerkasih”

  1. Good article. I agree, love is not about owning them. Love is wanting the best for them with or without us. That is the most difficult thing, cause humans are selfish by nature.

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