Love letters from Ana: To the cynics


My dear cynic, I am well acquainted with your droning tones (I’m from Manhattan for Christ’s sake.) Your favorite pastimes include mocking the hopeless romantics of the world and boycotting Rom Coms while more damaging practices lie in the negativity you project in your own life.

Being cynical when it comes to love is relatively easy. In fact, in our day and age, it is difficult to resist being cynical with the rabid college hook-up culture and primary forms of communication contained on electronic devices, even the sappiest people can have spurts of cynicism when it comes to the prospect of romantic relationships.

Although the cynic can be the handiest person to have around in the midst of a break up or the comedic drunkard of choice for a girl’s night out, cynicism is ultimately an unhealthy mindset.

Cynicism can come from lingering feelings of a past relationship gone sour or a recent confrontation with rejection. It is difficult to admit that being cynical can stem from things that you may have thought you have gotten over, but that’s why toddlers believe in fairy-tale endings and you don’t. It makes sense that feeling sad or angry can morph into a cynical outlook on love. Anyone who has ever been heartbroken has the predisposition to be a cynic, making cynicism a universal phenomenon.

Simply put, cynicism is a waste of time. Unless you are using it to fuel dry humor giving the perfect punch line to the otherwise sad realities of human relationships, it is just a downer. It’s a downer for every party involved. If your friend confesses to having a crush on someone and you believe him to be an impossible undertaking based only on the last guy you liked, keep it to yourself. It isn’t going to help her. And let me clarify that cynicism is not being honest. If you know for a fact that your friend’s crush is into someone else, by all means, tell her! I’m talking about needless and bitter cynicism: the attitude that true love is an urban legend and everyone breaks up at some point.

The biggest issue related to cynicism is how harsh we can be with ourselves. I can never tell a friend that she doesn’t have a chance with a guy, while on the other hand, I automatically assume that I don’t have a chance with anyone I can see myself happy with. I diminish my own power out of fear of being hurt. The explanation for my madness being that you can’t be disappointed if you already expect the worst. This is totally insane and it sets anyone up for a perpetual state of disappointment. Disappointment in yourself and your ability to envision yourself as happy as you envision your friends to be.

This is something I warn against, my cynics. Do not be cynical about your friends’ relationships, but more importantly, do not be cynical with yourself. You don’t deserve that beat up. No one does. Optimism is optimal in all aspects of life especially the dying breed of romance. You may think that waiting for love and believing in love is living in a fool’s paradise, but I much rather be a happy fool than a crotchety 19-year old.