Mirror Magazine
23rd January 2000

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Is it really love?

By Laila Nasry and Ruhanie Perera

Do you think you can see a stranger across a room and fall in love? Do violins, harps and heavenly music really play and do you really get that tingling sensation? Is it love? Or is the first thing you notice– the toss of glossy hair or the appealing 'van dyke'. Is it lust or physical attraction? Who better to tell you about "that fantastic feeling" than - the youth.

James Rebert,(19):

I think it's more like lust at first sight than love at first sight. Because initially you don't really know the person at all. You are just attracted. Once you get to know the person, then it's love. When we talk of 'first sight', the probability of it being lust is far greater than love. In my opinion, guys are more prone to the former. Because guys are more physically attracted whereas on the other hand, girls first get to know the person and then kind of fall in love. More than calling it lust, I think physical attraction is a better word and that's what guys feel.

Zainudeen Gadaffi Ismail,(21):

I don't believe in love or lust at first sight. I think you need to know a person to actually love - and that means really getting to know a person. Love is something that develops over a period of time, not something that happens in an instant. I don't believe in lust at first sight, though it does happen. But I wouldn't call it "lust", it's more physical attraction or may be infatuation if it's a really bad case. Physical attraction does have this power of drawing you to a person. Where girls are concerned, I think they are more prone to love...and marriage follows quite closely.

Sanjay de Silva,(21):

It still has not happened to me but I believe in love at first sight. But I also believe that lust at first sight is possible. It's this "feeling" you get. You get this drive... that 'oh baby' feeling. Love gets you serene and calm. Like at a party or in a crowded place it's more like lust, you are attracted to this person but in a quiet environment, it's more likely that you fall in love.

But one doesn't need lust to have love. It doesn't always have to work in that order. You can fall in love and then go home and get that excited feeling. It also depends on the situation. It kind of goes together. I think guys are more prone to lust. It's not a dirty thing. It's just that they feel attracted to this person they don't know.

Roshan Silva,(26):

I think it's just lust at first sight. It doesn't make a difference if you are a guy or a girl it's pure lust. When I say lust, it's not exactly a 'sex' lust, but more the physical attraction thing. The first thing a person is attracted to is always how a person looks. Then you meet the person and fall in love - that's just the way things happen. Sometimes in messages in newspaper columns people talk about falling in love with someone they've seen for the first time somewhere, but that's crap. It's not love, it's attraction.

Dilini Wimalasekere, (21):

The "first sight" feeling is definitely lust. When you see someone for the first time love doesn't happen. The "first sight" is the person's looks. I'm not saying that looks really matter, but it's the person's looks that really hit you at first. Love is all about learning. You learn to love a person for who they are and for that you need to know the person. I really don't think you can see a guy at the bus stand and fall in love with him instantly - it just isn't possible. From what I've heard guys are definitely more prone to lust. The first thing they see are the statistics - I don't think it's very much different where girls are concerned.

Layangi Perera,(20):

I believe it's lust at first sight. Love is something you need time to figure out. So when it's "first sight" it's got to be lust. Because it's the physical attributes that get to you at first. But this is not love because these physical attributes fade with time and you need to understand and accept and get to know the inner person for love to blossom and be nurtured. However you need a bit of initial attraction.

Guys are more prone to lust. Girls mature fast. They look long term and think of marriage and kids. But guys until around thirty they have fling after fling. Not all guys, though.

Radhini Fernando,(20):

I don't believe in love at first sight. You get infatuated with a person, you feel attracted towards them but for there to be love, you need time and you need to get to know the person better. Love and lust are two different things. Lust is desire_ it's very physical and on the outside. But love comes automatically to you. You just know it. I don't see a connection between the two and there needn't be lust to have love. More like you need time but that too is not the most important factor. I cannot pinpoint what guys feel as to whether it's love or lust. Because that depends on the individual. While some go for a girl's figure, hair and general appearance, others go for personality.

Anita Selvarajah,(22):

I think love at first sight is possible. Two people can know that they are absolutely right for each other. People can be physically attracted, but I feel that there is definitely a lot more to human relationships than physical attraction. Attraction is not the be-all and end-all of everything. I don't believe that men or women are more prone to a particular type of feeling. Everyone is human, love gets us all - that's all there is to it.

There's always a shoulder to cry on

By Ruhanie Perera and Laila Nasry

Don't put your head into the noose......

At some point in life, everybody wants to just die. It doesn't take clinical depression or an acute mental disorder to bring about that feeling of absolute frustration that makes us contemplate suicide. Life can be hard and unfair, reality can get to you and you can find yourself in a situation that's unbearable. At times like that "I just want to die", seems like the most sensible thing ever _a complete full stop to the whole bloody mess. The point is some us get through those times, others don't.

Even though we are constantly in touch with people and are surrounded by our parents, relatives, friends and acquaintances, we can be very much alone with our problems. "It's this feeling of isolation and lack of control that drives most youth to take the decision to put an end to their life," says counsellor Priya Kodippily.

When sitting down and rationally trying to come up with reasons for suicide, no reason is good enough to warrant putting an end to one's life. But for the person who continually finds himself needing to live up to the demanding expectations of his parents, society, even life, suicide may seem an appealing option. An assurance that guarantees total freedom from one's misery.

The reasons that drive one to contemplate suicide however small, are endless. The big question is what is it that drives you to that point of despair. There is exactly nothing you can put your finger on. For at times even the smallest problems seem inescapable. How many times have you heard someone say after getting their school report that they can't go home because they've got bad grades and their parents are going to be displeased. Exam pressure coupled with parental expectations weigh down today's youth terribly. In an age where there is more acceptance and openmindedness there still remain those who commit suicide when they fail exams or don't "make the mark". What is sad is the fact that life is snuffed out easily as a result of petty-mindedness and pressure from society. They say failures are the pillars of success so why is that failing looked down as the end of the world? In an education system that has been tailor-made for students to fail, the pressures of having to pass an exam are overwhelming and the fact that you have to reach other people's goals which they've set for you can be totally hard and unfair. It is this sorry fact that leads young people to that irrational edge.

Love can do many things to people - even drive them to suicide. A broken affair can bring about a feeling of rejection or a desire for revenge to make one's partner feel guilty. These feelings are in most instances the reasons for committing suicide. The pity is that love can do such wonderful things to people and those who choose not to stick around can never experience the bliss of finding a new love.

There are also times when it doesn't only have to be a love affair, any relationship can become a strain or source of pressure. Relationships with friends can easily become strained especially when one can't fit into a particular "in" group or when you're the one who isn't allowed to do the things everyone else does. It's the feeling of not belonging that can make a person feel so lonely that he is driven to get out of that situation at any cost.

Some people have the best of relationships with their siblings. Some have a seemingly good relationship, but underneath the cordial relationship hurt, angry feelings are hidden. These are very common in relationships where one sibling is good at everything he decides to do and as a result the other can never achieve the high standards that have been set for him. It doesn't have to be only when it comes to studies, even appearance and personality can make all the difference. Talking things out and having supportive, accepting parents can work wonders for someone in that situation. Unfortunately sibling rivalry is hardly ever noticed or acknowledged.

Insecurity is a great devastator and can be pinpointed as another reason young people commit suicide. Insecurity comes about as a result of lack of self-esteem and self-acceptance. Everyone wants to be someone else. But when obsessed with the fact that you will never be good enough for anything it can cause depression and that can lead to suicide.

Every little problem leads to the ultimate isolation of the human being. At this point no one however hard they may try, can understand the depth of the problems another is trying to cope with. The minute the capacity to cope breaks, things can get out control and the unthinkable 'answer' is not just thought of but also reached out for. Unfortunately most of our youth are under the impression that suicide is an answer. 38% of the deaths from suicide are among the youth. We have all heard of at least one person who has committed suicide and know some who have attempted to. Suicide is a problem and the irony is that it has become so because most people think it's the answer.

What needs to be grasped at this juncture is that suicide is not the solution at all. What is important is to remember that you are not alone. There are zillion other people who have similar or worse problems and what is important in every instance, is to look at things in perspective.

True we feel ashamed, disappointed, rejected, isolated and the general feeling that the whole world is against you at some point in life does hit you, but it's never worth taking your life and missing out on all the good life can offer in time to come. There has to be and there will be, light at the end of the long dark tunnel. It's just a matter of time. What is important is to talk one's fears out, to communicate, to get someone's help...to hang on to dear life.

Emotional and behavioural changes associated with suicide{tc "Emotional and behavioural changes associated with suicide"} - Overwhelming pain: pain that threatens to exceed that person's pain coping capacities - Sense of hopelessness: feeling that the pain will continue to get worse - powerlessness: the feeling that one's resources for reducing pain are exhausted - Feelings of worthlessness: shame, guilt, self hatred, fears of losing control, harming self and others - Personality becomes sad, withdrawn, tired, apathetic, anxious, irritable and prone to angry outbursts - Declining performance in school and work or other activities - Social isolation - Neglect of personal welfare

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