On the 20th anniversary of the release of Love Jones, I used my snow day from work to see the film for a second time.
The first time, I finished it with a very negative attitude, immediately texting the friend who suggested it to ask why she loved it so much.
The reason why she suggested it was due to what I was going through in my current dating life: the ups, downs, and everything in between.
A little bit of background: Love Jones is a 1997 romantic film that intertwines love, poetry, and career choices between Darius Lovehall (Larenz Tate) and Nina Mosley (Nia Long), and the highs and lows that come with it.
The two lovers struggle with admitting their true feelings for each other, and this notion is constantly tested throughout the film.
The movie has gained a cult following because of its unique take on love during the late 90s, a time when technology was starting to make real change in the way we saw each other.
After watching the film again, I realize why I had such a bad taste in my mouth the first time and why I fell in love with it the second.
It solidified how different things are nowadays in terms of dating and relationships: we hide our emotions behind a screen.
We text each other our affection with some emojis thrown in there rather than picking up the phone to hear the voice on the other end.
We say “I don’t care” instead of taking the risk.
We find ways to not be memorable rather than to be something the other cannot forget.
With my first (and only, for now) relationship, my boyfriend and I never necessarily asked each other if we wanted to be in one – it just happened.
We would only get on the phone when we needed to resolve an issue or when we were in a fight and needed to clarify things.
The first time we broke up, he did it through a text message because he was “busy with his boys.”
When we first said “I love you,” we would text each other constantly, repeating it over and over again because the feeling was so fresh, new, and alive.
However, there is a difference between texting it and saying it loud and proud.
Although things did not work out, our relationship and time together did teach me what I wanted in my next relationship and what I did not want, and for that, thank you.
With the man I was dating over the summer, we were very much out and about.
However, we were known as “bae” to each other and as “friends” to everyone else.
This was the first time I did not feel like creating a label for us because “labels complicate things,” as most people my age tend to say.
With him leaving to law school by the end of the summer, we were able to talk and still do.
However, our talking is, yet again, by texting.
Do I remember his voice?
Hardly, but he did write me a poem, which I still have.
I can say he tried.
With the guy (I think?) I am dating now, we absolutely never get on the phone, and quite honestly, we have not decided what we are other than “just having fun.”
While I was OK with it at first, I realized I am a person who enjoys having labels because labels do not complicate what you have with someone.
If there are complications, it is because of you, that other person, or both.
Do labels mean I want a relationship?
It just means that we are mature enough to have a conversation and talk things through.
Darius and Nina confess their love for each other by the end of the movie and how they will make things work although they are on different sides of the country.
That is not necessarily saying that they will get into a relationship – they are going to work things through.
That is what I commend.
People say women tend to get caught up in the idea of a Hollywood romance.
However, who would not want a love such as the one in Love Jones?
A man who publicly admits his admiration through a poetry performance.
A woman who is set on her career but also is set on love.
A love that has Lauryn Hill singing in the background.
A love where you can remember the voice of the person you are into because you take the time to call each other.
See the movie for yourself and decide.
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