“Sad Love” results in greater happiness

An event hosted by Philosopher's Jams aims to challenge happy ever afters

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By Seth Forward

The Langara philosophy event “Sad Love” will aim to combat romanticized notions of love and human attachment to those notions.

“Sad Love,” an event based on the book written by UBC professor and the event’s speaker Carrie Jenkins, will be hosted by Philosophers’ Jams, which is run by Langara’s philosophy department.

The event aims to challenge the trap that people fall into by giving excessive importance to conventional notions of love, which often lead to disappointment because their relationships might not match what they believe love should look like.

“The Paradox of Happiness tells us that chasing our own happiness tends to make us unhappy,” Jenkins says in the event’s abstract.  

Jenkins encourages people to ditch the romance novel ideals of love and seek instead eudaimonic love, defined by happiness or contentment achieved through complete realization of one’s potential and having meaningful purpose in one’s life.

Eudaimonia

“Eudaimonic love is collaborative, creative, and dynamic. It grows and changes,” Jenkins says in the abstract. “My goal is to orient us towards living a meaningful life with meaningful love, critiquing and dethroning culturally dominant romantic ideologies of love, especially the idea that love is defined by certain kinds of (positive) emotions.”

Langara philosophy instructor and moderator for the Philosophers’ Jams events Kent Schmor said it is important to reflect on contemporary conceptions of love, and various romantic ideals that might be culturally dominant, “and ask whether there might be an alternative way of thinking about what kinds of ideals we want to pursue in a meaningful happy life.

“It’s essential for us to think about whether we want to accept those assumptions,” he said. “Not just sort of live a life that’s been dictated to us by other people in society.”

Everyone hurts

Victor Lam, a philosophy student at Langara, said the topic was relevant to everyone.

“I think this event can be suitable for all students, or maybe all people, because love and romantic stuff, maybe everyone will have this experiment in their life,” Lam said. 

The “Sad Love” event will take place from 7-9 p.m. on Nov. 30 at the T-Gallery room. 

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