Love in Fleabag and Real Life — The Flicker Flick

I have been thinking a lot about love lately and how its meaning has changed over the years for me. It is safe to say that most of us have grown up to the idea of love that has been romanticized, idealized, and glorified in movies, tv shows, books, etc. We are raised to this notion of love that is usually distorted and far from reality.

I have staged my romance and the love in my life, thinking if it does not play out in the exact same manner as what I have seen it to be, then it may not be love at all. However, love cannot be judged, it cannot be staged or recreated like some movie scene. It is not screenwriting, it is life. And if one knows anything about life, it is that it NEVER goes according to a script.

If I were to summarize my understanding of love within these past few years, it is this: Love is not about who you are happy with, it is about who you are willing to be unhappy with. And according to me, this exactly puts love in an apt and true light. Because love is an extremely hard thing to do. It requires aggressive honesty with yourself and with the other person; it requires resilience and strength; it is the only force of nature that forces us to be hopeful. How can it not be hard to commit to feeling things when in this mechanized and capitalized age we have learned and decided to numb ourselves? To prevent ourselves from feeling hurt, we might have damaged ourselves more.

From what I understand, people are mostly afraid to love is because it is mostly cruel. In some places, you cannot marry if you do not belong to the same community. Sometimes the person you love does not love you back. There can also be unfortunate times when your loved one leaves this earth. The ending, unlike what movies and fairytales will have us believe, is always unhappy. Two people meet and inevitably one of them leaves. It’s a potential loss story through and through. You do not meet someone to be with them forever. You meet someone deciding this is the person you are ready to grieve for if and when they leave you. It is an impending doom.

I had a friend. And I lost her. We rarely talk anymore and it has gone from sharing everything to sharing nothing. We catch up sometimes and honestly, it hurts to me death. I sometimes do not want to meet her because I feel about her too much and it pains me. I have learnt to live with the pain and accepted it as part of my journey. Don’t get me wrong. Loving does not make you unhappy. I have realized that happiness does not exist without pain. And just because pain is there, doesn’t mean you cannot be happy.

Love can be very messy and annoying and dark. I have not been in the best of my places myself in love but it has been the only guiding force in my life that has somehow made all of this worth it. It has become increasingly clear to me that if I were to ever love someone, I would always be on the loser’s side. I can never win and there would be perpetual pain.

But life as we know it wouldn’t make much sense if love and loss do not exist side by side. The beauty of art is in its contrasting qualities. The greatest amount of growth and experience has come from loving and I cannot stress the importance of having loved and lost. But most of all to have just loved, and been loved.

The speech of the priest in the hit show Fleabag completely captures the spirit of the type of love I am trying to explain. Fleabag has so long run away from love, hiding her vulnerabilities under sex and alcohol. She, like me, had loved a friend and lost, like me, through a mistake. How can she love anybody else if she doubts herself? But Fleabag — as it mentions in the first episode of Season 2 — is a love story. It does not give us the happy ending in the conventional sense, but it does give us happy ending.

Love does not come with morality or set script or a class course or an examination. Love is a very democratic, liberating feeling to have. The Priest loved Fleabag because he was the only one who saw how she broke away from the present to talk to the camera. He was the only one able to pinpoint that she was hiding something. And Fleabag is the only one who saw the fox at the end the Priest was so paranoid about. The idea here is when you understand someone, it is impossible to not love them. Because in that person, you see yourself.

At the end, Fleabag, a self-pronounced atheist, looks to the Priest and asks him, “Its God, isn’t it?” She means the love she is experiencing, something she thought she can never have; something she did not feel she deserved; something she thought she would never get lucky to have it again. But finally, Fleabag understood the true faith. It is love. It has always been love. To pray is to love. But the real love story isn’t only between Fleabag and the Priest, but also between Fleabag and her sister: “The only person I will run to the airport for is you”, Claire says. However, it is also with herself.

Fleabag’s greatest strength is her ability to love and her dad puts it exactly to the point: “I think you know how to love better than any of us. That’s why you find it all so painful.”

Fleabag is a story about grief and life. It is a story worth watching and worth telling. Watch Fleabag here right now

We urge you to check out our articles we did as part of the Valentine Week:

Ultimate Rom-coms to watch on Valentine’s Day Rom-com meet-cutes I live for Movies with the most iconic romantic moments The Most Amazing Romantic Confessions in Movies I love Most Captivating Romantic Kisses In Films I Will Never Forget

Originally published at on March 8, 2021.



Plain, blunt and sarcastic.

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