Of the many life’s big questions, the ones with arguably the most resonance belong to the sphere of love. Can love truly be unconditional? Why do some marriages come with an expiry date, albeit unexpectedly? Why must heartbreak exist?
In Deanna Jent’s Falling, the second play in Pangdemonium’s 2016 line-up, it asks: “How do you love someone who is difficult to love?” Female lead Neo Swee Lin dispenses some words of wisdom.
Popspoken: What is love?
Neo Swee Lin: Love is a feeling, an emotion, also a choice. Sometimes we choose to love the wrong person or thing, and it affects us negatively.
PS: Do we choose who we love?
SL: Of course we do! Sometimes you hear people say, “Oh I had no choice but to fall in love with her…” That’s romantic but really, there is always a choice.
PS: Is unconditional love a myth?
SL: Not at all. The best example of course would be a mother’s love for her child. Romantic unconditional love though, I think that would be rarer and much harder work. Maybe it’s more useful to think of unconditional love more as an action than a feeling. And like most things, it has to be learnt and practiced. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect.
PS: Why do so many marriages fall apart? And is divorce a failure?
SL: There can be so many reasons why a marriage falls apart. It’s not a failure. I really believe that’s a bad word, not divorce, but failure. There is already so much stigma attached to divorce, we don’t need to add more. As marriage is a choice, so is divorce. I suppose sometimes there is no other way, and the only way is to get out.
PS: Can men and women truly be just friends?
SL: Yes, I think so. Well, at least I have a lot of male friends. And I’m married to one.
PS: What have you learnt from the opposite sex?
SL: Not much. I wish I could learn some of the very special attributes of men, like the ability to ‘switch off’, not think or feel so much. Sometimes I get all het up about something really small, and it grinds itself round and round in my head. Worrying is one of the most unnecessary but regular things that I do.
PS: Have you ever been heartbroken? What’s the importance of heartbreak?
SL: Yes. It hurt. But you pick yourself up eventually and move on. You learn to have a steelier heart.
PS: What’s the biggest mistake you can make in a relationship?
SL: Forgetting to love yourself first. You really cannot love or claim to love another unless you do that.
PS: What are your thoughts on the concept of a soul mate?
SL: I love it. That your souls can be connected. It’s beyond romantic. It’s spiritual.
Date: May 13 – 29, 2016
Venue: DBS Arts Centre
Photo Credit: Pangdemonium
Cover Image: Theatre Memories