Saturday, May 11, 2013

What IS love anyway?

I've posed this question to myself recently... What is exactly is love? What does it mean? What does it entail? How does it make me feel? When I talk about love, I'm talking about romantic love between two people. I am the first to admit that there are several different kinds of love, but today my focus is romantic love between partners.

I've been conducting a quick, messy poll amongst people I know, both in the real world and in the blogosphere, about exactly what love is and what love means to them. I've gotten a wide array responses ranging from hopeless romantic to utter cynic. My intent with this project was to try and figure out exactly what loves means to me. One of the biggest problems I've noticed is my inability to tell if I love the person or if I love the idea of the person. This is my biggest struggle. Based on the opinons I've gotten, I think I'm slowly forming my own opinion. I will give the age range, relationship status and sex of the person that gave me each answer... No names will be disclosed unless I've been given permission by the responder!

Here are some of the responses to the question, "What is love to you?"

"My answer might be a little different than most. I think that love at its most meaningful is about commitment. If you really love someone, you should be commited to them no matter what and they should be to you as well...I know this isn't the "romantic love" you asked for but it's the same with my daughter. She drives me absolutely crazy some days, but no matter what I'm always going to be there for her. That will never change. I'm committed to being her dad."
Single Man (early to mid 30s)

"Love to me is when you have found that one person you're [most] comfortable with. [You] can talk to them, makes you laugh, makes you want to pull your hair out, but you wouldn't want it any other way. Someone who you can cry in front of and they are open enough to cry in front of you."
Married Woman (mid to late 20s)

"Love is being with someone and resisting the urge to toss them in an alligator infested swamp when they piss you off or nag you before 10am, because eventually you'd miss them."
Married Woman (mid to late 40s)

"That's a hard question to answer since that's not a word I've thought about for a long time.
Single Man (mid to late 20s)

"Being willing to do anything for someone no matter how far the distance, being able to carry on a conversation even if it's just one or two words at a time, and not even having to talk but being in the same room with the person is enough to calm you and make you happy."
Single-ish Man (early to mid 20s)

"Love is not a ring, perfection or keeping with the social norm. It's making it what you BOTH want, regardless of anything anyone else says or thinks. You know you're in love when you have to figure out how to function on your own in everyday life. It's finding the way to not live and breathe only for them, but also for yourself. That's when you have something special. "
Single Woman (mid to late 20s)

"Love is laughter every. single. damn. day"
Married Woman (early to mid 40s)

"Love is....someone who brings you a half pound bag of MM's when you asked for a single serving pack cause you're watching your calories--and he doesn't really care. "
Married Woman (early to mid 40s)

"Love is a force of nature. Unlike my past relationships, the love I share with my husband just found me one day. No matter how much I commanded, demanded, and attempted to push it away, I had little to no ability to change what was happening between my husband and me upon our meeting. Love is bigger than we are. We describe it as a “magnetic force.” Married Woman (mid 30s)

From all of the answers I've gotten, I've come to the conclusion that love does have some basic elemnents. Respect, commitment, comfort and dedication. What I have seen is that no one has said that love is easy. Not only does love have practical elements, but there also seems to be some sort of magical/other worldly/cosmic powers to it.. This most clearly resonated in the last response. No matter how much she fought, she still fell in love with her husband.

The conclusion I've come to is that love is like a rollercoaster.. Scary as hell looking at it from the outside... You pick someone to sit next to that you can at least tolerate, sometimes a total stranger. You sit down and get to know your seat mate, or continue bonding if you already know them. You start to feel comfortable and then the chain starts clacking and you find yourself moving forward. Your heart races as you look to your seatmate and smile. You get to the top of the first big hill and you feel like you're flying! You go over the hill and fall at incredible speeds and get flipped and twisted and turned all around. There are peaks, valleys, gut wrenching lows, heart racing highs, twists, curves, turns and that general feeling of euphoria. You and your mate reach the end of the coaster, and get comfortable again... Then it keeps going. It's a never ending rollercoaster. The absolute ride of your life.
Saying this... I really and truly believe that I've been in love once... I also believe that I have the potential to fall again some day, maybe sooner than anyone (even myself) thinks possible.

1 comment:

  1. I love this post and all of those different descriptions. So funny and all, so true! Mine was a true story, by the way.
    Lulu and Daisy