I thought I’d take a minute or two to answer this simple question: what is love? I don’t think anyone knows, but many have struggled with it. One of the characters in my novel did:
Do you know what love is? I sure don’t. There’s that glimmer, that moment when you think…maybe…But then there seems to be some price to pay. Love. Who even knows what it is?
I’m willing to give it a shot.
Love is not “never having to say you’re sorry.” People make mistakes; they provide reasons for saying they’re sorry. And it helps to hear it. Love is not clairvoyant.
Love is not control, and it’s not obedience.
Love is not dependence. It’s not having your stomach jump every time the object of your affection comes into the room, not just that. That’s called attraction.
Thinking about a person all the time may indicate love, but it more likely indicates obsession. Love and obsession are not the same thing, but they are closely related, so closely that they are hard to separate out, even for an insightful supergenius like me.
Love may drive a person to give gifts, but love cannot be measured by how much “stuff” you give or receive. Gifts of abstractions are a better indicator: time, approval, assistance.
Love makes you smile more than it makes you frown.
I’m not sure if love hurts. When it hurts, we’re back to obsession, which may or may not be love.
Obsession is not healthy, but it may be necessary.
Love is forsaking all others.
Love is support, in the abstract sense, but not blind support.
Love does not hold back. When you hold back in love, it means you don’t feel safe; if anything, love is safe.
By the same token, love is mutual. Love can’t exist in a vaccuum. When it does, it is something else, but I’m not sure what. (I am not completely sure of this.) It is the sound of one hand clapping.
Love, above all, is healthy. It is not a knot in your stomach or dependence (so true, she said it twice). But if you lose love, It is okay to feel like you want to die. A love lost is like a death.
Love and sex are easily confused. Love can be expressed through sex. Good sex may convince you you are in love. Sex may also seem like an expression of love but may really just be sex. Sex as an expression of love can be beautiful and intense, but it can also be silly and fun.
Love is honesty. Honesty can hurt; honesty that comes from love should never be intentionally hurtful, but necessarily hurtful.
Love is not unconditional. You must be lovable to be loved. But love does not come with strings attached.
It’s love when the relationship is right. A true love can be explained. It has a degree of logic to it; it’s not just a feeling. “I love you because…” If it’s just a feeling based on nothing, it is not a love that will last. Can love be transitory, momentary? I think so, but that is a weak love. That’s a shooting star, a snort of cocaine. Love endures, because it has the weight of reason behind it. Think When Harry Met Sally: “I love that you get cold when it’s 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you’re looking at me like I’m nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night.”
In Harry’s speech, the only really good reason for being in love is the last one. Screw it. that may be the definition of love right there.
I’m not sure if I’m done with this topic, but I think I’m done for now. That’s a dent.