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A Definition of Love – 14/07/08

This page is dated, because this is how I felt at this time. I can only commit to these feelings in this moment. Love is, like life, constantly changing and growing. Hopefully my opinions will grow with me.

 This topic is intensely personal but yet effects anyone with a heart. It’s about learning more about myself as a person, here I’m offering my thoughts on the nature of love and to some extent life, even if you don’t agree with me I hope it will get you thinking, as it certainly has me. When I feel a particularly strong emotion I write. It’s just what I do.

Love, like so many things in life, cannot be defined by a simple dictionary extract or a finite principle. But people often try. I’ve found 28 different definitions of the word in just one dictionary. Time after time people are asked the question; do you love me/him/her/it? as a way of justifying an action or decision. We live in an age of facts and rationality but within this framework of logic there is the inescapable get out clause of love. You may have your whole life planned out but love is a spanner that can be thrown into the works at any time.

I am not here only talking about romantic love but families, friendships and people that you just sort of meet along the way. Love of a job or a hobby can also be pretty intense, our passions are what keep us from being generic. Brilliantly, there is no default for the human race…our emotions steer us well clear of this. The heart, to me, is what animates our emotions, giving us the ability to feel happiness as well as sadness – two emotions that I often wonder if we could feel if we hadn’t experienced both. It is human nature to place boundaries around ourselves, society tells us we need to be gay, straight or bisexual. We can only love someone if we’ve been dating someone for six months or another defined time scale. You can only truly love someone if they love you back.  I do not believe in any of this. Love is ad hoc, it can happen at anytime to anyone at any place. No rules can be applied. And then there is my personal favourite, love at first sight. I whole-heartedly believe in it. Am I giving too much away by saying I have experienced it?

Love is also fierce; as much as it can make you swoon with happiness and security it can also make you feel pain like nothing else. Being hurt is something that a lot of people are afraid of. Love makes you vulnerable, which I consider to be a beautiful thing, but the sting of a break up between a couple or friendship can leave scars that can sometimes not be forgotten. I am a strong believer in things happening for a reason, I always try to learn from them and move forward. Hurt is a risk you take when you fall in love because the possibility of happiness always comes with the possibility sadness. Feeling hurt can, in my experience, make people selfish. But this does not last for long and if you truly love someone, you will want them to be happy even if it isn’t with you. This is also true if you have to end a relationship however much you love someone and however much it hurts knowing that you will both be happier apart. This is the hardest type of love, but in many ways I see it as the most honest.

Love to me is many different things. I will never love two people in the same way, making each love different and completely contextualised. The sort of love that happens between two individuals is different for each couple, people want different things; how often do you find yourself thinking how are they together? Or they aren’t right for each other. But that is their love story and who am I to come between that? Personally, my idea of true love involves heart and mind. Wanting to be with someone physically and mentally can be all-consuming, intense, a scary prospect and, most importantly, really beautiful. Being completely honest with each other laughing, crying, making love with no apology of who you are. Loving each other for what they love and what they are passionate about even if you’re not. Equally loving yourself as much as you love them. It’s not about knowing what their favourite colour is or favourite film, it’s trusting that you will get to know everything and that you can tell them everything about you, even if you don’t straight away. It takes however long it takes to know someone, each person coming with different issues and experiences. This type of love utterly defies logic the emotions you feel are so complex that they become as simple as I love you.

I’m often told that my idea of love is fantasy. I don’t mind, I’m holding out for the fairytale.

Love is an extreme sport: feel every part of it, the highs, the lows and everything in between.

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