How to Define Love
Not quite sure of your feelings? Knowing how to define love can help you separate the Mrs Rights from the Mrs ‘Run a mile’. Evaluate your emotions and chemistry with a little distance can help you separate Love from infatuation from obsession from lust. The below are tailored extracts from the book ‘The Sober Drunken Ramblings of a Prominent Nobody’ that I found to be very helpful.
1- Love is one of our rawest and simplest of emotions yet somehow we are all so incredibly terrible at dealing with it?! It is an emotion evolved to ensure a loyal connection between family groups as well as the replication and then joint care of our offspring, doing so through the establishment of an undefinable emotional bond which, once made and left uncomplicated, remains for life. These bonds couldn’t be simpler instead it’s all of the other emotions and societal caused situations that so royally screw things up. Although I can’t quite teach you how to love, there are a few key issues that perhaps might be worth thinking about.
2- Love is not taught, nor is it learnt, nor can it be ignored (it can most definitely be swept under the carpet although it will leave a subtle ridge tripping all unsuspecting wonderers by), it is something that is written into our biology and needs to be satisfied eventually in some form or another. In this way we all have the potential to love unconditionally yet it seems to be increasingly harder to do so in this modern age. It is money, jobs, travel, fashion (in terms of current trends in lifestyle), jealousy, sex, pride and ambition that repeatedly confuses and often ruins the simple ideal of love. The society that is so rapidly mutating beneath our feet and its developing inhuman portrayal of the model, working, independent citizen, is pushing us further and further away from our natural heritage and is laying down increasing numbers of complicated junctions on what was once a straight road leading to the satisfaction of our most basic of needs. It is becoming forever harder to love.
3- Our innate drive to establish connections are far too often misinterpreted by ourselves. It is considered the norm to have a girlfriend or boyfriend for example, although having a girlfriend or a boyfriend just because it is considered the norm to have one will usually end in more harm than good. If couples that are actually in love find it difficult enough to stay together then how are couples who are with each other just for the sake of it ever going to last?
4- Love very often disregards rational thought and tends to strip away our emotional shield, uncovering our deepest insecurities. If you love another then you are naturally more susceptible to slightly thoughtless things that they do or say, especially as your insecurities are often left unprotected. This will often be the cause of pointless, irrational argument (in hindsight), however these tiny testing disputes will always come back to, and be resolved by the love that was there in the first place. Understand your insecurities and those of the people that you love, and your relationship with them will be much less tumultuous.
5- It is the interruption by the mind, the mind that is so easily corrupted by external, sociological factors, that poses the most threat to matters of the heart (or for scientific accuracy- matters of the innate). Love is not an emotion that is thought, it is felt. Love does not adhere to the rules of logic so trying to apply logic to it will always end in confusion. It is helpful to learn to do what is natural, to feel rather than to think, to not apply rationalities or past experiences and carry baggage into new situations. As complicated as our modern life is, should we not embrace one of the few simple and natural things that we have left rather than trying to awkwardly weave it around our hectic ’10 year plans’. Love requires no effort, only acceptance (A slightly odd sentiment I know, but fundamentally, without the complications of the influence of external, societal factors, it is true. I hope that I was the first person to say it as that would be cool!).
6- It is undeniable that we all need to feel loved in order to fulfil a meaningful existence just as much as we need to love others. Loving others can be just as rewarding as feeling loved but a balance, just like everything in nature, needs to be struck.
7- The Disney concept of ‘one true love’ tends to play menacingly on many people’s minds. Perhaps we might not be limited to only having one possible ‘true love’, but I am definitely of the school of thought that if you love someone then you know it, no bull shit, no ‘too proud to say it’, you simply know it. I agree that it does take a while to properly become acquainted with someone, but love can exist after only a month or even just a couple of weeks. There are too many cynics who, on hearing that a friend has ‘fallen in love’ early on in a relationship (that’s if the friend is brave enough to let people know that they have fallen in love), insist on neigh saying and forecasting doom. Perhaps their friend might be setting themselves up to get hurt but they are also setting themselves up for lots of other things too, lots of good things that these cynics might not ever be lucky enough to experience. If someone is right for you then you should have no doubts, to put it the other way around might help as well; if you have doubts about whether you love someone then you probably don’t actually love them!
Love requires no effort, only acceptance.