Wednesday, May 20, 2009

What is Love?

Philosophers and artists have been trying to answer that question since the beginning of mankind. And no one has yet to discover what it is. But we all know what Love is not. Love is not something you “know.” It is not like you can wake up one day and Walla! They are THE one! It is something that is nurtured, something that is taken care of. If everyone “knew” if their partner was THE one, or it was THE love there would be no point to dating. There would be no divorce, no need for therapy and counseling. Everyone would know and not question it.

Love is something you grow, and it is maintained through conversation, compromise, and understanding to list a few. Of course at times we all fall short and forget to maintain that love but if we value ourselves and our partner we get back in the ring, but sometimes we don’t because we are questioning what Love is and if we have it.

Most times in math, logic, philosophy, as well as in live we try to see answers by proving that something IS, or that something does exist. A very common example is the question if “God” exists. Although there are no physical facts to prove the existence of “God” many believe & many see “miracles” happen that could not otherwise be explained. But there is even less proof that God does NOT exist.

So sometimes the easiest way to seek answers is not to see if the theory is true, but to see if it is false. I think it is the same with Love. Few know if they are in love, without questioning it, but we all know if we are not in Love. So maybe the question is not IF I love them but rather do I NOT love them. That begs the question why do we question if we are or are not in Love. If there was an answer to that question we would once again have few problems. I think there are a multitude of possible answers all stemming from fear.

  1. Fear they will miss out on something or someone better, even though they best person might be in front of them.
  2. Fear they will get hurt. Love hurts at times. But the majority of the time it is an amazing experience. Disagreements in relationships always occur, however pain and hurt continues in a relationship if these disagreements aren’t dealt with right away.
  3. Fear that they don’t deserve the other.
  4. Fear of what others might think of the relationship or the partner. (e.g. Parents, friends, coworkers) This commonly occurs. We must always be cognizant that a relationship is between two people. Not three or four.
  5. Fear of change. Fear that one will or will not change, be that oneself or one’s partner. Sometimes we all forget that change is inevitable. It truly is the only constant in the universe. We all tend to get comfortable in our lives and we resist change, however successful partners work as a team via compromise, communication etc, to build a life together that will last, and to deal with change head on.

Love is more of an action than an emotion so one of the best ways to help determine if they don’t love someone is by their actions towards them. Not with specific situations but as a whole. No one is perfect and is perfect towards their partner 100% of the time. One question that has been helpful to a lot of people is to compare your actions towards your closest friend to that of your partner. Would you do more & do you do more for your partner than you do or would for your closest friend? This same question can be applied if you question your partners love for you as well. Everyone shows love differently. Our partners don’t always demonstrate love towards us as we expect they should, but that does not mean they don’t love us.

All of this begs the question why is there so much divorce? First I think it is because we have become a throwaway society. It is cheaper to buy a new ‘one’ than fix the old ‘one.’ We have been programmed that it is ok to do just that. Although that may be true with objects or things it is not with people or relationships. With these it takes much less time and energy to fix a relationship than to start a new one. Especially the longer the couple has been together. It takes even less time to maintain a relationship than fix one. Just like a car…it’s cheaper and takes less time and energy to make sure the fluid levels are ok than it is to put in a new engine. The acceptance of divorce by society also plays into this idea as well. In the past divorce was frowned upon and not accepted. It was truly a last alternative and very rarely used or accepted. This caused couples to work through their issues with themselves and each other. This also true with the idea of marriage itself. The definition of marry is “to unite in close and usually permanent fashion” I tend to believe as time goes on that people place more emphasis on usually rather than permanent. Secondly, the false ideas that society has conditioned us with regard to love and relationships. Sometimes we fail to realize that movies are made for entertainment value. Not for the classroom. They are movies not documentaries. Third, the speed of society. With everything in the 21st century being so “instant” (Instant Messaging, Email, Internet, etc.) we believe that feelings and relationships & Love should be instant too. Again not the case. We don’t instantly fall in love after the first date, it takes time to get to know the person, communicate with them, and share all of each other with each other before Love is found.

It is impossible that one day you plant a flower seed in your garden, and the next day the plant has grown and flowered. Love is exactly the same way. When you plant a seed you have faith that it will grow if you plant it in good soil and provide it sunlight, water, and care. Love works the same way. You must have faith that it will grow as long as you provide it the nourishment it needs to flourish.

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