Question #6 on Love

What’s your opinion on love?  Are there different types? Can we separate love from infatuation?  Are there any qualifiers to make love “true” (rather than fake”)?

A few weeks ago, a girl I know linked me to the Elite Daily article on Eternal Love that I posted on Of Whiskey and Words. She told me to read it and asked me for my thoughts.  It was an interesting dynamic as she used to be a formal flame of mine and it’s always interesting to hear thoughts on love from a former romantic interest.

Below is what I wrote to her about my thoughts on Love:

“Did you know that English has one word for “love” where Sanskrit has 96?  There are so many different types of love.  So many different ways to show love.  I once read “No one has ever loved anyone the way everyone wants to be loved ” and that’s frightfully true.  We all have different concepts of what love is and how to show it. That’s why people struggled so much at times in relationships (romantic or friendly).

We need or expect something other than what the person is giving us.   Most of the time it isn’t because they aren’t trying.  It turns out to be the opposite.  They think they’re giving us what we want because it’s what they would want. “We see from where we stand.” Perspective matters so much in love.  We don’t seem to understand that each person in the world has a different expectation for what being truly loved would feel like and involve. Unless you establish open and honest lines of communication you’ll never be able to be loved the way you want to be loved.
With that in mind it depends what you believe love is and how you define perfect.  Is love caring about someone to the point of madness? Is it mostly emotional? Sexual? Is it being there for them even when you promised yourself you were moving on and want to be anywhere else?  Is it constantly wondering about them and how their day is going? Or maybe just being the shoulder they cry on when the world seems to be falling apart?
I don’t know if love is perfect in itself or maybe it’s the only perfect and pure thing which we ruin it by trying to put in a box.  We all have our own ideas of love.  We get these ideas for ‘perfect love’ from movies, TV shows, books, our families,   We craft our idea of what a perfect love will be like.  We think ‘next time when i meet someone it will be like this.’  Which is funny because each and every relationship we enter into is going to be different.  Similar to chess, you understand the basic rules of what is “allowed” but every time you sit down to play it’s different because one action or movement completely changes the game.  You can’t predict other people’s actions or motives.  You can’t plan love.  Nor should you.  Love is the unplanned thing that gives life meaning.  It teaches us about forgiveness.  It gives us hope.

In the Elite Daily Article Paul Hudson writes:

If someone you love changes your life to a great enough extent, if he or she changes the person you have grown to be, if this person adds enough of his or her personal touch to the canvas that is your life, and you love the result, then you have no choice but to love this person.

I really loved that.  People say love is a choice but I don’t know how true that is.  Maybe at the start. But eventually you get to a point where you can’t turn it off no matter how much you try.  You can suppress it but that’s not the same as ending it.  Even with suppressing their fingerprints still leave smudges on your life.

Maybe it’s the hopeless romantic in my but that concept, of adding to someone’s life,  makes loving someone seem worth it.  You know that in the end it may not work.  But in a world of extremes we can only love too little.  Once you love someone they take part of you away that you can never get back.  But they leave a part of themselves with you. When you give your time, or texts, or kisses, or anger, your smiles, your vulnerable moments to someone there isn’t anyway your personal touch, your fingerprints, aren’t added to their life.  In the end you can never fully undo that.  Not saying you’d ever want to, but it can make it hard sometimes.  They leave a cut on your heart. If things end, the cut will heal, but what will be left is a scar because you put so much into each other.
That’s what romantic love is supposed to be about. Wanting to ‘paint the canvas of their soul with your brush’ wanting to leave your fingerprints all over their life because when you do that you’re helping them to paint yours. You’re growing together.
But sometimes the growing together ends.  People break up.  But one of them will always want to stay friends, Which I’ll never understand.  For the longest time I couldn’t explain why it felt wrong to me.  It wasn’t because I hated my exes or wished them harm.  It wasn’t because I was still in love with them.  It was because it seemed like taking that step back was insulting to the memory I had of them, of us.  For the longest time I couldn’t put words to the sentiment but then I came across this which sums it  up:
     “At the end of their relationship she asked if they could still remain friends.  His face stayed expressionless until he said No.  Because we put friends in boxes.  You see them once in awhile, or even a lot, but still they have their box in your life, their specific place. Their *category.*  That’s one of the great things about being someone’s love- you have no box in their life because you’re part of all their boxes.  You’re their friend, their lover, their confidante- all those things.  I don’t want to be put in one of your boxes and I don’t want to shrink you to fit into one of mine.

One day you’ll realize you’ll truly understand love.  One day someone will make you feel like potential of love is worth the risk and that being scared isn’t a good enough reason to not follow your heart even if you don’t know where it’s leading. Indecision won’t be an issue because you’ll feel it.  You’ll see that there are a million things that could go wrong but you’ll be foolish enough to try anyway because you only need to succeed in love once.  You’ll make time to see them.  You’ll think up ridiculous excuses to talk to them because you know that they add more value to your life than anyone ever has.  You’ll be there for them even when you have other things you should be doing because love isn’t logical.

Those are my scatterbrained thoughts on love.”

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