What is Love?

Everyone says they’re in love, but none of them seem to even know what being in love means. I always thought that being in love meant that you cared about someone else’s well-being before your own and that the respect you hold for them prevents you from ever doing anything to intentionally hurt them.

I have this friend. He’s really the sweetest guy; never cheats, never lies… but every time I talk to him, he’s got a new girlfriend that he’s madly in love with. They date for two weeks, exchange life-long sentiments of affection, move in together, she cheats on him, and they break up. A month later, the cycle starts again with another girl. How can that be real love when it comes and goes as quickly as a sun shower and the affection is transferred immediately to another vessel?

I have this friend. She’s been with the same guy since college started. They love each other, spend most of their time together, and probably are intending to get married. However, whenever he’s not around, she flirts with other guys, and has even had sex with his best friend. Despite this, she insists that what she feels for him is real love. How can that be real love when you don’t give a second thought to the emotional consequences your actions will have for the person you claim to love?

I have this friend. He takes cute pictures with his girlfriend, holds her hand when they walk, tells her he loves her in front of other people, but texts her friends to let him come over late night when she’s not paying attention. In front of everybody they are the perfect couple, but behind his eyes is a lie that makes my heart hurt to think about. How can that be real love when you allow others to mock the one you claim to love because she is clearly not smart enough to recognize your sin?

I have this friend. She’s been dating this guy on and off since she started college. They had a great relationship which slowly deteriorated over the years as he figured out that having many girls was more fun than having just one. He offered her the chance to be one of his many girls, since he loved her and wanted to be with her in the future, but needed the freedom to sow his oats while he was young and viril. How can that be real love when you’re willing to disrespect the person you claim to want to spend the rest of your life with by forcing her to share you with others?

Problem is, most of you are more in love with being in love, than with the person you’re supposed to be loving.

So, I guess if “being in love” means that you buy each other gifts, engage in public displays of affection, and use social media to bombard other people with your daily activities as a couple, then, yes… most of you are in love.

But, if “being in love” means that you regard each other with the utmost respect, do not cheat, do not give each other cause to doubt the other, and spend your time trying to bring each other up rather than hold each other down, then, in all honesty… none of you have even the slightest clue as to what being in love is.

 

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5 Comments

  1. I realized how much my now ex boyfriend loved (and probably still does love) me when he broke up with me. It sounds so cliche, but he broke up with me because he thought I’d be happier without him as my boyfriend…loved me enough to let me go. It’s not the stuff of Up love dreams…but it was a sign to me.

    Great post.

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      1. At first I was upset. We’d been having problems and I recognized I wasn’t happy, but I was ready to call it quits. I wanted to try and fix things since we’d been talking about long term plans and stuff. And the first couple of days I was incredibly bitter because I didn’t feel like it was fair that I didn’t really get a say in the decision. But now, even though I still have my moments, I see that it was for the best and I really appreciate it. I don’t mean to make a shameless plug for my blog, but I write about it in my blog so if you wanted to check it out that’d be cool πŸ™‚ addalittlesparkstoyourworld.wordpress.com

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  2. It seems that the experiences you mention are about guys in their late teens and early 20s. It takes a while for people to figure out what they want and what they have and learn from their past emotional and sexual transgressions. I don’t fault people at that age for having mixed emotions about their relationships and so on. It’s easy to mistake love for infatuation, and frankly, for convenience and sexual compatibility. I also think there’s often a remorse when someone breaks up with their significant other. It’s a remorse that comes with relationship withdrawal where many people ‘regret’ their actions and wish they’d stayed with that person. A lot of times when they go back and undo what they did they realize that they were right to break up in the first place.

    You’re right– love is based on a foundation of trust and mutual respect–Yet that’s so hard to come by in friends and normal dealings these days so it’s even tougher to find a significant other who espouses those qualities. I think that’s something that (hopefully) comes with experience and time..

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