Love! Most of the time people only want it according to their rules. I am talking about ‘love’ in romantic relationships, something which I normally don’t talk about… If you receive love based on your rules on how you want it, at least a part of it, it would make you happy. What if you don’t? Then you have a hard time, to understand it, to accept it or to forget it. Can we define love? Yes, but you can find a million definitions for it. Many will argue they are all more or less the same thing. Are they? So how do we measure it? Is it supposed to be a grand gesture as every rom-com movie ever made? Or can it be subtle? And would that still be okay? The reason why I don’t dive into this topic is that I don’t have a good understanding of it. This topic always makes me scratch my head.
I didn’t grow up listening to a lot of love stories but I remember a few that stuck in my head. Some of them said love should be a grand gesture so, I imagined it like that in my teenage years only to ignore what I received, the softest of emotions covered in broken words. I thought I deserved more than that. I think I still do! Maybe that makes me selfish. Don’t we all..? Then I thought it’s about chemistry. But it wasn’t. Having wonderful chemistry wouldn’t do any good if you lack compatibility. It makes sense, it is impossible to for two rivers running in different directions to flow together… The what and whatnots of ‘love’ can go on and on but life shows different routes and trying to find a shore worth swimming is really hard, especially if you are stuck in the middle of the ocean. I think that is the most challenging part for me, to make decisions. Maybe because I want to do it right this time.
Tons of materials can be found on ‘love’, in any form of expression, be it art or literature. There you have the options to move around a large spectrum. There are no strict rules. It could be a Shakespearean drama where ‘Romeo and Juliet‘ decided to unite in a life after death, it could be as bitter as what Amy wanted to teach Nick about the commitment of their marriage in Gillian Flynn’s ‘Gone Girl‘ or as subtle as Hazel impatiently waited for a text from Augustus about her favourite book ‘An Imperial Affliction’ in John Green’s ‘The Fault in Our Stars‘. What does that teach you? Love can be blind, cruel, subtle? Or anything and everything except ‘hate’? Maybe. If that’s the case, I think you can only define it based on your own rules of ‘love’. It’s not selfish to aim certain standards as long as you are not completely delusional about setting standards. You may love or hate ‘sarcasm’, it’s always up to you to pick one side. That’s exactly what happens here… You can try to find someone of the same wavelength. Not an easy thing to do, I’d say you are lucky if you have found someone as crazy and weird as you are. But love is a journey where you learn more and more about the other person as you move forward, there can be regrets and surprises, gains and losses and ‘trust’ would be the one thing you want the most. Whenever I start to talk about love, I find myself in a huge pile of philosophical scrap where I have to dig deeper to understand what resonates with me and whatnot. Maybe this is how it has to be explored, bit by bit as you move forward.
Now, can we only call something ‘love’ when it is received the way we want? I believe having proper communication can help identify how the other person expresses love. Maybe you like to express through words but your partner believes in actions and words don’t matter to him/her/them. It’s about finding a common ground which works for both of you. Gary Chapman’s ‘5 Love languages‘ would be the book I recommend you at this point. And you cannot give up on something without even trying every option, and still, there is no way to measure it; maybe there is no need to measure it! Sometimes it would still be great to find love in subtle sweet places, different from what you see on the big screen. Love could be about finding functional solutions to small issues, overcoming your insecurities, talking about your biggest fears, being a little bit flexible in your rules while still being authentic to yourself and sometimes not spilling all that comes up in your head! But before anything and anyone, have some self-love to say you’re worth it!
So, what is my definition of ‘love’? It is a drive, something that influences our behaviour and focuses on a certain goal. Giving and receiving ‘love’ becomes your goal here and you go through a set of actions and a wide range of emotions to satisfy that goal. For some, the aim can be something close to an ultimate euphoria, to others, it is simply having some closure. The goal is to feel satisfied, although normally we want more when we get what we want. But remember to share what you have within because you always get what you give. I think that’s how it works!