What is love? Guest post No.1
Continuing along the theme of love and what exactly it is, I am reproducing here in its entirety a guest post from a young woman who fell in love a year ago. Here is her answer to the question ‘What is the difference between being in love and loving someone? (the names are fictional).
Being in love is wonderful. I remember the first time we said ‘I love you’ to each other: I still get those same butterflies when Frederick is around. Spending time with him is the best part of my day. We are in love. We want to spend time together. We want to continue to get to know each other like we know no one else. We have lots in common and lots of differences. We are fascinated by each other. Being in love is emotional, it’s exciting, and to an extent it’s conditional. I guess what I mean is that those happy, excited feelings are conditional on the person we are in love with also being in love, or at least demonstrating love, back to us. The times I find myself whispering “I’m so in love with you” to Frederick, are the times when he shows me he is also in love with me – with a meaningful hug, a thoughtful note or an honest conversation. It’s a personal feeling to me, almost a selfish one that depends on Frederick showing me affection. But what about the times when the other person doesn’t communicate their love to us? When the condition hasn’t been met? The times when we question if we really are in love? The times when we don’t feel in love?
It puts our neediness and our pride to one side and says “I will love YOU”
“Love is a verb”. So we are told. But it isn’t just a verb and not just a doing word. Before the ‘doing’, there is the ‘choosing to do’. For me, loving is a conscious decision, not an emotional one. I chose to love Frederick and I continue to choose to love him every day. In my choosing to love him, I also choose to learn and educate myself on how to love him best. I choose to learn how he feels loved and then I do the ‘doing’ part of loving. Loving for me has involved learning a new language, the language of touch, and sharing a communal language, the language of quality time. Loving someone is choosing to love them, learning how to love them, and showing them love. In that order. Everyday. It’s a conscious, humble, daily decision, regardless of feelings or emotions. It’s selfless and it costs – it puts our neediness and our pride to one side and says “I will love YOU. Not just when I feel like it, not only when it’s easy, but every day. And I will do it in such a way that you understand because I want you to know that I love you.”
Being in love kicks starts love, but ‘loving’ keeps ‘being in love’ going
Being in love with someone and loving someone are more intertwined than it maybe appears from what I just said. I am in love and I love Frederick. I chose to love him, and he chooses to love me because we fell in love a year ago. From those feelings of being in love, we made a choice to love each other every day. From those choices flow loving actions and words and care. And because of these, we are totally in love. Being in love kicks starts love, but ‘loving’ keeps ‘being in love’ going.