We all talk about love all the time. It seems like our culture is obsessed with it. There is true love. There is one love. There is love for all mankind. And love for all living things, to name a few. The Doobie Brothers sang about “Real Love” and being “Here to Love You.”
There is a saying that more things are done for love than for money.
Everyone wants to love and be loved. Well, mostly everyone. We pretty much agree that to be loved and to love is a desirable thing.
But ask a hundred different people what love is and you will get a hundred different answers. Ask the same person that question a month later and you’ll probably get another different answer. It’s a hard concept to pin down.
Maybe someone you asked the question of what is love will talk about true love or that once in a lifetime love. Maybe someone will bring up soul mates and finding that one perfect person you were always meant to be with. And chances are that a few people won’t even agree with themselves about what love is, what constitutes it, how it is ideally expressed, etc. You’ll catch them in a contradiction. For example, love should never be conditional/I love him because he makes me laugh. That sort of thing.
Personally, I think all the songs and poems and cute little sayings printed on weathered pieces of wood is all just a lot of romanticism, greeting card mumbo jumbo, and people who are happy in their relationships making up crap that seems sometimes to be designed to create grief for those who are not happy in their relationships.
I’m very happy in my relationship with my husband. We’ve been married for almost 46 years and together for almost 51 years. I don’t know that it is actually possible to quantify such things, but it seems to me that I love him more now than I did all those years ago. But being in love doesn’t really make a person an expert on love. Regardless, I will just keep writing about this.
No one likes to feel lonely, but being in a committed relationship doesn’t necessarily mean that loneliness will never be an issue. And sometimes people think that if they can find that one true love it will solve all their problems … financial, loneliness, security. It’s like love is the antidote for everything.
But what if there is no such thing as true love, one love, perfect love, soul mates and all that other gibberish? What if it isn’t the antidote for everything? What then?
Not to worry. I think I have the answer.
Love isn’t magic. There is no wand or potion. There is no recipe for putting together the right ingredients in just the right way at all the right times and then … voila! … you have love.
Simply, we are made for love. It’s built into us. We can’t help ourselves. It’s what we do.
Not everyone feels compelled to have a non-human animal in their lives, but for those that do, consider this. Did that person set out to find the absolutely most perfect “pet” on which to lavish their love? The dog, cat or whatever that will complete their lives and make everything so very much better. Well, maybe some do and I feel sorry for those sorts. They are probably missing out on a whole lot of opportunities by being way too picky.
Anyway, probably most people don’t do that. Maybe you saw a dog wandering down the middle of a busy street and stopped to help her. She hops readily into your car and you take her home where you spend the next three weeks trying to find her owner only to realize at the end of those three weeks that you don’t really want to give her up. You’ve fallen in love with her.
Or you go to an animal shelter and look at all the bunnies and hamsters and cats and dogs and you see one that grabs your attention more than the others and so it goes home with you. Maybe you said to the person at the shelter that if it doesn’t work out, you’ll be bringing that dog or cat or bunny or hamster back. But after just two or three days, you find you love that little critter so much that the thought of taking it back never even occurs to you despite the fact that it ate your favorite shoes (the dog), or peed on your bed (the cat), or chewed through the electrical cord of your favorite lamp (the bunny), or put its sharp little teeth right through your thumb (the hamster).
So why is that? Because we can’t help but feel love. Spend a little time with someone (human or non-human), get to know them and you start to love them. Or maybe you really start to hate them. But I believe that is far less likely. We are built for love more than for hate. After all, love feels good. Hate, not so much.
I’m sure that down through the ages there have been arranged marriages that just never worked out. But I’d be willing to be that the majority of them have and that the partners learned to feel real love for each other. Maybe it took a while, maybe it didn’t. But love happened.
Funny is an interesting word. It can mean humorous or odd. It’s also defined as something that is difficult to explain and understand. Or it can mean that something is a little bit off.
I think love is funny in all senses of the word. I also think it is inescapable.
A perfect marriage is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other.