Fair warning. Please excuse, but I must rant on this topic for just a moment. After much observation and experience I need to sound off. Please do not take offense, and if you do I apologize up front. Must speak. And no, I’m not angry…just disenchanted and saddened by what I see.
Love Rant – by K.D.
What is love?
One dictionary defines it as: (1) an intense feeling of deep affection (as in love for one’s country); (2) To feel a deep romantic or sexual attraction to someone.
You may not believe in the God or the Bible’s writings, but, they have some interesting words they use for love.
Eros = sensual love
Storge = familial love
Philia = friendship love
Agape = unconditional love (The kind of love that God is said to have toward us… and the kind we should seek to have toward one another, especially those we are close with.)
What is love in today’s society? This is something I think about often. Do people really have the capability to love beyond a surface or physical level? You may wonder why I ask…. Well, in my life I have encountered the opposite of love. Past relationships that were supposed to be the epitome of what love is, were the stark opposite. Having been through such experiences has caused me to become a people watcher, even more so than in younger days. I watch how people interact with one another. I listen to how they communicate. And sometimes am privileged to engage in meaningful conversations with them one on one. In today’s society many (not all) folks’ love lives are messy. Why? A myriad of reasons, but, many times I notice its because there is no real commitment, no mutual respect, no willingness to do the hard work it takes to make love work. People lie, sneak, cheat, give a halfhearted effort, or are very selfish or very apathetic. They want love, but they don’t. Or they don’t know what they want at all.
How does society define love? Is it something of little value? Something to be used to fulfill a basic human need and then tossed aside? Is love defined by TV shows such as The Bachelor or The Bachelorette – where one sifts through a mini-harem of women or men, emotionally and physically involving themselves with each person, eliminating them one by one until they’re down to their top 2 or 3? And by the time they’re down to the final few – those final few are so deeply invested that when they get cut, they’re devastated. But the winner of the ‘final rose’ and perhaps the engagement ring is further pushed into the Hollywood spotlight & we are to celebrate that they’ve found ‘the one’. But later we find that somehow this ‘tried and true process’ that produced the winning ‘mate’ didn’t necessarily work. This fairytale is a farce.
What are we really looking for? A quick fix or a lifelong relationship?
If you’ve ever been through a failed relationship, if you allow yourself to become wise, you can learn many things. For instance, love is not just a frilly feeling. Love is not just great sex. True love involves real commitment. And guess what? Relationships are HARD WORK. The butterflies, ooey gooey feelings & the fluffy stuff wears off. It just does. Then when the ‘fluffy’ period ends, you come to a place of sobriety. For example – He was totally okay with the fact that she didn’t like his friends at first, but, now it bugs the crap out of him. And she was totally fine that he was a ‘free spirit’ but now it infuriates her that he won’t get a full time job! How do you deal with these things when they arise? Do you dump the person because it’s too ‘hard’ or do you work through it? Disclaimer: In no way am I advocating staying in an abusive or unhealthy relationship. But you must know the difference between an unhealthy/unstable relationship and a committed relationship that just has normal bumps in the road. And true, sometimes relationships don’t end up working out, but, don’t let it be because you only half-way committed to it.
And faithfulness, it seems like a foreign word. It’s the rare person who stays faithful to the one they’ve supposedly committed to. Different if you’ve mutually decided to have some kind of open relationship. But for the sake of this piece, let’s talk about those who are in a declared monogamous relationship. Is it hard to be faithful? Can be. Depends on where your heart is and where your commitment lies. There will always be temptations, but, where is your heart? I think that many people don’t realize that whenever you bring two people together in a relationship, there will always be differences (after all, you’re not clones of each other), you each will grow at different paces, you each will have mid-life crises at separate times, you will each think or do things differently, etc. But how will you deal with it? Will you work at it and work through it…or go a-wandering at the first sign of trouble?
Is the person you’re with, your best friend (or did they used to be your best friend)? Like anything that you want to keep in mint condition – YOU HAVE TO MAINTENANCE IT – REGULARLY. Love is not some magical thing that *poof* falls on you and surrounds you in its magical essence and never fades away. It feels like that at first. But love is more than a feeling. It’s a commitment. It’s saying “I’m here and promise to always be here.” And like anything that you commit to, it takes work and determination. And it takes both people to commit and both people to maintenance the relationship. As you GROW together, you’ll change and both people have to be willing to grow and change together. You’ll each have to be patient with the other, understanding, empathetic, engaged (active), willing to adapt, not take each other for granted, willing to apologize when wrong, willing to communicate and work things out together. Love is an ACTION word. Love is a COMMITMENT word. Love is a GIVING word. Love is a SELFLESS word.
Like I said both people have to be willing to do this. But, if you love someone truly, are you treating them like it? Or are you giving a half effort? In my humble opinion, it is the rare person who has/exemplifies/experiences/gives true love. Food for thought.
© “Love Rant” by KD Corner 2013
Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net