Tuesday, April 19, 2016

What is Love?

What is love to you, personally, right in this moment?

I think for everyone it's different and it's never constant. I believe it fluctuates regularly to the point that it can change subtly many times over a very brief period. However the main concepts for any given person will probably stay relatively static over longer periods of time, but even those can change, especially with important events or game changers.

Over the years I've written about love more than once because it's a topic that confuses me and I struggle to understand it. I am just grasping now that it's ok for me to feel like it's not a constant. It is not one thing. It is many. And depending on your mood, state of mind, situation etc, it evolves.

Some of the aspects that surface for me are things like friendship, complicity, desire, communication, and mutual respect. But one of the most important factors I've recently pinpointed is altruism. That instinct to let go of your own needs and desires to benefit the other. The funny thing is I think the feeling of altruism is strongest at the beginning of a relationship. I say this based on personal experience (so I don't know if this is true for everyone). I used to feel more altruistic towards the bf but recently I've felt the need to think more about myself. And I think that is ok in a sense. I think that people should look after themselves before they look after others. Compromise is often the solution to excessive altruism, but the intense feeling that someone would be better off without you because you complicate their lives is one of the strongest point for love I think. This is obviously an extreme example. There are smaller acts of altruism but I just need to convey the principle and it so happens to be one of the most powerful instances of altruism I have ever felt.
I think where people mess up the most though, including myself, is confusing the concept of love with the chemical reaction in your brain. And they are definitely connected, the chemical reaction spurs reactions and those connect to decisions. Domino effect. The intense feeling of desire and lust and caring, I think, are often just spikes in chemicals whereas love is simply what you do with those spikes, the decisions you make. Not only that but the concept of love is also what is left over when the spikes lessen or disappear completely. The longer we are in a relationship the less those spikes appear so it all depends on how we proceed in the relationship when the spikes are gone. 

This was analytical. Possibly cold. It's how my brain processes information best I find. I get very confused when chemicals take over. I need to stop and process things. When chemicals are strong my brain doesn't seem to work. It breaks down, it loses all reason. It's hard to stop and think. I only manage after they wear off. I imagine it's the same for everyone.

1 comment:

Peter Princip said...

I used to think I understood what love was. I am not so sure any more. Love have become a feeling of responsibility. Love is being stuck. Love is being just comfortable enough. Love is not being alone.