Love is one of my favourite topics ever and like my girl crush – Chimamanda, once said, ‘I love Love’, I think love is one of the most beautiful and complex feelings ever (And yes I admit, I do see a lot of things as complex and maybe even love complexities **winks**). However, this time, I think more people would agree with me, than not.
The idea for this post was motivated by a question asked in a television programme I watched (Don’t ask which, it’s a guilty pleasure **covers eyes**). The question ‘how do you define true love?’ was thrown at a couple of people. The question itself alongside the similarities and differences in answers, got me thinking about how I define true love. I believe that people interpret love or in this case, true love, based on their experiences and exposure (immediate or literary) and this makes its definition very subjective. Personally, I believe that understanding love is just as complex as understanding human nature itself. Just as the latter (human nature) is constantly evolving, our definition of love is constantly changing; again based on our experiences and exposure (God knows my definition has repeatedly changed over the years and is probably still changing). Just when you think you have a final answer; it shows you another piece of the puzzle that makes you reassess your previous thoughts and perception (I guess this is an indirect way of saying that I am reserving my right to possibly alter whatever I say regarding this topic, at a later date).
Okay now that is out of the way, I suppose the next logical question is ‘How do I define true love?’…ummm, let’s see; I will say that my definition of true love is based on my experiences (personal and observed) as well as ideal. In one word, Love is ‘giving’. It is giving time, care, support, material things etc. Love may have attributes like kindness, acceptance, patience, encouragement etc, however, I do not see ‘giving’ as another attribute of love but a definition of love itself. Classic examples would be a God’s perfect love for us and a mother’s love for her child; these expressions of love are marked by a constant need to give.
Now I believe that this need to give (the presence or absence of it) is the truest test of whether or not you love someone (at less, it is for me). I can easily tell how I feel for someone by my impulsiveness and desire to want to give to that person. Do I walk into a store, see something nice and immediately think that would look great on my sister or my mum or a friend, and just want to get it? Do I see some silly gift like a packet of cookies and think, ‘oh! my nephews or man would like that’, even though they are not with me? Do I want to give time to my relationship with my family (even though they drive me crazy half of the time)? Of course there are occasional breathers otherwise daggers will probably start flying (That ‘s suppose to be funny, just in case you missed the punch line), but if my sister needed my time or money to do something important, even though I hated it, I would give it (probably complain half of the time but definitely give it nevertheless). In my opinion, this is love: constant giving.
I do not undermine the fact that relationships, especially romantic relationships are not as straight forward. I do acknowledge that other factors come into play like trust, acceptance and commitment etc, but at the same time, I still believe that if it is a relationship built on love, it should be more about what you want to give and less of what you want to take. The next question then becomes ‘if this is true and I keep giving, what happens if the giving is one-sided? Doesn’t that make the situation less than okay?’
My response: ‘Yes, it does and basically you have asked what if I love this person and the person doesn’t love me back?’ I emphatically believe that giving is the very nature of Love itself; when/if someone loves you, they give you. Not just material stuff but time, care, attention etc, because they want to make you happier (Notice I said happier and not, happy). That’s why it is imperative that you choose to be with someone who loves you right back; someone who wants you right back. If people enter into relationships, not just because they love someone but also because that person loves them in return, then it should be a relationship were both parties keep giving and as such, are more focused on making the other happier. Half of the problem solved.
So to re-echo my salient point: In my definition, True love can be defined as a continuous and selfless need to give.
To end this post, I am going to put out some random thoughtful and nice love quotes. There are quite many, I just couldn’t resist….
‘Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own’.
‘Even in the most infertile of all lands, a seed of love always grows’.
‘One of the best feelings in a world is when you hug someone you love, and they hug you back even tighter’.
‘The opposite of Love is not hate, it’s indifference’.
‘Sometimes it’s a form of love just to talk to somebody that you have nothing in common with and still be fascinated by their presence’.
‘How much love inside a friend? Depends how much you give ’em’.
‘The more one judges, the less one loves’.
‘Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing’.
LOVE IS THE SOURCE OF STRENGTH :’ Love is being happy for the other person when they are happy, Being sad for the person when they are sad, Being together in good times, And being together in bad times.
LOVE IS THE SOURCE OF UNITY: ‘Love is an understanding so complete that you feel as if you are a part of the other person, Accepting the other person just the way they are, And not trying to change them to be something else.
LOVE IS THE SOURCE OF SUCCESS: ‘Love is the freedom to pursue your own desires while sharing your experiences with the other person, The growth of one individual alongside of and together with the growth of another individual.
LOVE IS THE SOURCE OF THE FUTURE: ‘Love is the excitement of planning things together, The excitement of doing things together’.
LOVE IS THE SOURCE OF REALITY: ‘Love is being honest with yourself at all times, Being honest with the other person at all times, Telling, listening, respecting the truth, And never pretending.
LOVE IS THE SOURCE OF PASSION: ‘Love is the fury of the storm, The calm in the rainbow.
LOVE IS THE SOURCE OF SHARING: ‘Love is giving and taking in a daily situation, Being patient with each other’s needs and desires.
LOVE IS THE SOURCE OF SECURITY: ‘Love is knowing that the other person will always be with you regardless of what happens, Missing the other person when they are away but remaining near in heart at all times.
‘LOVE IS . . . THE SOURCE OF LIFE!’
- Love is the Source of Life (nuels.wordpress.com)
- True Love (kimraelle.wordpress.com)
- ‘Americanah’ Author Explains ‘Learning’ To Be Black In The U.S. (npr.org)