Isn’t it just funny how a funky, unrelated song can inspire a whole blog post?
I guess I can just be funny like that.
Throughout humanity, love is a notion that can be hard to describe, according to many poets, writers and philosophers. I personally have different favourite quotes about love myself. Though you do get the common sayings.
Love is everything.
Love is complete devotion.
Love is being swept away, beyond reason.
Love is beauty.
Love is unconditional.
Except, well, it’s not.
To me, love is actually quite simple and easy to define. True, lasting love is the result of two things put together. Like ingredients to a meal, the meal will not be there, if it weren’t for the ingredients. The two magic ingredients?
Without these two things, a strong love cannot be born.
Respect comes in the form of admiring your partner for all their great qualities, accepting your differences and accomodating each other. Trust comes with putting your effort, your heart and your best forward all the time for your significant other.
That’s it. Love- the feeling of being treasured, cared for, appreciated, important and the motivation that comes from that, is a result of these two things.
Many people describe love in stages of ‘being in love’ and then ‘falling out of love’. I believe there is no such thing. To be more accurate, the ‘romance’ has faded away and both parties have gotten lazy and less creative in putting in the effort. That’s what it really is. They expect that ‘love’ will save the day and save their relationship/marriage because it’s there to do that.
What people don’t understand is that love requires trust and respect to exist first. They disappear, love disappears.
Some might say that love is the feeling of being carried away without reason, the beating of your heart, the way you stare dreamily into each other’s eyes or riding away into the night, not caring about the world. That is not love- that is attraction or even just attraction/lust-fuelled excitement, the beginning of romance. It may even be a part of the process that leads to love, how two people ultimately get together and start dating. However, it is not love in itself.
Now there is nothing wrong with liking romance, romance is a great way to pave into love and a wonderful thing to constantly have in a loving relationship and (especially) marriage! Listen to all the Dean Martin songs you have, dance away into the night and have candlelit dinners. My SO and I do these all the time and they’re just wonderful.
Love is not unconditional because it relies on trust and respect existing as scaffolding underneath it.
How can you keep loving somebody when they don’t respect you but instead criticise you or mistreat you? How can you keep loving somebody if they are not honest with you and vice versa? It’s very difficult for true, lasting love.
To demand for somebody to love you unconditionally like that is selfish and cruel. The old adage is true, a good love and a loving marriage takes constant effort, you truly get what you put in and that is how it will be from then on. It doesn’t stop when you get the engagement or wedding ring, it doesn’t stop when the first child is born or if you hit the middle-age crisis.
All I can say for the new generation out there, don’t be fooled in to just believing what love is from songs, the media (old and new) and ever-changing social norms. The formula for love is very simple, it doesn’t necessarily need to be dramatised or turned into an escape from reality.
Does that answer your question, Haddaway?