I have these ideas about love. What it is, how I like it, and what I do to show it.
Before I get going, I’ll remind you that this is a blog…’nough said?
I have loved a lot of people, and there is a good chance if you are reading this that I love you; or you love me…maybe the feeling is mutual? This blabber-fest does not pertain strictly to “romantic love” mostly because I do not truly believe in it as a separate form…But I shall delve into that later.
What it is:
Love. People take it so seriously. In my head deciding if I love someone I first ask myself, “Would I cry if they died?” If the answer is “YES” I move on to additional considerations such as:
Would this person cry if I died? If not, do they cry, ever?
Do I respect the person?
Do I trust the person?
How much time have we spent together?
What were we doing during these times? (Quality vs. Quantity)
When comparing this person to family how do they rate?
After a disagreement how long does the cooling off period last?
You may or may not have noticed that none of these things reference lusty, romantic notions of love. Nothing about the heart fluttering, or blood rushing. That isn’t (again I remind you, in my opinion) a good basis for love. People should not build foundations on shaky grounds, like bodies of water, or obvious fault lines.
The Sum: a type of relationship, built out of mutual respect, trust, and interests. It is a relationship held together by more than just convenience, which can bear the challenges presented by time and change.
How I Like It:
Simple. I let that word sit for a bit, because it is hard to explain simplicity simply. Well, perhaps it is simple, but not necessarily short.
I like when love is second nature. When the idea enters my brain that I might love someone I like to be able to shrug my shoulders and continue doing it. Based on my explanation of what love is, it isn’t so much an “ah-ha moment” as it is noticing that the relationship has grown into one that fosters a great number of positive characteristics.
If I have given you the wrong impression, such that simplicity is the same as ease, I apologize. Although “ease of use” is certainly a large factor in determining what relationships are worth the time and effort, I am going to offer the adage: “Work smarter, not harder.”
We enter into most relationships voluntarily, even those which some believe can never (or should never) be severed; specifically family. The idea that sharing genes pre-determines ability to create and build a worthwhile relationship is outdated. If you disagree with your blood relatives on every fundamental level, cannot stand to be in a room with them, or just generally hate their faces can you truthfully determine that you LOVE them?
Can these things change?! Of course. Relationships are constantly changing. They have to. We develop new characteristics as we age, meet new people, have different experiences. How can we expect relationships to continue to be relevant in our lives if we don’t adjust them to reflect the changes? If you aren’t willing to change, then you can no longer be a part of that loving relationship; chances are that same replationship no longer exists.
I’m just throwing this out there, but…relationships are like pants…Yes, pants. We change them based on a few different factors: weather, activities, comfort…So as things change for us as individuals, so must our relationships. The ones that are able to adapt to the differences are the ones that will flourish over an extended period of time. Yes, good relationships are like stretchy pants…They grow with you.
How I Show It:
This is the nitty-gritty of how I express love. I could throw around friendship buzz words like, LOYALTY, but these things sort of ‘go without saying.’ This is more of a description of behaviors and specific scenarios that when added together create the LOVE, LOYALTY, TRUST, RESPECT, Etc…
When the people I love are sick: I feel guilty. I HATE when people are miserable. So, I do the motherly thing. Make toast, fill water glasses, buy Lemon Lime Soda, make broth soups, chauffer people to doctors (or emergency rooms,) somewhat forcefully encourage them to shower (no matter how badly you don’t want to get up a shower will help!) I will do whatever I can to make sure the person is as comfortable as possible.
When the people I love have an annoying situation: “I locked my keys in my car…HELP?” Oh yeah, I’ll bring them.
When we fight: We fight about whatever is the matter. Without name calling. Then, 10 minutes later everything is fine and we have a snack. Disagreeing isn’t a bad thing, and I think it is good to consistently be challenged by the people around you. Our lives are influenced so heavily by a multitude of factors, we cannot expect to carryon living without conflict from time to time.
When they have a problem: I want to solve it. Depending on the situation, with polite suggestion or being extremely forward and blunt.
Affection is an interesting topic as it relates to love. I come from an affectionate family. We kiss and hug and tell each other regularly that we love each other. Some of it (after 28 years) is out of habit. The majority of encounters with my non-blood related relationships typically end with some form of affection; whether it is a hug, kiss or pat on the back. I think far too many people believe that affection is a definite precursor to sex, and in my mind it simply is not. The more I feel that the relationship is a loving relationship the closer I want to be. I’m 28 years old, one of my best friends is also my younger sister who is 26...We still sleep together sometimes. My dad still sniffs my head like I’m a baby. My 11 year old nephew still gives me a hug and a kiss every time he sees me, even in front of all of his friends at school!
From the cradle I was loved this way, so this is how I want to show it to people I love.
The idea of activities, affection, and sex being romantic is jaded. Most people watch FAR TOO MANY movies to be able to establish their own idea of what romance is. I have not considered ‘romance’ in a while. I prefer to generalize it to ‘sentiment.’ It doesn’t have to be a card and a bucket ‘o’ flowers. I prefer experiences. An excellent sail. Hiking in 85 degrees and conquering a fucking mountain, eating a sammich and then hiking back down. Going to the grocery store and having something insanely funny happen…I think it is the importance of the memory that makes something sentimental or ‘romantic.’ The majority of things I consider ‘romantic’ weren’t intended to be. Chances are they include far more interesting characteristics like: FUN and CHALLENGING…
I truly believe that love is a voluntary process. You can only get back what you put in, and sometimes return is below average. Relationships of all types often run their courses and expire. It is not necessarily a reflection on the amount of love, or effort exerted, but rather the reality that not everything is as adaptable to change. There are plenty of other tangents I could go on, but I think I have bored you enough.
Love is fun. Enjoy it.