“Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies” – Aristotle
For centuries, poets and artists have been trying to define love, while the task has also attracted scientists now. Most of us intuitively know what love is, and there is a connection between how we live and what we love. Humans cannot live without love, and this is perhaps why it becomes so important to understand it.
Before we find out what love is, let’s discuss what love is not.
- Manipulation: If you say stuff like, “if you love me, do this or do that”, then this isn’t love, it is just infatuation. There are many people who force their partners to do stuff that they don’t like by emotionally manipulating them. If you do the same, ask yourself, is it really worth it? You are trying to change your partner. By making them work against their will, aren’t you weakening the bond that you share?
- Compromise: If you are being forced to do something against your nature, this isn’t real love. Yes, you do have to face compromises in love, but if someone is asking you to change yourself in order to be loved, then it isn’t really love. You must love the other one for the sake of love, and nothing else. Love should be pure and selfless- and not bound by conditions. You can’t say “I will love you only if this condition is satisfied”. No! That is not love.
- Violence: In times of arguments, things can heat up and violence can soon take over. If your partner resorts to violence, it means there is very little love in the relationship. It is best to part ways if there is serious violence involved. Are you a victim of violence? You should know that there is legal help available for you, and nobody should put up with violence. Just because you love someone doesn’t give them the right to be violent with you.
- Lust: Physical attraction is important in love, but if it not on the foundation of respect, trust, and commitment, it is not love, it’ just lust. Lust will soon fade away. Physical urges become calm in some time. What is left is pure love. This does not happen with lust. In lust, when your physical urges calm down, your relationship ends.
Let’s discuss what love is…
- Caring: Love is all about loving and caring for the other one. No matter what kind of love you talk about: love for your family, for your spouse, child, or even pet- there is one feature that is common in all- care. When you do not care for someone, you do not love them. You may think that you love them, but without care, there can be no love.
- Attraction: Attraction is very important. It doesn’t always mean sexual desires. Attraction refers to the romance between the couple. If they share a sweet romantic bond, they will always have true love for each other. Romance keeps the relation light and interesting. So even if you have been in a relationship for many years, take some time out for romance. Maybe even surprise your partner and rekindle the fire.
- Attachment: There is always some attachment between people who are in true love. Like there is an inbuilt attachment between a mother and her child, similarly, there is attachment between couples. Attachment grows with time. It is when you see the best and worst together, and sail in the same boat. You might not always feel romantic, but you would always feel attached. It is when you know your partner inside out (and vice versa), and you two still love each other.
- Commitment: Love always demands commitment. Commitment is something that is more than monogamy. It is the knowledge that you care for your partner, and they care for you as well. So no matter what happens, they will be there for you when you need them. When people are committed to each other, they understand their limitations that have been posed due to the relationship, and they stick to them.
- Intimacy: Intimacy is very important in any relationship. If you need to know about the other one, you should share your feelings as well. This creates a deep emotional bond that strengthens any relation. Over the time, this bond becomes stronger, and attachment deepens. When a couple shares an intimate relationship, they become open with communication and get closer.
Without love, life is not really complete. Love is very important for healthy living. Though you might think that a human needs only oxygen, water, and food to live, but in fact, love is an important survival component. It does not mean that you should be in a relationship. Humans just need love and acceptance for healthy living. If your parents/friends/siblings/kids/pets love you, that love is enough for survival.