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Love, Not Defined.

February 12, 2012

I think there’s something about love that doesn’t want to be defined because then less of us would be able to say we have it.

If we spend our lives running around, meeting the guys we think we should be with forever, the ones who Nicholas Sparks and Taylor Swift described and solidified over and over song after song, book after book, and then we’ve convinced ourselves it’s a sure-fire path to love. What love even means, is just an enigma for another day, one we never truly get around to.

But I think the reason no one has ever been able to define love is partially because everyone has been promised it, so when one love doesn’t look like another, no one wants to think that theirs could be wrong because they’ve been promised it by romance novels, love songs, and romantic comedies. “There’s someone out there for everyone,” we’ve heard over and over, but what everyone fails to tell us is what that person will look like, be like, and act like. So how do you know when you have it?

Is it euphoria or miserable? Is it friendly or tense? Straight forward or a game? Is it all of the above? Is it lasting or fleeting?

And no matter how many times you answer the questions, there’s almost a guarantee that it’s going to vary not just person to person, but from a certain time in their lives to another. Love for me at 15, was a glance in the right direction perfectly mistimed, catching someone’s gaze when they hoped you wouldn’t and that’s all it took to confirm that there was definitely something between you. At 18, it was a boyfriend who was my best friend who was the first person to really sit down an understand me. At 20, it was about learning that not all fabulously turbulent loves are great love stories, but sometimes just a sign that it wasn’t going to work no matter how much you both wished it would. At 22, it’s been more confusing than ever, and right now, it’s egocentric, as I focus on the love in my life that is self-produced instead of sought out in those around me. I know some people who’ve had love look the same for the last four years of their lives, and others who find love every week depending on what they’re date wanted them to be.

But through all of this, I think I’ve learned that the more we try to define love, the more life throws us with things that will have us rethinking the definition of love that we just finishing reassuring ourselves is true. Every time I hold this little definition of love that I’m so proud of, that I feel like really gets to the heart (no pun intended) of the matter, that really encompasses everything I feel, life gladly knocks it out of my hand and laughs in my face as it throws something my way that’ll shatter what I previously convinced my self was a major revelation.

If all of the sudden love had a universal definition, think of how many people would still be left in confusion when they realize what they had doesn’t even slightly resemble that definition. The longer we keep love undefined, we can save ourselves from the torture of wondering what we had instead of the love we thought we had. The longer we keep love undefined, we can save our egos. The longer we keep love undefined, we don’t have to waste time trying to figure it out and after all laziness is a (yet to be proclaimed) virtue.

(And since you’ve endured this semi-existential post, SURPRISE treat: GQ photos of Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston who are btw my new favorite fantasy couple.)



One Comment leave one →
  1. February 13, 2012 1:24 pm

    I’ve been thinking about this too. One of my French classes did a whole section on what “romantic love” was, and at the time I was horrified. To me, they were talking about infatuation, when you think the other person is perfect and spend all your time thinking about them. Healthy? Who knows. A good way to find a relationship that lasts? Maybe not so much.

    I finally came to roughly the same conclusion as you. I think it’s a good thing that there’s no one way to love, or be in love. I don’t want to imagine a world without love in different forms.

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