What is love?
What does it mean to love?
I'm 26 years old and I've realized that I'm not even sure what love is. It should be the easiest thing in the world... to love. And yet it's not.
Where does love start? What defines it? How is it different?
Is that where it starts? Not physical attraction, but that desire to know more about someone, to know everything about them; to want to be part of their inner world. Usually physical attraction stems from there. At least for me. Well, it's a combination, but I can find someone good looking and not find them attractive, per say.
There has to be a connection, doesn't there? That feeling that there is something unseen between you... That feeling that the other person understands you and identifies with you on a level that feels deeper than other people. There's usually something inexplicable that draws you to someone.
It's important to share certain values, I think. There can be respect, there has to be respect, but if one person thinks cheating is ok (for example) and one person doesn't then that obviously will never work. Personally, I need someone who compliments me. Similar in enough ways, in the ways that matter, but different to the point that we can challenge each other. If I hold back I want the other person to push me forward when necessary and vice versa. If the other person is strong where I am weak we can work together.
More and more I think that love is about being open. The people you love are different because they're the people that you can share yourself with. Somehow they make you open up and trust, or at least they make you want to.
And that's why I think love is so difficult. Because it's not easy to let people in sometimes. It's not easy to expose yourself, to put it all out there. Love is about allowing yourself to be vulnerable. And that's why love is also about support and acceptance. Because it's hard to let yourself be vulnerable if there isn't support and acceptance in the relationship. But to have those things you need trust. And for trust you need faith and risk.
If the other person doesn't consider your feelings, if they don't think about you and what you need or what your relationship needs then there can be no trust. Without trust you can't be fully open with each other and without that there can be no fulfillment.
Someone who considers you. Who doesn't rush you or pressure you but supports you and nurtures you... that's love.
This ties in with honesty, but love is not being afraid to say what needs to be said. It's not about pleasing the other person all of the time, not if it's not good for the person. Love is about telling someone the painful truth if it will help them. It's not about worrying if the person will stop liking you, but thinking about how you can help them instead. In that way love is about challenge because it challenges your perceptions and your ideas about yourself, about life, about others.
Love makes you want to be a better person. It inspires you to reach new heights. It's the feeling that you are fine the way you are, that you are loved and accepted, but that there are always things you can work on and more ways to grow.
Love helps you grow. Even if it changes and even if it ends, if it helped you grow then it was real, I think.
Love is maybe impossible to describe, to tie down. I'm 26 and I've realized I'm only beginning to understand maybe.
I don't know anything about love. But I do know one thing, and that's that I have a lot of love left to receive and give and experience.
I look forward to it.