What Is Love Anyway?

Love is a many splendid thing… Complex, simple, confusing, irritating, exhilarating and so much more. Not all love is the romantic kind. We love all things… people, animals, nature, the air we breathe, the sunshine on our face and that wind on our backs. As humans, we are born to love, we were made to love, we were created in the image of love. But love can often lead you down a path of disappointment if not approached with the right mindset.

There’s lots of things about love that puzzle, confuse, beguile and leave you wondering what this heady confounding emotion is all about! Some things about love you learn early on in life; others drag on and become a shade clearer later. It’s all about perspective and how you choose to approach love, that either makes it work for you or against you… like a little potion in a bottle, it’s fragrance when released envelops you completely. At first, it’s all about explosive chemistry, that magical feeling of infatuation and attraction. But, by and by, like any fragrance, you are left with that deeper, more subtle undertone of its charm.

While a great many have discussed, researched and questioned ideas and theories about love, the truth about love continues to elude us. Love neither follow rules, nor can it fit in a single box. One cannot draw conclusions or make assumptions. Love is different for everyone. What I’ve found time and again, is that people end up learning the hard way, some of their greatest lessons on love. Unfortunately, sometimes these lessons are learnt a little too late in life. But that’s the funny thing about wisdom, wine and love. They all mellow with age. Over time here are few things we all need to keep in mind about ‘Love’, especially when in love.

You Can’t Make Someone Love You… People can’t control who they love. It’s as simple as this. No matter how hard you try to make someone love you, forcing it never works. Love works with the heart and not the head. If you find yourself in a relationship that has fizzled out, don’t force the outcome. It will feel like a compromise. Get out while you can – it will hurt, it’ll take time to move on, but it’s better than being in a relationship with someone you have to convince to love you.

Qualities That Will Seal The Deal… This advice may certainly feel eye-roll worthy, but it’s true. Looks, ambition and wealth might attract you initially but these wont make you happy in the long run. Respect, admiration, the ability to communicate and willingness to grow, are all things that indicate you can ride the rollercoaster of life with them.

Another Person Can’t Make You Happy… If you’re not happy in your life, whether you’re single or in a relationship, it’s not your partner’s job to make you happy. And it’s certainly not their fault you’re in a constant state of despair and misery. As an individual in any relationship, it’s your responsibility to do whatever needs to be done to make yourself happy.

Be With The Person For Who They Are, Not For What They Could Be… Countless people enter relationships in the hope of changing the person they are with. Often you think, “If only they are more focused,” or “If only they are a bit more ambitious or successful”. Basing a relationship on ‘potential’ mean building a relationship on things that don’t exist. You’re harbouring expectations the other person never signed up for! You will end up resenting each other! Be with a person for what they present to you, not their potential.

Don’t Take Each Other For Granted… Even if you’ve been together for 20 years, you need to tell your partner often enough how much you appreciate them, in ways and means invented, created or curated. A simple comment on their action, a touch, a hug, a meal prepared, a table reservation at their favorite restaurant… goes a long way.

Love Is A Choice, Not A Feeling… Feelings come and go. People stay together in relationships for years and decades because love is a choice you make to stick it out with each other, even after the honeymoon period has ended and the ‘pretty bits’ have chipped off a while ago. If you think you’ll always ride the highs of a relationship without the hard lows, you’re gravely mistaken. It’s only when you stop making that choice, that love actually falls away.

Love Is Not Always Enough… Two people can be in love but completely wrong for each other. If you do not treat each other well or do not have mutual love, trust and respect, the road ahead is going to be a nightmare. While we’ve been told that love is all you need to make a relationship work, sometimes we fall in love with the wrong people.

It’s Really Up To You To Ask What You Desire In A Relationship… Your needs are your responsibility. You cannot expect your partner to be a mind-reader. No matter how long you’ve been together, no one can possibly anticipate all your needs without you being vocal about them. You have to speak when something is on your mind.

Agree To Disagree… In a relationship, you need to stop overthinking or being overly sensitive to a difference in opinion or views. You may not align on several issues that pop up in any healthy relationship. It’s alright to have differing views. In fact, having different opinions keeps a relationship interesting. You may pride yourself on compatibility but a little debate and friction about life and things is healthy too. Trying to dominate or control how the other person thinks and feels is very healthy and destroys the relationship. Being disrespectful or nasty if things don’t go your way is a sign of immaturity.

Whether you’re married or in a relationship, remember that every relationship has value, no matter the length. You may feel you’ve wasted precious time with someone who abandoned you. But they have served a deep and meaningful purpose. Every person who enters your life was meant to enter and exit at that time. There are lessons to be learned, memories to cherish and progress that you have to make in this journey called life. And so, it is in love as well. You may not have the Valentine kind of love every day, but Love, real love, somehow only makes everything better!



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