Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What's Love Got To Do With It?

How do you define "love?" What does "love" mean to you? What makes us "love" another person?

Now, obviously, I think our love for our children is something completely and entirely different. I think we love them wholly, for who they are and what they are, and the fact that we were the ones to carry them and guide them and watch them grow. It just is what it is.

But, what makes us "love" another person? Truly, love. For the long haul?

I look at cases like the recent Rihanna/Chris Brown news and just wonder-how the heck can she say she "loves" him? It makes me wonder what she justifies in her mind she "loves" ABOUT him?

It's like any abusive situation though, right? The woman (let's say woman just to make it simple. I know there are abused men out there as well) is asked over and over why she stays in an abusive situation. Her answer? "I love him" usually followed by reasons why he is lovable when he isn't being a wife beating, total loser, schmuck of a human being.

It makes me shake my head with confusion. If we fall in love with someone based on their qualities that we respect and admire, sprinkled in with some good old fashioned chemistry and hormones, then what does that abused woman still see in him that is respectable and admirable?

I grew up with the whole "he's artistic and romantic when he's not drinking" theme so I'm no stranger to actually living in the chaos that makes up this kind of love dynamic. Even then I would wonder what made my Mom stay the other 95 percent of the time when he WASN'T artistic and romantic? Does that little bit of "good" really carry over THAT much and negate all the bad?

Not for this girl, it doesn't.

Now I know there is way more to discuss with these abusive kinds of situations, such as self-esteem issues and fear and co-dependency. I'm simplifying a situation that is anything but simple.

I'm more searching for what makes people say they love one another, and what it means to them long term. Would they stay if the loved one gambled their fortune away because of an addiction? Would they stay and nurse them while they slowly withered away from a life stealing disease? Would they put up with tics and tremors from a life altering one? What about a midlife crisis ripe with a myriad of behaviours ranging from teeth bleaching to infidelity?

Really, what does it mean for us to love? And what does that encompass in this life journey and all the obstacles we will or have yet to encounter? Or does our love have certain limitations? A line in the sand where we will retract our love?

I'm not being facetious here today. I'm looking for YOUR answers about what it means to love, long term. Where do YOU draw the line? How can you know, for sure? Do you think you truly love the person you are with-because or despite of their flaws? What would make you walk away? What makes you stay?

I know it's not Valentine's day and I'm about three months late for a love discussion...but I'm sick and fevered and delusional and this is what I'm pondering today.

Humour me. I look forward to reading deep insights, people!!!! Who knows...I may use this information later for a book idea. You just never know!

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