Why is it, that love has the capacity to utterly and completely break a human soul? Is it the same love then, that can enhance the beating of your own heart and turn your every waking moment into a haze of enchanted peace?
Being something we so freely talk about, it is startling when we really try to identify it in our own lives. What makes human's become so attached, so intertwined, that with the death of one- the other one longs to simply stop living from grief. What is it that propels us to override all caution in order to protect the one we love, to the extent of physically taking on the pain of the other in order to spare their lives.
In some ways, we use the word 'love' insensibly. We say we love this, we love that. When it really comes down to it, does it mean anything at all? The way we overuse it can sometimes destroy the meaning of it altogether.
Something I've always admired about the Japanese is that they don't say "I love you" as often as people in the west do, mainly because of cultural differences. In fact, you wouldn't be surprised if someone from Japan admitted to having never used the expression in their life. They believe that love can be expressed by manners and that to express your love to another person is sacred. Some married couples don't use it, instead waiting until they can say it with 100% surety.
I'm not saying that extreme should be used, far from it- I feel that telling people you love them on a regular bases makes them bond more closely with you. It can strengthen relationships and give people a sense of belonging. You feel loved, when someone tells you they love you. I'm saying that we should treat the word love with more respect, not just giving it to anyone who comes along.
So moving past the word, how do you fall in love with someone? Is it a small, twinkling flash of affection and then an eruption of deep feeling? Most likely not. Love starts out with the little things, the way he holds the door open for you, or fixes your shirt for you when its falling over your shoulder a little. The way he laughs, or smiles. Or the hours of conversations you lose yourself in, and always feel aren't enough. You want to be with the person you love all the time, you want to constantly talk with them and trust them. You lay awake at night, too busy blissfully imagining his face as he looks at you, to really fall asleep. The way he calls you beautiful, like he really means it. Or when he tells you out of no where that he loves you. Simply to make sure you still know how much he cares. You start to depend on them, trust them more fully. The simple things he says or does feel like their just for you, the way he reacts around other girls is completely different from the way he interacts with you. He is kind, funny, smart, passionate, achieving, and most of all loving. Eventually nothing really matters anymore but him, its like your walking above the earth. Far away from the stresses and depression that lingers in the world. Its like you have slowly molded into one person, one spirit. One soul.
So then, what is love really? Is it that fluttery feeling you get in your chest when he messages you? Is it the inability to sleep at night because you can't stop picturing his smiling face. Is it the attraction you feel when he is sitting right by you and you can't focus on anything to save your life? Well, in part it is to some degree that. In my mind love, is loving him for who he is even if they do or say something stupid. Its about being patient and kind, about listening sincerely and actually caring about what he is saying. Its not confrontational, its selfless. Love is caring so much for a person that their needs come before your own. Your aren't the priority, you want him to be happy, relaxed, safe.
When your in love you want to spend time with him! All the time, every second of every day. You want him to experience everything you do, and you want to do it together. You feel comfortable around each other, its not like things are forced when he is around. They come easily.
When in love you want to be a better person, you want to strive harder to better yourself. You say kind things to each other, avoiding confrontation. You talk things out rather than yell at each other.
Its warm fuzzies when you think of that person, or when you haven't seen them in a while.
I have found personally, that the people I love most are those I can most easily laugh with. The ones who can look me in the eyes, and see my soul past the face I portray to them, especially the ones who love me for it. I love people who give me real smiles, like they are secretly meant just for me.
Last of all, and probably most importantly- Love is blind. When your in love he could look like a toad for all you would care, love isn't about their features its about their heart. The personality, the unique traits and words. Love isn't an infatuation, or a fascination- that is a physical based attraction. Love is going deeper then that, its a movement beyond what you can see with your eyes. Its called giving them your heart.
So, how do you maintain or strengthen a love? Be grateful for one, appreciate him and tell him so. Most importantly, compliment each other! I can't say it enough. Compliments, can really change a day. A whole life even! You can never give too many compliments to someone who loves you, and you love back.
One of the things I recall my mom telling me is that it's important to compliment your spouse, even if its a forced lie in the moment because your upset. When you start looking for the good things in him, it changes your outlook completely. It changes their mood, and yours.
One of the things I have noticed about my parents, my dad especially, is his constant compliments. If the foods good, he tells my mom so, if the foods bad, he tells my mom its good. I hear him tell her she is a cutie, or that he loves her about a million times a day. (I am NOT exaggerating.) Sometimes I want to bring down the ceiling on him to cease the waves of wishy-washy going on in my house. Even though it can be ridiculous sometimes, that's the type of love that keeps going even when times get hard. That's the type of guy I want to marry, even if I roll my eyes at my parents now. Being able to encourage is also very important. When you're dependable, its easier for him to be dependable as well.
Another important thing is being able to give criticism in a kind, loving way. My dad is again known for being the type of guy to resolve problems through communication. If things are getting tense he will take the offenders aside and make them talk about it until the problem is resolved. That is so important in a loving relationship, being able to communicate well!
I personally can be the type of person to hit around the bush, without ever addressing the problem directly. I HATE confrontation, like HATE it.. Its also gotten me into some tough spots which could have been easily resolved by just saying, "Hey, this sort of upset me the other day and instead of assuming you meant this I thought I would ask you what you were really talking about." My close friends know this very well, its one of the large flaws in myself which I can easily recognize.
Being able to recognize when someone needs you is a huge part in strengthening a relationship. Everyone, at some point or another, is going to have some self doubt or be in need of some esteem boosting.
Sometimes I mention something completely off-topic, playing it off as completely unimportant, and in reality will be craving for someone to rebuke it and tell me they need me. Seriously, words have the power to change us. I'm sure
Christopher Paolini (the author of the Inheritance Cycle) didn't just get on his computer and start writing flawlessly, shrouded in constant solitude without the need for encouragement from others. It was in reality his parents who encouraged him to publish his book, and the ones who kept telling him to go forward with it.
Fight for him! Never let him go. Typically, I'm not the kind of girl who is going to fight over a guy who has expressed little interest in me. I want a guy who will fight for me. Its very simple to understand, not embellished much. If I were to meet a guy who would take the initiative to act like a man, I WOULD MARRY HIM. I'm pretty tired of all this, "girls should ask guys out, girls should be the ones courting." No. Absolutely not. If you don't have the guts to come at me, then go find someone else. I know its terrifying but I've never treated a guy who has asked me out with contempt or scorn. I doubt most girls would either, if they were the right sort. Most understand how hard it was for you!
Be someone who others can lean on, instead of someone who lives for themselves and treats others like play dolls. Be someone he can lean on, someone he knows won't make fun of him for the feelings he expresses to you.
In the whirling mass of conflicting messages about what love is, its so easy to mistake the real meaning of the word. Marriages, relationships, friendships, and families are all falling apart based on their own failed ideas of love. They all expect something different, they all feel that the fluttery feeling in their chests when they get a message is what its all about, and when it stops that they are no longer in love. Everything is so unsure and unstable. Everything is falling apart, how can you know anything for certain?
More often than not we fall in love with someone who doesn't love us back, or someone who we really shouldn't have. It can be the most excruciating pain to watch them live their life with someone else and know you have no part in it. That the only time they will ever see you, the real you, is in your own fantasized dreams, and it hurts. It hurts so much. The same thing that gives us life and can attach us to another makes us want to rip our still beating heart from our chests. Telling yourself you're just going to stop loving him is like telling yourself you'll grow another arm. Its possibly the hardest thing in the world. He keeps hurting you, and you keep loving him despite all the bruises. The tears you shed over him, fall unwanted and unseen. A heart can be a heavy burden.
Here is something I wanted to hit on that has really aggravated me for a while now. One of the things that most disgusted me during some classes I took at college was the "you have to sleep together to make your relationship official".... Do they even realize how ridiculous that sounds? I can hardly express how disgusting and ludicrous that idea is. That’s NOT LOVE, that’s called LUST. If you do that sort of thing with everyone, then what difference does marriage even make? What is the point? Besides that, you basically rip away the ability to truly form bonds with another person, you damage yourself and him. You lose confidence, experience emotional damage, risk disease and premature children- and all for what? A few moments of lustful fulfillment? ANIMALS don't even, randomly go about reproducing with anyone they see, so what does that make society today?
To end with, I wanted to say that through everything- the heart ache, the constant worry, the uncertainty about if he/she cares about me, there are some people I will never regret loving. No matter how many times they make me cry, they have equally, if not more frequently, made me laugh. They have made my life a brighter place and given me someone to trust and care for. They are a family to me, in ways I never thought possible.
I only plan on getting married once, and its something really important to me. Meeting someone I want to spend the rest of my life with- and eternity, is no casual choice. I want to love him, and know he loves me. I want to feel safe with him, and know I can trust him completely.
I'm a pretty confident person, I won't lie. I have my weak moments, and yes, I am pretty sensitive when people I care about say stupid stuff to me, but despite that I know who I am. I know there are millions of other girls and boys just like me in the world, going through the same things I am. I want to love them and If I could I would do it without any hesitation. I don't want to watch as they fall apart, I want to grab them in my arms and hold them while the world collapses around us. I want to whisper that I'll never let them fade away. Because in the end, we all need to feel like someone cares about us. We all want to feel like just one person cares.
We all need someone to love us.