We all say it but what does it mean really?
I love pizza and starry nights. I love days off and camping I love red wine and chocolate and sleepy Sunday mornings. I love riding my motorcycle and I love dancing. I love the way those black yoga pants make me look skinny. Oh and I love sweet potato fries and key lime pie and classic rock. Oh yeah and I Love that restaurant or that lake or that park or that other place and oh, by the way, I love you and black licorice and coffee in the morning.
What does it really mean to say “I love,” “he loves,” “she loves,” “they love”?
He loves to get really stoned and play Frisbee and he loves her. She loves getting pedicures and she loves him. They love hot dogs and they love us. Do we say “I love” so much that we have lost perspective on what love really is? Does loving this and that and everything under the sun cheapen love?
Relationships come and go and couples part and move on every day. Is it possible that we have forgotten how to really love or have we just forgotten how to keep love? Can Frisbee and weed compare to his love for her? Can her pedicure compare for her love for him and does anyone really love hot dogs?
Love, the real kind of love that makes it all worth it isn’t about pizza, music or motorcycles.
Songs and poems and stories have forever been sung and written and told about love and the often ensuing tragedy. We have been questioning this thing called love since we could ask questions. The truth is that from the moment we enter this life we are looking for love. Real love, not coffee or pie love but the kind of love that keeps us alive and lasts a lifetime—or beyond.
We all want it whether we are willing to admit it or not. It is as vital as air and water and in fact we would not survive without it. Without some level of love we would have all died shortly after birth if not from the elements then from starvation. Love kept us alive and can in fact keep us alive still. Married couples in the Untied States live an average of a decade longer than non married couples but what does it take to find and keep love and what is real love anyway?
Love, is a feeling. A dizzy-tachacardia-butterflies-in-your-stomach-check-your-phone-every-2-minutes-to-see-if-he-called kind of feeling. Real love is gut-wrenching-overwhelming-I-will-die-without-you-elated kind of feeling.
Love is listening to a friend tell you all about the argument she had with her husband last night. Real love is canceling the plans you made to go out dancing so that you could listen to you friend tell you about the argument she had with her husband last night.
Love is being honest. Real love is being honest even when the truth makes you look like an ass. It is interesting that the Navajo Language does not have a word for “Lie” yet the English language has several. Real love is never lying.
Love is saying you’re sorry. Real love is saying you’re sorry when you don’t want to. It is humbling yourself and shelving your pride and with an open heart looking your loved one in the eye and saying “You were right, I was wrong and I am sorry.”
Love is having the courage to tell the one you love that you adore him, even when you know he may not return the sentiment. Real love is repeating that again and again and again.
Love is being patient with your love even when she is being sensitive and overly emotional. Real love is taking her hands in yours and saying “It’s okay, I love you, everything will be fine.” It is sitting up into the night talking or crying or laughing. It is waiting for her to remember, and find that tender place.
Love is cooperation. Real love is knowing that understanding is not necessarily a prerequisite for cooperation. It is striving to understand yet offering assistance and cooperation even when you don’t.
Love is supportive. It is accepting that joining the circus might not be the career path you would have chosen for your daughter but you will support her decision regardless. Real love is telling her she looks beautiful on an elephant and investing in a rhinestone bustier.
Love is listening to techno because he listens to it. Real love is actually starting to like techno because he listens to it.
Love is finding calm when we are angry. Real love is helping her find calm when she is angry.
Love is wild passionate sex in the tent. Real, love is gazing into each others others eyes and knowing that there are no words big enough.
Love is forgiveness. Plain and simple.
Love is confusing and sexy and exciting and as my teen daughter says “Love is a hot mess.” Love is cartwheels and kisses, doe eyes and roses and love is boring. It is mundane day to day house cleaning, chores and paying bills. It is good days and bad days.
There is as many kinds of love as there are people who love and love morphs and grows and ebbs and flows constantly and yes, love is pizza and starry nights and wine and hot dogs and pot and frisbees and patience and calm and support and honestly and the very instant that love starts to bewilder us, as sure as the sun will rise, we will ask the question…What is this love thing anyway?
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Catherine Monkman