Thursday, October 2, 2008
What is love?
I know some of you have already read this on my facebook, but I just wanted to post it on here as well. With some of my friends making stupid choices, I know now more than ever how easy it is to confuse love and infatuation. Hopefully this will help someone else out there.
“[Love] is feeling even more smitten when you’re together; it’s loving just as much when you’re apart. It isn’t being so obsessed that you can hardly eat; it is feeling so secure and happy that you can eat sensibly. It isn’t an inability to keep your mind on your work, or to concentrate to study. It is being able to study and excel more, because you want to work hard for your loved one; they bring out your best.
When you’re really in love, it has taken time to grow. Love includes physical attraction that wants to please the other person and is partially based upon deep admiration and love for that person. You enjoy each other as friends as well as you enjoy the physical chemistry between you. But infatuation leaps quickly into bloom, sweeping you away in a current of lust, and the basic desire for sexual gratification.
Love is respecting another person’s individuality; infatuation is living your life through somebody else, or expecting them to live through you. Love lets you be alone and not lonely; infatuation makes you want a solution for loneliness.
Infatuation includes feverish excitement and miserable uncertainty until you can be together again; love is confident and able to wait, filling you with warmth and security. Love is being able to show all sides of yourself to someone and know that they’ll still love you; infatuation is afraid to show all and presents only the candy-coated parts.
Love is secure and independent, allowing each other room to grow and differ; disagreements usually lead to compromise. Infatuation needs continual assurance of being loved and is very insecure and dependent. Disagreements often become quarrels.
When you love someone and others criticize that person, it sharpens your attachment. When you’re merely infatuated, the opinions of others can make you doubt that choice. When you’re in love, you are confident that you belong to each other. Infatuated couples often experience feelings of jealousy.
When you’re in love you have a kind, even disposition and feeling of goodwill towards others. When infatuated, feelings of desperation make you edgy and short-tempered. Infatuated couples sometimes find monetary greed in their relationships; couples in love are willing to struggle, share, and trust.
Some people are in love with the feeling of being loved. But real love is thinking of what you can do to show you love the other person, rather than counting the things they’ve done to prove they love you. Some folks have a compulsive desire to feel needed. But while real love wants your companionship, it doesn’t need it in the sense of being to function alone.
Others are simple determined not to be ‘an old maid.’Yet until you are happy all alone, you’re limited in the amount of love you can give another person.
Some couples think they are in love, when all they are is in love with the prestige, position, or financial security they’ve found in a mate. Real love would be just as strong without all the trappings. You’re proud of your partner in any situation and that admiration shows.
Some well-meaning romantics give in and get entirely swallowed up and dominated. Others like feeling in control of another person, still thinking of themselves first. (These two types often find each other.) But true love is none of those things. It’s not a unilateral arrangement where one person has all the power and the other is subordinate. It’s caring as much about another person’s feelings and wants as you do about your own – nor completely forgetting yourself and becoming a non-person, but sharing and respecting equally. You’re willing to give in to please him or her, but you also feel welcome to express a differing view.
And when you truly love someone, you don’t want to control them; in fact, their strength pleases you.
When you’re in love, there’s room for differences on little things; these differences even delight you. But usually, you have the big issues in common: You share similar values and goals. You respect each other as children of God, and you each aspire for the other to become all that they can be (without pushing). There’s emotional maturity. There’s honest acceptance and an honest view of each other’s strengths and weaknesses. You can grow together better than you could grow individually, each enhancing each other.” –Joni Hilton