Valentines Day is due in a fortnight, and all i have to offer is this post on love.
Over the last decade, I cant remember a moment where I was left "single". Its been a back to back struggle to finding love, discovering passion and what makes or breaks relationships. If you have known me long enough, I'm pretty certain that you know it hasn't been wonderful for me.
They say that LOVE cant be defined. I'd say the opposite. Everything in the world has its reasons and definitions although it may vary from one person to the other. Having said that, there are still a fundamentals to LOVE and without them relationships break down. Love is not about everything sweet and nice, or all the good stuff. A lot of work and effort has to be put into a relationship in order for it to work out, or for LOVE to be more than just a word.
To make things rather simple, lets start by defining LOVE. If you actually Google it out you may find many variations to the word and if you out them all together, you will find some similarities.
In general, LOVE is any number of emotions related to a sense of strong affection and attachment. LOVE does have its differences when applied to different things. The LOVE for a child or parent is very much different from those of a partner. Material objects such as cars can be loved as well. If i were to go through the exact definitions of each, it will get very boring. But i am here to specifically speak on LOVE in terms of being more than friends or "an item" as the old folks like to call it.
No matter how people try to personalize LOVE, as i mentioned before, fundamentals remain. Commitment, Intimacy, Passion. These are the three fundamentals which makes a relationship and LOVE more than mere words. Commitment is the expectation that the relationship is permanent. People tend to run away from commitments and only want to enjoy it coming from the other party, in this sense, LOVE does not exist. Commitment is wanting the best for the other person no matter what stands in your way. Intimacy is the details and information that we share with each other, trusting each other with secrets we can share with no one else. Intimacy is defined with the closeness both physically and mentally, connectedness, and the warmth of each other's company. Passion underlies the physical desire, sexual behavior, and arousal. Passion is mostly referred to as the physical aspect of LOVE. Kissing and feeling each other's touch, sexual intercourse, and physical actions involving touch are part of passion.
Now, without any 1 of the 3 fundamentals, LOVE and a proper relationship will not exist. But at times, 2 people may have a slight clash in terms of providing each other with their respective visions of LOVE. That is where compromise comes into the picture. I don't want to go into the details so use your imagination. When compromise comes in, make sure that whatever trade off made is of equivalent value to the other person. If you want to take something, be prepared to give something else in return.
I do find that LOVE is kind of one sided sometimes. One party plays the proper role and the other just sits back and enjoys the ride. When asked to commit, they find everyone means of avoiding commitment. This usually happens when an affair is at hand or that person is in it for their own gains. Being in LOVE is about RESPONSIBILITY, SACRIFICE, SELFLESSNESS, DEDICATION, COMPROMISE, and COMMITMENT.
I have been in more than 30 relationships and if i said i was always right, i would be lying to you. No one is always right, accepting your defeat and learning about your mistakes is what really makes you better. There are a few things i want to share on how to make or break a relationship.
Ego and stubbornness kills. Defending your ego will only make you blind. Blind to the love and dedication the other party is putting into holding this relationship together, blind to your failures and mistakes as a lover and a person. Its rather simple when the other party knows that they ain't doing things right, you can simply find a way of getting through to them and someday they WILL understand. But when you are faced with someone that refuses to think that what they have done is wrong. That person has already failed you and themselves. They have failed at LOVE.
Responsibility is being able to conform to the needs and demands of being in LOVE. There are far too many examples to give but the most common are, keeping each other in check, remembering things about your partner, and making sure that you keep working at the relationship. At times picking up a call quicker or replying a text faster makes a whole lot of difference. A little bit of effort goes a long long way.
A lot of people preach about how much they love their partner and the things they are willing to do for them. Or at times they speak about how they live by "Actions speak louder than words". But when it comes to love it remains just a word. Anyone can speak the word but it only becomes real if the proper actions follow through. I've been through too many cases where my partner says that she will stand by me or stand up for my ideals but when the time came for words to be turned into actions, where were they? Its fine for those who are not yet ready to sacrifice or to live up to their words, ONLY IF THEY ARE WILLING TO LEARN. But to those who bail out when the going gets tough or when its time to give and commit. I hope they really don't fool around with love as they will only end up hurting their partners.
There is a thin line between freedom and being self centered. Freedom comes with responsibility and if you claim you are in love, you owe that responsibility to your partner. Know that what you are doing doesn't hurt or offend your partner in any way. Sometimes just pretending to ask for their permission is good enough to show your commitment and responsibility to the relationship. Its when you assume you can just do as you wish and insist that your decision is the only one that matters to you is when you have become self centered. No matter what the other party has to say or how he or she feels about your decision doesn't move you. If that is the case, you have failed LOVE. Be considerate, ask if its alright to go ahead with things. Consider the other person before yourself or anyone else. Love the other more than yourself and he will repay you in the same manner. Take care of the other persons interest. It works both ways, if only one party plays the role, the other is in for a free ride and that is not LOVE.
Making initiatives and attempts to satisfy the other party is very very important. No one wants to be the only one having to make all the decisions and all the go's. Try to be the one to start something off, it makes the other person very happy to know that you are willing to put an equal hand in ensuring both parties happiness. This is commitment to the word LOVE and can only be showed in action. Making attempts to see the person more often and making time or working around the other persons schedule equally as he does yours really makes a difference. It may be some work and sacrifice on your end, but isn't that what he has been doing for you all this while?
Love is more than a risk, its something we get ourselves into and just like any business or activity we pursue, if we don't commit or see it to the end it will never work out. Don't ride on someone else's trust and his commitment to being in love with you. Remember, its not about being calculative or living by structures. Its about being fair and equal to each other and to compromise when there is a clash in ideals. If you think that its not your lost, wait for that fine day when he or she walks out the door for good. Then you will finally understand what you have lost and there is no replacing one love for another. Throughout all of my relationships, there has been only one repercussion. People never listen and only realize the things they should have done and how easy it was to do once it is far too late.
So people, before the day comes when you lose all thats precious to you. Make a change, make a difference. There is no time better than now, because there may not be a tomorrow if you hesitate. And to those who think i am wrong and refuse to make a change, you have already failed LOVE, irregardless of how you decide to define it.
Happy Valentines Day.