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For months now I've been trying to define LOVE. In the aftermath of an eighteen year relationship, I have tried to look inward at what brought me to this point. I'm sure the both of us could laundry list you all the reasons things didn't work out, but if you asked me would I have done anything different the answer, for the most part, would be no... We did what we needed to do and the relationship ran its course. We as individuals are on individual courses. Sadly, the cliche of "ships passing in the night" holds true. Some just take a lot longer to pass. Are we still friends? Thankfully. We have the ability to look at the evolution of our relationship and know that no one is to blame... no one is at fault. Two people simply acknowledged things had changed and both had seen enough episodes of "Real Sex" on HBO and the lengths couples will go to keep their relationship afloat (tantric body painting sex parties anyone?), to say "no thank you!"
... but I digress -- this entry is about defining LOVE.
So, what is it? What is LOVE? Hell if I know... that's the problem - I can't seem to hold on to what it all means. It's not like I haven't tried to understand LOVE. For the past 9 months I have been trying to wrap my head around the concept and I'm afraid this blog entry will fall short of providing the answer.
In the beginning, I started with the easiest point of entry into the subject... I looked to Webster's dictionary. What did I find? Well, first of all it's fucking homophobic. When the definition states LOVE to be a "strong affection for another person, esp. of the opposite sex" that's just all shades of wrong -- Really, Webster? In 2010, you really need to go the extra mile... not that I'm trying to say I'm Gay and offended... I'm just offended... not Gay... not that there is anything wrong with that. Beyond that, I do get what it means to have a "strong affection", but what constitutes a "strong affection"... well, that comes down to the individual. And we are like snowflakes... we are all different and all attribute a "strong affection" to mean something different... huh? My head hurts already...
Look, I really don't know what to say about the word and what it means anymore. It's so odd - every time I think I've got it figured out it, I lose sight of it... it's like trying to think of how that song goes you heard on the radio and for a moment you remember and then "woosh" it's gone the next time you're trying to remember it. At least with a song you can go on iTunes and find it, download it, listen to it a billion times, and commit it to memory. They don't have LOVE on iTunes and there isn't an app for your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad either.
There are moments when I feel what LOVE is, but just when I'm trying to attribute words to what it is I'm feeling, it falls apart and no longer makes sense.
What I can gather is this... L-O-V-E comes down to the individual... you (the individual) knows what makes you feel good both emotionally and physically (this of course takes on many forms and can be the explanation for both healthy and unhealthy relationships) - Depending on what we're looking for, LOVE can bring out the best and worst of us. Based on many external factors of your life and the fabric of your DNA, you know what you are looking for and it's unlike anything anyone else is looking for, which makes finding a www.perfectmatch.com impossible -- we can get close... but a perfect match? NOT GOING TO HAPPEN! You must expect and respect the differences otherwise you're doomed.
The key is to find someone who inspires you -- who brings out the best in you -- who makes you feel how you want to feel... and when it comes to the stuff you don't see eye to eye on you're comfortable accepting it without expectation that the person will one day change. That's not to say they can't or won't, but that's up to them... not you. You can't blame them if they remain the same person they were when you met them. But again, the flaw in this is people can and do change and they may very well become someone you know longer care to be with. It's so tricky, so fragile, so indecipherable.
I've been out there in the world now for about 9 months and I can tell you that the task at hand is daunting. I know this about myself... I like spending time with someone. Is it healthy, normal, too soon? Who knows... I will say the alone time can be introspective and valuable (hey, it allows me to write this horse shit) - but as I said before, we as individuals know what makes us feel good (and to me that's one of the most important elements of LOVE) -- One thing is for certain, it's nice to know LOVE is out there... have I experienced it in those 9 months? I couldn't say... but what I know, what I've experienced, what I've learned, and the concepts I've pondered tell me that there is LOVE out there... and not just for me... for everyone.
We all want to LOVE -- it's finding someone to LOVE us back the way we want that's the tricky part. So don't give up and don't be afraid of it. It's out there.
To quote Lloyd Dobler and his quest for LOVE: "I WANT TO GET HURT!" - And that my friends, is the only way to truly experience it... let the guard down and allow for the possibility to get annihilated... you'll be miserable when it happens, but that just means it's working.
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