Monday, June 23, 2008

Love Me Tender, Love Me Do

One of the more unusual things I did while in school was a survey to find out what love meant to those around me. I gave all my classmates and friends (and some teachers) scraps of paper and asked them to write their definition of love. I'm sure the results have been long since lost in the ether of time, but the exercise will always stay with me, and some of the answers I received, particularly from some of the most vapid bimbos in the class, proved to be surprisingly poignant.

I've always liked the idea that “Love means never having to say your sorry”. I think many people take this as meaning forgiveness is automatic when you are in love, but I always thought it meant, if two people were in love, they would never do anything to need to apologise for. A na├»ve idea, I know, but sweet.

I have heard the idea that love is about sacrifice. That sounds awful. Why would anyone enter into a loving relationship knowing that they would first have to give up a part of them in order to be with the one they love? Of course, love can come with a degree of sacrifice, but it's hardly a pleasant definition.

“Love is: when it hurts to be without them”. Argh, that's awful. That's not love – that's bordering on bunny boiler territory. Love should be about the positive feelings, not the negative.

“You know you're in love when you want to spend the rest of your life with them”. That's more like it – it's romantic and it's beautiful and full of hope. But as a definition, I don't know.

I like that love could be: “loving her and seeing her love me back, makes me feel like I am the greatest person to ever live”. It may be a little egotistical, but the idea that someone else could inspire such confidence and ego is very positive.

What's your definition of love? Are you a hopeless romantic? Are you a dreadful cynic? Are you still searching for love or have you abandoned the chase and settled on a nice bottle of Chardonay?

What is love?


  1. Ah, good post. I think about this a lot! Daily. I have no answer, just lots of negatives.

    I love my husband, but why does that not help me being tortured by the sound of him eating?

  2. I am really tempted to say love is this honey and spelt bread I just can't get enough of at the moment, but that would be flip.

    It's funny that you talk about "love", and we all assume you mean romantic love? Love to me means so many different things, love for my kids, my friends, my family. Romantic love is a little more complicated.

    After nearly seventeen years with the one person now I am dating someone else, I love him, I am in love with him, but he still does things that annoy me (you know what I mean sweetie) and I annoy him, even though he adores me! Love is different things to different people at different times of their lives I suppose, the relationship I had with my ex has morphed from a very passionate in love relationship to a brother sister, pissing each other off kind of relationship, but we still love each other in a way.

    I've learnt that love is not static, it changes constantly within relationships and people have very differing opinions on what it is, so I might tell my partner I love him and he say it to me, but we mean totally differnt things, trying to express different emotions. For me it's about all the things you mentioned, sacrifice, forgiveness, joy, connection, freedom, commitment, empathy, the list goes on I suppose...sorry long rambling comment, wouldn't be suprised if blogger doesn't even publish it!

  3. love is about friendship, companionship as well as physical. Try not to sleep on an argument.

  4. Love is...blokes who write posts like this about luuurve and stuff!!!! Where did they get you from!! I'm so impressed....(**imagine me kinda swooning**)

  5. Yay Daz has become the bigger metrosexual man than Idiot.

    I aint answering this post though far to girlie for a man like me.

  6. Love is cheesecake. Anyone want to buy half a cheesecake?

  7. don't hurt me..don't hurt more.

  8. As anyone who knows me will testify I've spent my whole life wrestling with the nature of your question Darren. It does have certain similarities though either in platonic or romantic forms.

    I'm ever wrestling with it now.

    It shifts and changes and comes and goes with frightening speed sometimes.

    I've written poetry about it, declared it, again and again and again, mistaken it, angsted over it, fought for it, given up on it, let it go all too cheaply, realised it was gone (that's the hardest).

    It's what connects us all in one form or another in differing degrees, it's what makes life worth living, I'm an awful sucker for it.

    Love does come with sacrifice. If that's really what it is you give up part of yourself that you never, ever get back, no matter how much time passes.

    I look up. I love Ails for her sensible approach, Ash for her ability to still swoon, Shan for his gruff bluster, hiding everything, I'd love half of Jo's cheesecake :), I love Milan to bits.

    I will always love MW and make sure nothing ever happens to her or my children.

    Love is when you are worth every bit of heartache, when they light you up.

    I can see it in that picture.

  9. Fucking hell that was a fantastic comment should have been a post tbh, well said SL, although just as girlie!

    Jaysus I am turning into twenty.

  10. Love is as close to religion I get. I hope I give more than I get.

  11. Wow SL, that was fantastic. Agreed - that should have been the post.

    I was certainly referring to romantic love in the post, but it's nice to see other POV's.

    @Jo I don't have the answers...sorry.

    @Midge Thanks for the honest reply. Very nice comment.

    @Ails Absolutely.

    @Ash Stop that - you're embarrassing me.

    @Shan Nothing wrong with being a bit open. As log as I don't become a mushy twat.

    @Milan All you need is love...all you need is love...all you need is is all you need...

    @Dolly Giveth and thou shalt receive. :)

  12. SL - I agree with the others. We need more of this out-there-posting from you.

    Daz - I'll be the cynic of us all, but I'm more clinical than cynical. I don't think love is very special, I get very annoyed when people use it as morality or spirituality as an excuse to do wrong (see earlier post); from an emotional analytical aspect, I find it nausseating (sp?) in excess and disappointingly unexciting when experienced separate from attraction.

  13. Ehhh, I'm not too mushy when it comes to love in the romantic sense but I guess to me it just means that the thought of being without someone is just awful - and you don't mind if they fart in bed, ha.

  14. Jesus. The amount of mails and texts I've gotten from people about this. If I'd know being honest and open was the way to get your attention I would have done it a long time ago!

    I intended to steal no thunder from Darren, I was inspired. Dolly does give love even to those she doesn't know as her letters to me testify, and Milan, it's not an out there post, it's an "in here" post :)

    Now it's high time for yours...

  15. The whole love thing can be quite confusing sometimes, I love my kids and I love my partner. I love my family too, but in each case the feelings and the circumstances are of course different. Romantic love stands out as it involves a much greater degree of choice. We don't get to choose our parents, siblings or even our kids but our partner/lover/spouse is someone we choose to accept into our lives and cherish. This is partly what makes it so special, there is no compulsion, the love is freely given:-)