Can We and Should We Define Love?
So much has been written about love, that it almost seems impossible to condense all that has been said about it and everything love is, into one tiny definition.
Any definition on the word “love,” no matter how good it is, doesn’t seem to do love justice.
So in this post, I want to invite you to savor the balance of being both specific and general when you refer to love.
I also want to share beautiful quotations about love that are both general and specific. Poetic and practical.
In other words, we can talk about how huge love is and enjoy that thought and we can also talk about what exactly love is (as best we can) and enjoy those definitions, at least momentarily.
Why momentarily? Because love means different things to different people. And that’s okay.
When The Definition Of Love Confuses You
In reality, love often means different things to the same person. In other words, you have different definitions of love, and if I told you to tell me in 5 seconds what it is, you would find that challenging.
Why? Because love means different things to you.
- Love is what you say it is.
- It is what you believe that it is.
- And love is how you act/ show your affection.
Ideally, all of these 3 things should align, but they sometimes don’t.
For example, you may say you love someone, but you may choose:
- not to show that person your love with your actions, or even your words
- talk to that person like your friend and simultaneously,
- believe that love, in general, is not for you, and that you’ll never find someone.
And if you’re dissatisfied and/or confused with love in a situation like this, it shouldn’t be a surprise, now, should it?
You’re attracting the experiences into your life that make what you say, believe and demonstrate regarding love to be true for you.
Other people may not be experiencing your dysfunctional relationship with love in the way that you’re experiencing it, so your perception of love is unique to you.
By the way, does the phrase “dysfunctional relationship with love” ring true for you? If you’re really honest with yourself, there is at least one person in your life that you have this “I love you but I choose not to let you feel loved” relationship with… or something along those lines. We all do.
The trick to having love that enhances your life instead of the type of notions about love that disintegrate all of your relationships is to have a definition that you can apply to the vast majority of people, and making sure that you truly believe that you can live, have and thrive the sort of love that you envision.
Love Needs Fine-Tuning
The way that love acts in our life is like an instrument that is out of tune and that needs to get tuned. All of us go through periods where our definition of love and the love that we ultimately experience are not aligned. The sooner we notice these misalignments, the faster we can fix them.
But just like with instruments, you have to know that you need to check in on the love inside of you very often. For some people it’s minute by minute (especially in a difficult situation), for others it’s daily, but it should never be more than once a week.
The way that you can tell if your love needs balancing is if you know that your belief about love, your nonverbal expression about love and your verbal expression about love don’t align.
And what should you do when you notice this?
You should literally, redefine love.
What Should You Keep In Mind As You Explore Love Definitions?
Have you ever been to an art gallery?
If so, do you remember, walking quietly in front of each piece of artwork, just admiring it, and allowing for your conclusions about what you were seeing to float in your mind?
Your thoughts just came and went. They went and came.
And you remembered what you’ve heard so many times before, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”
Being exposed to other people’s definitions about love is like being exposed to different art pieces.
You may like them, you may not.
But ultimately, it’s their expression.
Leave Or Take Their Expression, Instead, Focus on Yours
The important thing that you should notice when it comes to other people’s definitions about love is that it’s their perception and their creation.
What they share holds true for them… either momentarily, like in a photo, or permanently like a stone etching.
You’re welcome to admire the words in other people’s definitions and ask yourself if their words hold true for you. They may or may not.
Whether they do or don’t is not really crucial because in the end, it’s your definition that matters in your life. You need to take ownership of what love means to you.
Why? Because your love definition is like an invitation from your soul to live the life you have imagined and which will make you happy.
Sounds, deep to some of you, and airy-fairy to the rest.
But really think about it. Without incorporating the definition of love into your life, you can have a great life, but not the best life. You can have a life that you can feel thankful for, but maybe not a life that makes you feel utterly complete and fulfilled.
The Impact Of Love Is Real
The fact that love can determine your happiness and fulfillment in life, sounds exaggerated, I know, but according to Tony Robbins, some of the main areas of life are relationships, emotions and money.
If you look closely, you’ll see that all of these areas have to do with love, especially relationships and emotions.
Perhaps most shocking, is the fact that Tony Robbins also recognizes that one of the biggest causes of hitting a plateau or slump in life is having issues in your love relationship.
No matter how hard you try or how much you can conceal, you often can’t give your personal best in your work if your romantic relationship is suffering? Not because you’re not resilient enough, but simply, because you’re not immune to the absence of love or to it’s sometimes shaky nature.
Given that we’ve lived long enough to experience love, we don’t need a thesis on it to know that love is:
B. A huge part of our life
C. Something that defines the quality of our life
D. The glue that keeps most of our life together and that without love in general, our life can fall apart.
E. Literally, something personal
What Is Your Love Definition?
In just a moment, you’ll be creating your own definition of what love means to you. Remember, value what you come up with.
I know that it feels intrusive. And that it feels like you’re asking yourself to define something that you consider is huge and beyond your total comprehension.
But remember, your definition can turn out to be a photo of love, meaning a quick little snapshot of it…. or a monument.
What it is, doesn’t matter… what matters is that you listen it and that you honor it.
One of the best definitions for a love in general that I can come up with is this:
In other words, love is flying and helping other people fly.
My romantic love definitions are:
What is your own love definition?
2. Jot down your definition.
3. Post your definition somewhere where you can see it. (Such as in your bathroom, office, wallet, or create a digital version or take a photo to save it on your computer screensaver, mobile screensaver).
4. From time to time ask yourself how well your definition of love is serving you. If it’s not, create a new one and/or make the changes necessary in your life to make sure that your love aligns.
What Other Love Definitions Have People Come Up with?
Literature, movies, songs and even modern social media sites are filled with wonderful definitions of love.
Some are long definitions, some are short.
These are some of the best quotations on love that I’ve seen:
1. “When you fall in love, it is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake, and then it subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots are to become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the desire to mate every second of the day. It is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every part of your body. No … don’t blush. I am telling you some truths. For that is just being in love; which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over, when being in love has burned away. Doesn’t sound very exciting, does it? But it is!” from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières
Your Turn To Share Your Wisdom Tokens
I hope you enjoyed the love gallery. 🙂
In the comments below, please share what your favorite definition of love is. It can be your own definition or somebody else’s. And if it’s your own definition, say so with pride! 🙂
I’d love to hear your definition of love!!
I’d love the comments below to be like an art gallery.
Please help me to make it beautiful.