What is love, actually?

If you search the word love, look it up in the dictionary there are so many definitions it’s hard to land on one that sticks.  It’s either an affection, a desire, an admiration, even a devotion, but one thing we all know is that we can’t and don’t want to live without love. Seemingly, love can be all of those things, but can it be more, and can it even be defined? Surely anyone that has truly been in love can’t always explain why they love someone,  because there’s a bond that just exists without explanation.


“Love isn’t when you can name a million things you love about the person. Love is when you can’t even find words to describe how you feel about them.” -unknown


Within my research around the subject of love I discovered that there are reasons why we have bonds with some and not with others. You may be physically attracted to someone but have no desire in being in a relationship with them and why is that? It has been proven that we actually seek out mates with people that have similar DNA to us- people that think the same, possibly look similar or are similarly attractive, have similar needs and thinking etc.  So following the pattern of Science it might make sense that someone who is good looking, has acquired a lot of skills and talent in a lifetime and is extremely tall would have a harder time finding a mate vs. someone of an average height, who is averagely good looking, and has average talent.  Sounds funny right? But makes sense. Rarity would then link with other rarities.


So where did love come from, how did it come to exist?  The word love was essentially created from the saying s’agapo in Greek which means I love you, but in the Greek language this love was known to be a deeper, passionate, true love vs. the love that you may have with say a sibling or friend.  The pronunciation of the word itself is tracked down to the English and Germans(old English and old Saxon) way, way back in the day when each of them had words leof: meaning dear and luba: meaning love derived from lufu- one of the first words for love that ever existed.


Throughout history love has been something that has been brought together by religion, tradition, duty, and wealth, timing all the way back to ancient Greece.  In today’s society we make the choice to love, we make the choice to bind ourselves to someone through passion, bond, friendship, and desire.  No one is telling us we have to marry someone for familial wealth or because of our religious beliefs(I hope). So, have the commonalities of old time traditions and beliefs moved forward within our actions- the point that someone can love and still act outside of love while the romanticized reality of love has grown allowing us to find love with whomever we deem fit?


I think we can agree, that love is a feeling of deep emotion; but a feeling and actions can be separated.  So how do we as people whom love, separate the idea that you could love someone and yet still act against that love?  Humans sometimes cheat, hurt, and lie… is love not combined with those actions?  However dramatic or fairy tale-esque I’ve always believed that love should be one grand idea, that the feeling of love and the actions that define you within that love should mirror one another.  And if you really devour that idea, you would only want to do that for someone that you have such a deep lufu for.  Love.  It really does determine you.


When I asked some of my girlfriends “What is love?” The answers varied greatly, even some of them defined it as possibly being many things and yet nothing in singularity.  But, when I asked them “What is love to you?” They were then taken to a place of memory, of conversation, of emotion, of desire.  The feeling, if it was ever indeed taken away from them, they would do almost anything to get it back.  So what signifies, what defines love outside of the common definitions that Merriam-Webster lays out for us?  Is it the ability to want to do anything for that person?  To be bound to them by choice and have your actions mirror those choices? Or is it as simple as the passion you have between one that you will never have with another?  The only true test to love is the one we end up living.


Love keeps us going, keeps us holding on to our days, gives us a reason to be, to care for, to create, to be more, to desire, to daydream.  Whatever true love is to you, if you’ve found it don’t let it go.


“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” – Lao Tzu.

Signing off from a bed somewhere on the east coast, Oni~

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