- Gender and Relationships»
- Relationship Problems & Advice»
- What is Love?
Thoughts on Falling in Love
What is love?
No, not starting off this piece with the song by quoting the popular 80s song.
Love is one of those things that have many meanings and many applied emotions. You can love your favorite football team, you can love a good lasagna, you can love your pets and your kids and you can love your spouse or significant other. Each one is a form of love, but different in some way from the other types.
For example, you can love your bowl of chocolate pudding, but not in the same way you love your wife, if you did, people may start avoiding your house around desert time. Likewise if you had the same affection for your pets as your wife, there is a name for that an it is illegal in many states here in the United States.
For the sake of simplicity I am keeping this article devoted to the love we feel for one another, that which is shared between two people with they find that compatible spark that brings them together. I am not going to venture into the science behind it, or the chemistry. I am going to talk just about my experiences in love and the philosophical side of things from my point of view, with some observations from people that I know or have spoken to on the subject.
Throughout this piece, I will have points were I would like your input, as the reader, on your experiences, both bad and good.
I remember my first love, or at least love as I knew it at the time. It was when I was in fourth grade and her name was Jamie. I was stupid around her, I could not look her in the face and on the rare times that she did say something to me, my shyness took over and I could never get much more than a couple words out before I would have to leave.
Most of all, I remember the pain that I felt when I realized that my love for her was not returned, that she was more interested in hanging out with her other girlfriends than to talk to me, even though I was not able to even bring myself to talk to her.
The last time I saw her was while I was walking to school, she was riding her bike and crying, later I saw that she was not in school that day, or the day after. I never saw her again after that. That evening I cried for hours with my mother trying to console me.
Because we are so young, and that "love nerve" is so new, the pain of that first heartbreak is especially painful and raw, and I remember that it feels like it will never go away. But it does.
I think that "First Love" heartbreak is something all kids go through, and I am sure that both girls and boys alike go through these painful lessons when they are young and I am sure that there will come a day when I am sitting with my son, explaining to him about young love and that there will be a day when he looks back and laughs about this.
When was your first love?
How old were you when you have your First Love?
Let me start this part by saying that I do not believe that anyone has a person that we are destined to be with, and I do not believe in "Soul Mates". I wanted to get that out of the way before I go too far with this, because I hear people saying this all the time.
Some of us will meet many prospective loves in life, and we will fall in and out of love several times through our lives. But there will come a time when you do meet that person that does check all the boxes for you.
In my case that was the woman that would become my wife, and we have been married now for twenty-three years, as of my writing this piece. When I first met her, she was already seeing someone, a someone that happened to be my roommate at the time.
It is important that I share that when we met, neither of us liked the other. She thought I was an annoying nerd and I thought she was a stuck up, uppity snot. We were cordial to one another, but that is where it stopped. Over time we grew to like each other and then when she broke up with her boyfriend, we started dating casually, then eventually made it a serious thing.
Over time we moved in with one another and finally after lived together for two years, we tied the knot in a pretty little private ceremony in her Mother's back yard with our Rabbi and a few friends.
Since that day we have had our share of problems, arguments, fights, makeups and all that, but when we think about it all, we both agree that we would rather be with no one else.
I think back now and I would say that the events that lead us to one another were pretty interesting, and I can look at all the things that could have happened to prevent our meeting, and while I will agree that it is pretty amazing, I am not prone to my wife's theory of divine intervention in our meeting and relationship. If anything, I would sometimes think that if anything, G-d has a sense of humor for pointing us into one another's lives.
But call it what you will, we work well together and we have even had a child together, so G-d keeps the hits coming for us and our life together.
Race of your love
Would you turn away someone who is not the same race as you?
Is it love or is it lust?
I can recall a few times in my life that I would see a person that I would think that I might have feelings for, then later, when I thought about it a little harder, I realized that the feeling was more carnal than it was emotional.
I think we all have experienced this, men and women alike, when they meet a person that they feel a desire to be with, but at its heart it is purely a physical desire, not an emotional one. A desire to be with a person physically. You all know what I am talking about, and it ain't for tea and cakes at the bistro.
Even today, as a happily married man, I will see some women and think, how... for just one evening. I think that it is perfectly normal to have these feeling where it becomes wrong is if we act on it.
When we are young I think that the ability to differentiate between love and lust is harder, because we really have not learned enough about love short of what we pick up from written sources, or what we see or hear. We have not learned from personal experience yet what it is to truly feel the type of love that keeps people together. And when we do get to have the first kiss or especially that first initimate encounter, the feeling is so powerful that we cannot tell that it is NOT love. I mean, anything that feels THAT good, has to be the real thing, right?
Looking back on it now, I laugh, because there were a few times I was convinced that I had found the real thing, only to be heartbroken. Again, it is a natural part of our lives, I think and the hurt teaches us to look a little harder and be a little more careful the next time.
How many of us have felt this?
If you are over the age of 18 and tell me that you have never experienced a heartbreak, then I will assume that you are home-schooled and have never been let out of the house for anything more than a quick trip to the store or to get the mail.
I lost track of how many times my heart was broken by a girl or woman that I thought I had feelings for. Well, that I KNEW I had feelings for, but they were not returned in kind.
Looking back, I have to admit that while they did hurt at the time, and each time left me in that silly mode that some of go through where we are swearing off relationships, I see them as educational opportunities. I learned something about people and about myself and then I used that lesson the next time. I would like to think that all those lessons culminated in the meeting of the woman that would become, and still is, my wife.
So love it one of those parts of who we are that is meant to hurt from time to time to help us grow.
Thanks for reading.