What is this Thing called Love?

Here we go…me getting all personal and sharing things.  I meet with my stroke counselor about every 3-4 months for an hour.  Not much time, you say, but I try to bring notes and catch her up on everything and she sees what I think is important and asks the good questions back.  We have a good hour and I leave feeling a bit better about how I am handling this shift from well and busy working to home and busy writing.

For the last few months I have been thinking about my future and my personal life, especially, my love life.  Now, let’s define “love”:

Love is an emotion of a strong affection and personal attachment.[1] Love is also said to be a virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion, and affection —”the unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another”.[2] Love may describe compassionate and affectionate actions towards other humans, one’s self or animals.[3]

In English, love refers to a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes, ranging from pleasure (“I loved that meal”) to interpersonal attraction (“I love my partner”). “Love” may refer specifically to the passionate desire and intimacy of romantic love, to the sexual love of eros, to the emotional closeness of familial love, to the platonic love that defines friendship,[4] or to the profound oneness or devotion of religious love,[5] or to a concept of love that encompasses all of those feelings. This diversity of uses and meanings, combined with the complexity of the feelings involved, makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, compared to other emotional states.

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love

Now, this definition goes on and on about 10 times longer than what is written above.  But, I think that what is here will suffice for what I want to talk about.

Love is looked on as good or bad, depending on what type you are concentrating on.

The main point is that love covers a huge definition of terms, at least, for English speaking people.  As mentioned, love goes from a care or affection for food or a movie up to love of spouse and love of God.  We have created a world of “loves”, different things depending on your point of view.  Oh my!  what a difference your point of view can mean!

I think love must be done in context to mean anything.  The term, “I love eggs” is good for talking about food, but what happens if you are discussing babies or sex?  In the context of a video game it can mean a lot as “Easter Eggs” are something special hidden in the game and often very difficult to find.  And Easter Egg can lead us to a love of chocolate or a love of giving/receiving of cards.  It also can bring the mind back to a romantic love.  I was bad this Valentine’s Day.  I stayed home.  I had no reason to go anywhere and did not ask anyone to dinner because I didn’t want any of the ladies to look me at with the “This is Valentine’s Day!” stare on their face when I just wanted dinner.

Just thinking – I believe that’s me there!

I have a good friend who loves spending time talking and sharing with me, and I with her.  See? there’s that word again.  We get together about 1 time a week and go see a movie and/or eat out.  We do the checks separate and meet somewhere about 1/2 way for us.  The thing is I love doing this, but I draw the line there.  She knows that and we have agreed on it.  It works for us.

The epiphany that I hit last week or in the last few days was that I am not sure if I can love someone.  I don’t mean the “I care about you” or the concern you feel for family or close friends.  What I mean is that I am not sure I can do the romantic, forever type of love.  I didn’t grow up with really good models of that type of love.  Mom and Dad love each other; I can see that.  What I mean is that the last generation before us had a tendency to keep quiet about love and sex and all;  they built love to be something so high and special and all that…. well, at least, I didn’t understand it all, even when I got married.

When you start out without a good idea of how something works, the future of that thing is called into question with every bit of new knowledge.  I think my first wife was in the same boat with me and we just grew apart as we each came to understand what that type of love really meant.  I didn’t figure it out (still haven’t, all of it) mostly until just recently.  I read all of the posts and see the movies, read the books, watch the news, and think a lot.  What I come up with is not so much a definition of the term, but the fact that so many definitions are out there and I am looking at one of them with the others surrounding me.

I picture sexual love.  I can see that one.  It’s fairly straight-forward and our society deals with that one constantly.  I can see love of a friend.  Whether or not I like everything about a friend (and, I usually don’t) I can stay friends because we are not together 24/7, and I have a time to be away and recoup.  I can see and understand a love of routine and activities.  I love the things I do and have.  It is comfortable to have a routine established.

I love music and movies, and video games.  These are things that I am comfortable with and can deal with for hours without feeling any sense of loss.

But, the idea of caring about someone above all others, of wanting to be with them forever, of wanting them to stay with me by my side in “our” home;  that idea doesn’t sit will with me.  I enjoy my own time, my quiet time, my escape time.  I like that, when I get home from dealing with others, I will be by myself and can escape into other things.

Does that make me strange?

Does that make me a bad person?

Does that mean I can never love?

These questions do not bother me so much as intrigue me.  I don’t consider myself strange or bad.  I assume I can love, but it’s the type that I wonder about.

At present, I do not see me interested in spending my life with someone else in a “live-in” or marital relationship.  I can see me forming an intimate bond but it would have its limits.

Is that wrong?  I don’t see it as so.

It is limiting, but it seems to me that I am saying I am okay with those limits.  And, I believe I am.  The problem becomes that I am not used to this world.

Are there women out there who feel the same?

More importantly, are there women out there who feel the same and will deal well with a disabled person?  That seems to cut the numbers down significantly.

So, I am not sad, not disappointed, nor despondent.  More, I am curious and trying to look at this as a challenge and try to figure out how to meet these people that I feel certain exist.

What are your thoughts?  How do you feel about love?

Namaste,

Scott

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Comments

  • bert0001  On February 20, 2013 at 2:38 am

    As I see relationships, the biggest problem is that you love an image you have of the person, and only slowly, this image will (or will not) conform to reality). Reality moves. You are different every second. So sometimes a correct image is not adjusted.
    The other has the same problem.
    Then there are the expectations. The most problematic expectations are the ones we never talk about, and even worse are the expectations we are not aware off.
    The other has the same problem.
    Last there is freedom. A relationship has to be open to a lot of freedom, and the expectation that hubby has to sit next to spouse every sunday afternoon from 2 till 4 (adapt to any situation) might be suffocating.
    Just some ideas …
    Loved reading this piece, and many others I just press ‘like’ on.

    Like

  • Cafe  On February 19, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    i think there’s definitely nothing wrong with you at all to feel that way and want your own space, etc. i believe also that it’s entirely possible that one day you will meet someone who you will want to occupy more of your time than you desire now, but even then it doesn’t mean they have to do everything with you and spend every waking moment by your side. i imagine that if they are the right person for you, they’d probably be independent enough and have their own interests that you could both do your own separate things..but that you’d also have a great connection and love spending time together enough that you would be just as happy when you two are together…there’s no definition of love (in the romantic sense) and it’s different for everyone, I think more so than all those other types of love you mentioned. So when you know, you’ll just know 🙂

    Like

    • kindredspirit23  On February 20, 2013 at 12:40 am

      It helps to hear that, believe me.
      Also, I read Mollie Players book, “Alone and Together” today.
      It’s about that time alone and that time together and how they work out.
      You might be interested. It’s listed on Amazon.
      Follow her blog or, at least, read a few. I have the addy posted on my blog pages.
      Scott

      Like

  • Lostbythesea  On February 19, 2013 at 1:33 am

    You’re welcome! Here’s to all the triple F’s who are Fabulous, Fifty’s and Free! 🙂

    Like

  • Larry  On February 18, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Ive experienced healthy doses of single life and of married life. They each have their good and bad sides. Personally, I wouldn’t want to grow old alone. But then I wouldn’t want to grow old with a poor match for me, either. Overall, for me, marriage is preferable to the single life. But, We each have to figure out what is best for us. What suits me may not suit anyone else.

    Like

    • kindredspirit23  On February 18, 2013 at 11:26 pm

      That’s true and we (I) may change over the years.
      I am big enough to know that and admit it.
      Scott

      Like

  • susielindau  On February 18, 2013 at 10:11 am

    LOVE your essay! I think that we cross paths with those that should be in our lives at the time.You never know what is ahead!

    Like

  • thehappyhugger  On February 18, 2013 at 2:21 am

    I don’t find it strange at all when one is comfortable and happy with ones own company. Knowing someone who is caring and having a special understanding between the two of you can make for quite a positive relationship where both parties know exactly where they stand. 🙂

    Like

  • behindthemaskofabuse  On February 17, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    i can only say to each their own, you know what’s right for you.

    Like

  • lostbythesea  On February 17, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    Great post Scott! I came from a family that was pretty out of whack, at least when it came to the love and marriage paradigm. They were awful role models that remained together for 24 years. Back when I was a teen my Mom repeated to me how she hoped I would ‘find someone’ to marry me. Which was not exactly the best thing to tell a daughter with a profound orthopedic disability. I wish I was so encouraged to go to college! But alas, I took what I perceived were my biggest assets, outgoing personality, keen sense of humor, good looks and shapely figure to make my Mom’s dream come true. I married at 18 and tried to fit the mold society put forth as the ideal marriage. I gave it a good go for 22 years, but my independent spirit was not something my husband nor I had figured into the picture of the ideal marriage. We were probably incompatible from “hello” but I just thought I was supposed to let the man rule the roost, as did my Dad, and let go of my identity for the sake of the union. It was a long lesson that I can’t seem to shake. Since initiating my divorce, and taking 5 years to finally end it in the mid 1990’s, I have had several long 2-4 year committed relationships. All have ended, and I have recently come to the realization that I am happier on my own. There are so many variables in committed relationships, perhaps too many for me to overlook to be able to be with someone permanently. I see very few couples who are happy in marriages over 30 years. I think it’s more like the ultimate practice of give and take. I found I was always the giver and have realized I no longer want to. Maybe I’m selfish. I really don’t know, but I feel society’s push toward permanent coupling is not what I want for myself. I guess you must have hit a hot button because this is way too long for a comment! 😉 I imagine I could delete it and say I agree with you.. But then hey..

    Like

    • kindredspirit23  On February 18, 2013 at 1:19 am

      No, it sounds more like a post and, perhaps, should be!
      I did that once and posted it.
      Regardless, I see all the agreement and it helps me to understand that I am not so crazy, after all.
      I have a free spirit and like being on my own.
      I would enjoy a physical relationship and one of the spirit, but, as you said, society’s push toward
      eternal commitment is just not for me. Will I change? I don’t know, but I am enjoying this freedom and have never been free before this. Look at it: no marriage, no committed relationship, no kids at home, no have-to work, very low debt (only the house) and low output, otherwise. I am where I should have been at twenty, I guess. Never when through all that independence. Now is as good a time as any, I suppose.
      Thanks for the great post comment.
      Scott

      Like

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