Love and It's Many Definitions......
According to the dictionary love is a very broad and generic term....
"Love is the emotion of strong affection and personal attachment. In philosophical context, love is a virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion, and affection. In religious context, love is not just a virtue, but the basis for all being ("God is love"), and the foundation for all divine law (Golden Rule).
The word love can refer to a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes, ranging from generic pleasure ("I loved that meal") to intense interpersonal attraction ("I love my wife"). "Love" can also refer specifically to the passionate desire and intimacy of romantic love, to the sexual love of eros (cf. Greek words for love), to the emotional closeness of familial love, or to the platonic love that defines friendship, to the profound oneness or devotion of religious love.  This diversity of uses and meanings, combined with the complexity of the feelings involved, makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, even compared to other emotional states.
Love in its various forms acts as a major facilitator of interpersonal relationships and, owing to its central psychological importance, is one of the most common themes in the creative arts."
Why is there only one word in the English language that covers such a crucial part of the human experience? I love coffee. I love my boyfriend. I love my Mother. I love God. I love my friend. The same word but each usage has such totally different meaning. How can the same word be used in so many different ways?
I think that a lot of people are confused about love. For myself, its a word that I use with care. I don't readily throw it out there unless I feel very strongly about someone. I feel that with love there is responsibility that comes a long with it. A very good friend of mine, well probably my best friend, and I had a talk one time a long time ago after we had tried going out on a date or two during a very rough emotional period for both of us. This friend was smart enough to know that it wasn't the right time for either of us and at the time I couldn't understand that. We talked about how words, like love, come with a great responsibility and can be used to hurt if not careful. Thinking back, I know how hard it was for my friend, but he did the right thing. The responsible thing. It made our friendship even stronger and it made me trust him very much even though at the time my heart felt like it was broken.
What made me think of all of this was a conversation with my friend David, a fellow blogger, who just recently ended a relationship. David said to me that it felt like the responsible thing to do.....to end it before getting too far into it and hurting the other person. I thought, wow, what a responsible thing to do. To put the other person first and to also take care of yourself in the process.
For some people, I think that their definition of love is clouded. Think about it! What does love mean to you? For some, love is associated with material goods. If you love me, you will buy me that big diamond ring. For others, love is looking for a caretaker. If you love me, you will be like a parent to me. For some people, love is a physical thing. If he or she had sex with me they MUST love me! Still, for others, love is pain and abuse. Think about all of the battered women (and men!) out there who go through life thinking that hitting someone or controlling them is love!
I think back to my past relationships and my definition of love has changed over the years. In my first relationship, love, for me was very confusing since I had a very limited experience with it growing up. I met my first partner when I was very young, in my early 20's. It lasted seven years and ended in a very big disaster. At that time, I thought that love was just having someone around 24/7 and that I had to BECOME what the other person wanted and they had to become what I wanted. It doesn't work.
Right now, for me, love means putting the other person first. Love means allowing the other person to be free to be who they are and loving them as is. Love is respect for one another and having the maturity to communicate about issues without putting the other person's views and opinions at a lower level than yours. Love is being able to be angry with someone but when you look them in the eyes you still see them as something beautiful. Love is a commitment to one another. It is to be able to look at one another and view each other as something precious and unique. Love is knowing that no matter what happens in life, you will be there for that person and vice versa. Above all, love means honesty. It may not always be pretty but if you truly love someone you should be able to be honest with them in a loving way.
Posted by Michael Bell at 10:30 AM