"You are what you love, not what loves you."
If you've been following along with me for any length of time you'll know that I'm generally a big mushy sap. Most of my poetry and short stories (as well as many blog posts) revolve around relationships, emotional and physical attractions and love. Yet after all this time I realize I've never shared my views of what I think love is. Some of it may come as a surprise to you, because while there are many things I romanticize I also don't cling to some commonly-held notions. I will say one thing, love is incredibly complex. I'll break this down and hope I'm not too random with it all...
Love at first sight
As much as I Iike the idea I don't believe in love at first sight. The notion that you can love someone with just a look doesn't compute for me; other than physical appearance what are these feelings based on? Physical attraction, lust and everything related is delicious but it's not love. Now, if you were to see someone showing kindness to a child or rescuing a puppy from a burning building (or better yet rescuing a child with a puppy from a burning building) and it moved you emotionally then yes, I could understand how it could stir something inside you. But is it real love? I don't think so.
Again not so much. Maybe there really is such a thing as a soulmate for each of us, but in a world of almost seven billion people what are the chances of finding that person? While I completely agree many of us find a partner who seems perfectly suited, are they the only one in the entire human race for us? And if we have found our soulmate, why is it they're almost always placed geographically close to us and not on the other side of the world? I love the romantic notion of soulmates, I really do, but the realist in me has a hard time buying into it.
It's been said a million times that men and women can't just be friends; sooner or later one of them will want something more. I don't agree it applies all of the time, but I also know it's happened a million times. Make that a billion. As far as on-line friendships are concerned maybe it's a bit different having the physical closeness removed, because although I've developed some close relationships with my blogging friends and in some cases we've admitted a fondness for each other, we keep our friendships in check. They're very caring and mean the world to me, but they're not romantic.
At the same time I've never felt threatened when friends have expressed romantic or sexual feelings, if anything it's flattering. I've never been too concerned about it, because in the end it won't lead to anything further unless those feelings are reciprocated. Before I met Sandy there was one particular female friend whom I used to hang out with. She was a lot of fun, very cultured and intelligent. I wasn't attracted to her beyond this, but she felt something for me. I knew it, her best friend pointed it out, my circle of friends said so. But she denied it.
When Sandy came into the picture she picked up on it right away. From my point of view the dynamic of my relationship with this girl hadn't changed, I had romantic feelings for Sandy and we dated exclusively. My friendship continued but... she continued to deny how she felt. Sandy felt threatened by this, and rightly so because she couldn't trust her intentions. I can't recall the circumstances but within a short time that friendship faded. I wasn't blind to the fact that their views of this situation were far different than mine.
Friends with benefits
Has nothing to do with love, I'm just including it here because..God...I wish I'd had more of it when I was single.
Being "in love" vs. loving
After all this time I'm only beginning to understand the difference, I've always had a hard time defining it. I'm going to keep this part short because honestly I'm still unsure. How do you differentiate between being "in love" with someone vs. loving them?
Next...is there enough for everyone?