“I love you.”
Most of the time, when this sentence is spoken, written or heard, it is used by a person who wants to express a strong, intense feeling of attraction, often infused with passion and desire for another human being. Typically translated as: IN love with another person.
Romantic love between 2 people has been the most prominent of feelings in life. It has inspired poets for centuries and is the theme most celebrated in songs, poems, novels, movies and any other form of art.
Why is that?
If you would answer; ‘it is the most intense feeling’, then I have to stop you there!
True, romantic love between 2 people is very intense indeed, but it is not the most intense feeling, but more about that later.
Still, it is a powerful feeling, playing tricks with your mind, blinding you and makes you do stupid things, but it is also one of the most noticeable feelings. It is not complicated to understand you are attracted to someone, and you feel desire for them.
On top of that, this is a love chemically backed up by nature;
When we meet that person, you are unexplainably attracted to, it is because there is a biochemical string of reactions that trigger the feeling of love in our mind.
Falling in love is a natural occurrence that is beyond our control, it is a beautiful trap set up by nature to ensure the continuation of humankind.
But it is also one of the most fleeting feelings, once the instinctive need has been satisfied, the chemicals return to normal, and the passion fades.
When the passion fades, and you still feel attracted to that particular person, it means there is another love at play.
Once the “honeymoon”-phase is over, and you still feel like being together, it is because your love has matured in something more profound than the irrational desire or need to be with one another.
It’s depth can be found in different aspects like commitment, respect, caring, friendship, consideration, and emotional support.
This mature love is still a romantic love but on a much higher level.
Some people never reach that higher level of love, as they are addicted to the thrill and chemicals of the naturally induced love. Once the passion recedes, they break off the relationship and look for the next rollercoaster ride.
Sadly, that limits them to a very basic and instinctive emotion that floats on the surface of the deep ocean that is love.
What is Love?
For the record, I am not quoting “Haddaway” here, asking the same question over and over again at a girl that leaves his feelings unanswered.
The ancient Greek determined that love had different faces and should be defined accordingly. They distinguished love in at least four different ways (Agape, Eros, Philia, Storge).
I would like to quote Oscar Wilde in his novel ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’:
“To define is to limit.”
It is in human nature to look at and approach things with intellect, trying logically to understand what exactly is being observed.
But as most things in this world are in a state of constant change, it is not possible to put them in the boxes we create for them in our minds.
Therefore, we cut away the edges until they neatly fit in the squares or circles that we think it should fit in.
Consequently, we limit the things we define.
Love is not something that fits in any box; it is a force that is in constant flux. It is a force applicable to everyone and everything. We can try to explain it at the moment of feeling it, but by that time it already has grown or changed into something new.
Currently, Love is limited to something very cheap, everyone loves everyone, and there is no true deep sense behind it. It has become relationship currency in cheap transactions to keep the social trade routes open.
But as soon as the feeling becomes real and tangible, we are confused and afraid to utter the words. As soon as we meet someone in our lives that really adds up to our existence, we are unsure of what we are feeling.
Especially when this connection happens between men and women, this feeling automatically is defined as romantic love. But viewing romantic love between 2 people as the only kind of love that can exist, is very isolating and limiting. Why is it not possible to love someone without desire and passion?
People experience other kinds of love all the time, but they do not dare to express and accept them. Our conditioned minds cannot seem to look deeper and further than the carefully stacked boxes in our minds.
Every movie or book is filled with the magical way how a boy and a girl meet each other and how faith puts everything perfectly together. There is no movie where a girl and boy, a woman or a man (or any gender for that matter), experience an event together without the sexual tension or the actual deed of making love.
Are we so conditioned into believing that this primary and instinctive act of love is the ultimate connection in life?
Love with open eyes
Some years ago, after coming out of a broken relationship, I met several beautiful people, many of the opposite sex. As, at that time, my conditioned mindset made me believe that when feeling something for a girl automatically meant romantic love, every attraction I felt for one of these amazing persons made me assume I was in love with them.
Expressing that feeling towards these people, always resulted in the same thing: “Aaaaw, I love you too… but as a friend.”
The rejections came hard, but the heartbreak did not last very long, generally just a few days. This made me reflect on what kind of love I had felt: “how was it possible to feel this love, but not be more heartbroken by the rejection? Maybe I did not really love her?”
It was not until I opened up my mind, ejected the condition and compared the connection I had with male friends, that I started to understand it was not necessary to fall ‘in love’ with a person to love them. If I could I love a friend as a brother, why not the other as a sister?
A person is more than their body or genitals, in the end, this is just a physical shell, fragile and expiring. If you cannot see beyond that, then there is no hope for you in loving truly.
Loving someone for their mind or way of thinking, their personality, their views and the fire how they defend it, their passions, their dreams, their kindness… this kind of love takes shape on an advanced level; it is a type of love more rooted, sustainable, more honest, and formed consciously in the mind.
AND you can feel it for anyone!
You can feel it for your life partner and a friend, you can feel it for your sister, brother, mother, father… You can even feel it for a person you never met face to face…
“There are all kinds of love in this world but never the same love twice.” ― F. Scott Fitzgerald.
As you are the only ‘constant’ in this connection, these varieties of love are never the same, the love you have is the sum of you and that person you are connecting with. Even the love you have for that person is not the same love that person has for you… It does not mean it is more or less intense or profound. It is just a different kind of love. Moreover, as each and one of us is continuously subject to change, so is our connection with each other.
So, if you meet that person in life… that person that intrigues you, that makes you smile or laugh, that shows you a different way of life, that reveals to you it is ok to dream, who is there for you when you need a shoulder, that merely gives kindness to you…
Why don’t you express how much you appreciate your connection with them?
Why don’t you say in 3 simple, but magical, words what they mean to you?
Don’t worry, it is ok to say it:
“I love you…”