Love Defined

Although love means different things to different people I’ve always thought there were undeniable truths about love and what it meant to be in love. If two people loved each other, they would do anything to make it work, even if it meant making sacrifices. I’ve never been able to understand people who let go of those they “loved” because their lives changed, making a relationship difficult. To me, love always came first. If it was real love, it was worth working for. On the other hand, maybe I’m simply being naïve. Some people truly believe that love means letting go.

Love for me has always meant looking toward a future together. However, I have a friend who defines love as giving someone what they want/need, even if it’s just for one night. I know people who fall for someone new on an hourly basis and I have friends who have never been in love. Oddly enough I even know a person who embodies both of these extremes. Love is subjective so I guess there is no right or wrong definition.

Religious beliefs, childhood struggles, past relationships, etc. all affect how people view love. No one person has the exact same experiences as anyone else, so naturally no one is going to define love in the same way.

My question is: can two people make a relationship work if their understanding of love differs? Because the definitions are as varied and extensive as the people who develop them, is it ever possible to find someone who believes in love exactly as you do? Is it necessary? I’ve told people that I didn’t believe they ever truly loved me because of how they handled or mishandled our relationship, but is that fair? If he was acting in a manner that aligns with his understanding of love, who am I to question his affection?

At this point I don’t know where I fall on this issue. I don’t think we should settle in our relationships, but I do believe love is about making reasonable concessions. We need to be empathetic toward our mates and attempt to see things from their perspective and they need to do the same for us. As with many relationship matters, this verdict will depend heavily on circumstances.