How do you know when you are in love? Is it when you fight sleep to keep talking to a person until the sun has risen and set more times than you notice? Is it when your heart begins to race when you’re around someone? Is it when your smile is more radiant than the sun? Do any of these moments mean love?
I would say that those moments are just a simple part of being in love. My definition of love is the emotion you have for someone when you make the decision to love them. I believe that you can choose who you are in love with, but you can’t choose who you are infatuated with. Love to me is infatuation that manifests itself in the conscious decision to sacrifice and overcome the flaws all people have.
Love is when, even on the worst days, you decide to love someone even when you hate them. Love is the decision to love despite the falls.
Many people, especially the newer generation, are loving because of the things done for them and not despite the things not done for them. Love is always a mutual decision, but a lot of the experiences with love are not. Deciding to love someone who decided not to love you can create a wall of friction and confusion.
When I first fell in love, I gave everything I had. I was helpful and cheerful. I was a support system. When his world shattered I risked my own flesh to pick up the broken pieces and put him back together. For years, I did the same thing—love, support and fix. Then I made the conscious decision to stop, and the response was that I was too sensitive and that I should toughen up.
Thinking back, I know what the saying that people hate the exact qualities that they love about you means. Too sensitive. The words rang through my head like church bells. My sensitivity allowed me to make the decision to love and help him as unconditionally as possible despite his flaws.
Love can be extremely confusing for the newer generation. I believe that we often forget what love is. Social media’s marketing of love and relationships have created an environment where people think that love is about conditions. Loving because someone does a certain deed for you. We are the generation of materialism; we link love to material things that don’t matter.
Some people would fall in love with someone who has a nice car and wears nice clothes but has nothing in common with them. We link everything to the image we have in our mind of what love is and what love should be, but love should be a mutual decision made by two people to devote and sacrifice to invest in each other mentally, physically and sexually.
When he was broken, my sensitivity and compassion held him together like glue, and, when it was over my sensitivity was frowned upon. Our world lacks love and compassion. Being too sensitive has become an insult that frames people as being wrong or convincing them that they are too toxic to alleviate their own guilt. This world has become the magician hiding behind a mask of emotions too powerful to deal with. We tend to hide our feelings to not feel out of place or be soft.
The media has been the source of greatest confusion when it comes to what love is. I resent the idea that people can be too sensitive. I resent the idea that people need to change in a world so cold. I resent being told that vulnerability is a flaw and that being sensitive is a trait we don’t need. In a world that focuses on robbing us of our compassion and love, we need vulnerability. We need people who embrace their own feelings and recognize the validity of them.