I am an average person: I had friends in High School; I was not Heather, but people flirted with me and I flirted with people; I liked some classes and hated others; I had a few hobbies; I went to parties; I fought with my parents about grades.
One particular thing about me is that I have never been in love. Most of my girlfriends have had a high school sweetheart, some of their boyfriends even became my friends. So as a result, I was the only one in my High School friend group who never experienced love. When I started college, I met people with lots of different visions of love: people who had never been in love like me, people who have fallen in love 10 times before, people who do not believe in love, and people who think that love is the answer to everything. To get a better sense of what love is, I decided to ask them to give me their own definitions of love.
(I will use the term significant other, abbreviated in SO, to talk about romantic partners and the pronoun them for gender neutrality.
Here is what they told me:
"Love is like a field of flowers; it’s pretty, and feels right because a field of flowers feels right.”
“You know you are in love when even when you are used to sleeping in the same bed, you feel really complete only when they are in the bed with you.”
“Love is like when your room becomes dark at night and you can finally see the fluorescent star stickers on your ceiling; suddenly everything joins together perfectly.”
“Love is going from “I” to “We” naturally. It is the only time when you are not in the center of the scenario of your life. We stop having a selfish vision of life. Love is maternal and childish at the same time; we take care of the other and let the other take care of us. It is feeling and wanting to be a child, a parent, a friend, and a confidant all at the same time. It is playing all the roles for one person.”
“Love is obvious; it’s when everything becomes clear.”
“Love is the joy of offering oneself to the other, and creating a future together.”
“When you love your family or your friends, you love their personality or just them in general. When you love your SO, you love their details, you love every little thing that makes them unique. When you start understanding their mannerisms, you feel something in your stomach.”
“Being in love is singing a song really badly in front of them without fear of judgment, it is smiling at every message they send you.”
“Love is like being on the moon. You feel light, you are floating.”
“Love is something you will try to obtain by any means. But when it is not right, it is as painful as running straight into a wall.”
“Love is not complicated, whenever you are with the person you are happy, and when you are not with them, it’s the thought of them that makes you happy.”
“Every day, you wake up and the first thing you think about is this person.”
According to most, love seems like a good feeling. However, if it is so, how can it become the worst experience in the world in the blink of an eye? As I expressed earlier, I have never been in love. I have seen my friends cry because of love. I’ve cried because of someone, but I was not in love. I just did not understand that humans have a mechanism called crystallization that erases every flaw of the person in our heart. Why is the human so prone to suffering for others? Even worse, why do humans keep trying to run after love, often with those who have hurt them in the past? Are humans masochists, as they want to relive the pain of heartbreak? It cannot make sense that a rational and intelligent human being thinks that falling in love is a good idea when they know the probability of it ending badly.
When I asked my mother for her definition, she told me that during her final philosophy exam in senior year of High School, the prompt was “Is it reasonable to love?”.At the time, she was 18 years old and already in love. She told me that there is no good reason to love, but that life without love is just surviving and not living. Love can hurt but it is for this reason that you always keep returning to the lottery of love. That is how you know that you are living and not surviving.
(In case you are wondering, yes, she got a really good grade even if she hated philosophy)