Friday, 22 October 2010

you know who you are


Day 05 – Your definition of love, in great detail

Honestly, I'm tempted to just shrug my shoulders and say, "I don't even know anymore." But that would be stupid. So here are some random thoughts.
First things first: I've never understood why people always seem to define love as something that occurs in a relationship, as something similar to being in love. I just don't see it that way. When I tried to figure out what my definition of love is, I thought about my family. I don't have to love them - god knows there are lots of people who hate their family - but I do.
Love is entirely different from being in love. It's like comparing climate with weather - a lot of people do it, they even mistake one thing for the other, but they are two very different things. Climate is long-term and it affects everything; the weather changes every day.
Love, to me, is mostly about acceptance. All the people I really love are incredibly annoying and have some very obvious flaws, but it doesn't matter because you take them as they are, you wouldn't have it any other way (even though you complain all the time). I respect their opinions and if I want them to change, then it's because I'm convinced they'd be happier as well. It's about forgiving them, and about wanting to do all of these things, wanting to think the best of the person you love. It's about knowing that whatever they do, you want them to be happy and you'd do, well maybe not everything, but lots of things to make them happy. It's that weird, hazy feeling that having them in your life is very important. Loving someone is a very calm feeling, I've found (quite unlike being in love which is turbulent and exhausting). The great thing about it is that it feels like it's made to last, that no matter how shitty things are, no matter how much you fight about who will clean the kitchen or whose political views are the right ones, you'll get through it. The people I love are those that I miss all the time, those that make me laugh, those that I trust, those that I want to protect and take care of, those who'll stick around. We don't have to talk all the time. We know instinctively how the other person feels. They are so important that I'd rather be unhappy for a year because of them than live the rest of my life without them.
Here's an example of what love might be: My little brother was twelve and short and skinny. I was seventeen. This boy in my class had made a disgusting sex joke about me and my brother went up to him and told him that he was a stupid idiot and should apologise and never say anything like that again about me. That guy was completely bewildered, but he did apologise.
The only definition of love I've ever agreed with instinctively is, rather embarrassingly, by Gordon Brown. When asked what love felt like, he said, "The growing realisation that there's somebody whose happiness will always matter more to you than your own."
But I asked my dad as well, and he quoted Garden State (of all things). Here it is: "You know, this necklace makes me think of this totally random memory of my mother. I was a little kid, and I was crying for one reason or another. And she was cradling me, rocking me back and forth, and I can just remember the silver balls rolling around. And there was like snot running down my nose. And she offered me her sleeve and told me to blow my nose into it. And I can remember, even as a little kid, thinking to myself, this is love... this is love."
I do agree with that. And I wish the idea of love hadn't been spoilt by all those idiot movies (Garden State not excluded!) where teenagers are told it's this grand romantic thing, super-exciting and dramatic, a wonderful illusion.


  1. beautifully put, and i see it as a personal deficit and a rather sad fact that i cannot relate to *everything* you said.
    the weather/climate thing is dead on.

  2. merci chérie. as you can imagine I've thought about this a lot recently.

  3. so true. i wouldn't have said it better :)

  4. "All the people I really love are incredibly annoying and have some very obvious flaws"- oh my, this made my day:))this goes into my "memorable quotes" list