Today we’re going to talk about love, but what exactly is love? We should really clarify the difference between what we think love is in today’s general society and the love two people share in a committed relationship. Now love is one of those words many people throw around blatantly everyday, but what does it mean? What love are they talking about? What do we mean when we say love? I’m not talking about the love you have for your friend or family member or hobby or sport, and I’m also not talking about lust – an immediate attraction we have towards others which is caused by hormones like testosterone and estrogen. There’s a huge difference between lust and love, however, many of the younger generation associate this with love. This is also a link between why the recent generations of children seem to be “growing up” so quickly. It is what comes after lust which is a feeling that has been named as being in love. And I bet we’ve all felt it, it’s that feeling you get where all you want to do is see the other person all the time and are almost obsessed with each other. Well psychologists have a really interesting and brilliant term for this feeling, and they call it limerence. Whenever you are in this state and you will risk anything, like missing a class or making a fool of yourself to be with this person, you are exhibiting limerent behavior.
Now limerence is similar to infatuation, so when one is said to be infatuated with another they don’t mean love, because infatuation isn’t love. Have you ever told anyone you were in love? Parents? Friends? Family? and you have only known the person for a few weeks, or days! Usually the responsible friend or family member will say “No, you are just infatuated, you are too young for love”. As annoying or frustrating this may sound at the time, most of the time they are probably right, because you are just in the initial stages of being attracted and getting to know the person – the lust stage.
Now, between guys and girls, guys are usually the ones to fall first and become infatuated and exhibit limerent behavior, because it is guys who generally don’t mature to a later date. In fact tests have shown that women do mature faster than men – men maturing at the age of 22-26 and women maturing at the age of 19-21. So usually it will be the guy who confesses his “love” towards the girl and makes the first move and buys the woman dinner. As we all may be believe that buying dinner for a woman is polite and the right thing to do, most of the time men will spend money in the early stages of the relationship as he is more infatuated with the woman. However, as time goes on and the relationship starts to grow or dissipate, the man usually will stop making as much effort as he did when in the limerence stage of the relationship. However, this is not a sign that he may be going to break up with the woman it’s simply one of the steps of being in a relationship. Now, this isn’t applied to everyone, this is a general outlook of the majority of relationships.
This now brings me to another tangent in the love cycle. When someone has been in a relationship for a certain amount of time they start to open their eyes and notice that their partner is not the only attractive opposing sex monkey wandering the planet. This is generally pointed towards men as we tend to think about sex a lot more than women do. This is where the relationship can start to get confusing for one or both of the couple. I bet you still look at other women and men and fantasize and observe how unbelievably good their butt looks in those jeans, but does this mean you don’t like your partner anymore? Or love them? Not necessarily. Human beings have a tendency to want things they don’t have, we see it everyday even in small things like food that someone has or the latest iphone, we simply want more. And its similar in a relationship, we see another girl or boy and a feeling in the back of our mind says I don’t have that and someone else does. You may feel like you are losing your love or feelings for your partner but most of the times you’re not. The people who end up going through with this feeling are called cheaters – selfish and quite low in many cases.
So after all these factors and explanations of different feelings what is love? How can you know you are truly in love. Time will tell.
No literally time will tell. Some flowers grow quickly, others take time. While its not to say the fast-growing plants are weak and more likely to die as fast as it grew, just as with a flame that burns too high and fast and quickly burns itself out, in the natural world, it is generally the case that the flowers that bloom fast also die sooner too. Those that grow slower and take more time to grow and bloom, such as giant trees, last longer and are more long-living with deep and widespread roots. They, like a love that has been patiently and persistently nurtured for a long time, will likely yield fruit and grow ever bigger for the years to come.