Mon. Feb. 25, 2019: Your Own Definition of “Love” — #upbeatauthors

Monday, February 25, 2019
Waning Moon

 

In this final week of February, and the theme of love, I’ve been thinking about how other people try to influence how we define “love.”

Women who choose to remain unmarried are constantly told they’re “too picky” or if they don’t change something about themselves, “no one will want to marry you.”

First of all, we shouldn’t have to settle, and second, why is marriage considered the ultimate end game for everyone?

Marriage and love aren’t always related.

Look at history. Look how often, throughout history, people have not married for love.

It still happens, far too often. People believe that being with someone is better than being alone, and that a partner guarantees security. I know I’ve found it far lonelier to be with the wrong person that to be on my own.

You can love someone and not want or need to have sex with that individual. It’s not about repression. It’s about the sexual element not being part of the equation. Not just in cases where it’s taboo, but in cases where the love takes a different form. And no one has the right to scoff at you or tell you that you “don’t” or “can’t” feel love that isn’t equated with sexual desire. The person deriding you might not be able to feel different types of love; that doesn’t mean you don’t or can’t.

You can have sex with someone you don’t love. That happens far more than people admit. As long as both parties are honest about the expectations and the value of the time together, as long as both parties consent, as long as there aren’t other parties in the relationships that are betrayed and hurt, it’s no one else’s business.

Love can be unrequited. And then you have to be a responsible grown-up and not get all creepy and stalky about it.

You can’t MAKE someone love you. You have to LET the person love you.

That’s probably one of the most difficult lessons about love.

If they don’t, then take a deep breath, disengage, and move on. Don’t make it about power or make yourself sick over it.

Allow yourself to care. Allow the possibility that sometimes you will be hurt or disappointed. Even a relationship that seems solid for a period of time can have an expiration date. People grow and change at different rates. They want different things. Either they can work on them together, while still being individuals, or they can’t.

You can still love someone, even if you can’t do the day-to-day anymore. It’s a different type of love.

Because every individual is exactly that — individual — generalized definitions don’t work. Every relationship is different. Every relationship builds its own definitions and boundaries.

Writers are lucky, because they can express and explore different types of love in their work without putting their own relationships at risk.

Looking ahead to next month, March, the theme is “kindness.” I have a challenge for you. Each day in March, perform an unexpected act of kindness for someone. Most important: DO NOT POST ABOUT IT ON SOCIAL MEDIA, or even discuss it. But keep track, for yourself, of the way it changes the way you relate to the world.

We will explore kindness next month, and, at the end of the month, see how our anonymous acts of kindness affected our experience of the world.

 

Published in: on February 25, 2019 at 6:34 am  Comments Off on Mon. Feb. 25, 2019: Your Own Definition of “Love” — #upbeatauthors  
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