My friend was telling me about a series she is watching and in one of them two people meet themselves in a train and immediately the sparks flew. They knew they were meant to be and to prove it they decided rather unconventionally, especially in the digital world we now live in, not to exchange their phone numbers since they were stopping at the same station but to meet in a fortnight at a train station close to both their destinations. They both went back to their respective families and told their relatives they had found “the one”. However, before the appointed time, Covid happened. Lockdowns were in place and no one could travel. They tried all they could but couldn’t get to the station but in their hearts they knew they had met their one true love and were inconsolable in their grief that they had forever missed them.
Like that couple, I used to believe, especially as a young Christian that there was only one person for you and that if you missed that person you were doomed to a loveless life. If I remember correctly, Adam and Eve were used as the example of a Man and woman made for each other and it was said then that there was only one rib that could fit the side of a man. I have since discovered that the doctrine was based on a fallacy and a sad one at that, which has destroyed a number of people’s lives in the mistaken belief that if they miss their true love, they would have to settle for second best and will never find love again.
So what is love and why does it have such a strong hold on us? Why does it disappear or cease? How do two people who love each other deeply suddenly find themselves at odds with one another? How does one fall in love repeatedly with different partners and how does love become hate?
I have often wondered at the whys of love- how two people can hit it off immediately at sight, whilst for others there is no initial attraction but love blooms and becomes consuming and yet for some others, love was never in the equation, it was purely platonic but love reared its head after a long while. My personal experience has been of not liking the people I have fallen in love with at first and wondering why I agreed to the relationship but after a while I find myself loving them deeply. Alternatively, the relationships I have had with those I liked initially never lasted long nor weighed much with me.
So back to the question what is love and how does it come?
The answer to this question depends really on what our individual perspective of love is. Love to me means something totally different from what it is to another person and the awareness of this has taught me that we can love people without them feeling they are being loved. Our love languages differ greatly and change in certain situations and circumstances. I believe that love comes from close and shared relationships and that people can develop strong feelings for each other when they share a physical space together. I guess this is the reason why office romances blossom. The shared space and constant interaction is majorly responsible for the feelings of love. Beauty they say is in the eye of the beholder and I have found that to be true. The more you look at a person the more you find things to admire about them, the more you feel good about them and the more attractive they are to you.
What is love and how can we love several people at the same time or in quick succession?
This question baffles me because I am largely a one-man girl and really don’t have the energy to handle several relationships at the same time especially if the parties are not in the know but I marvel at those who can string different people at the same time or those who find it so easy to fall in and out of love. I have a friend who falls in love regularly, almost at will. His affairs are serious ones where he and his partner are exclusively committed to one another and one in which both believe will last their lifetime. I always marvel at how easy he can end a relationship and move right on to another and show the same intensity of feelings and emotions towards his latest lover. I guess for some of us love is whimsical and once it is there we max it to the fullest living in the moment without a thought of the future.
How and why does love turn to hate?
I have always maintained a cordial relationship with my past lovers so it’s difficult for me to understand why people who were once into each other can hate themselves with the passion with which they once loved themselves but as they say there is a thin line between love and hate and I guess once people cross the divide there is no going back. I wonder though if they were ever in love with one another as they claimed because surely if you loved someone greatly some part of you will remain tender towards them me thinks?
I don’t have the answers to the questions I have asked but I do know that I have always been curious as to the forces at play in attracting people one to another and keeping them apart from each other and I do believe that we can feel differently with different people and that every relationship has its own unique love strain.
Love is intimacy, passion, desire, friendship, compatibility and commitment. It is a feeling largely dependent on timing, chemistry and common ground. It is pleasurable, fearsome and has the ability to test us severely, it rises and ebbs just like the tide, it can be fierce and calm at the same time, it is a bundle of contradictions but in those rare short lived moments when all falls into place it is one of the very best feelings one can ever feel.