“If you press me to say why I loved him, I can say no more than it was because he was he and I was I.”
I was tempted to leave this write up with just that quote and suggest there is no better answer.
I figured I had already written so much, what the heck, share it all.
This is actually where I started (and this is part 5 in this series). When someone asked me to write about love it became so complex I started splitting out variables. But I ended up talking about romantic love where I actually started months ago. Chemistry and calculus and complexities.
I was good at math. Even at physics. But ask me what was supposed to happen when you put one thing in with another in one of those funky beakers in chemistry class and I had no clue what to expect. All I know is if you actually put the right two in it is awesomeonium.
Mr. Ely, my high school chemistry teacher, is probably the only one I know who could tell me what makes up that element.
The mathematical variations of right or wrong, what works and what doesn’t work and what makes a great couple and what doesn’t is seemingly limitless. The whole eharmony and match.com and website breaking relationships down to logarithms and mathematical likelihood sounds awesome but they are nuts.
In the end it something that cannot be defined by some formula or “this is what works” rules.
(note: I was tempted to call his my multidimensional intergalactic time continuum overview of love but it made my head hurt)
Complex but simple.
Only two pieces of the puzzle. (simple)
Simply it is two pieces of puzzle that for some reason fit together.
Never the same for anyone. (complex)
Love to me … is something that varies from situation to situation and person to person.
It would be easy to suggest it is always “brings out the best in someone or both” (like Pooh suggests):
“Pooh, you are the best bear in the world.”
Pooh smiled and said, “No, I’m just the best bear when i am with you.”
And theoretically we would always like it to be that way (but unfortunately it doesn’t always).
And theoretically I would imagine everyone in some form or fashion aims for this:
“One day you will ask me what I love more, you or my life, and when I say my life you will walk away from me without knowing that you are my life.” Anonymous
I am even willing to use me as an example.
Here are my calculus equation components.
Let’s begin with “the one.” Or ‘the ones.’
I do believe there is more than ‘the one’ out there for each of us.
That in a lifetime you may actually cross paths with several ones (this is where fickle timing can sometimes screw the pooch for ya). And, yes, if you want to call them ‘soul mates’ I do believe there are a number out there.
I think of this as peas in the pod. A number of peas could fit your pod (hopefully not all at the same time or I guess you would be a Mormon).
So. Several ones floating around as you stand there in your pod.
Oh. And your pod is not limitless. Not small. But not huge. And it resides in an entire gazillion acre galaxy sized pea farm.
So first in the equation are these random peas floating around that fit in your pod.
Types of romantic love.
I do believe you can fall in love with your best friend.
I do believe passion can spark love.
I do believe cerebral connection can spark love.
I do believe you can fall in love at first sight.
I do believe you can fall in love after a period of time.
I do believe there are a number of paths leading to a great relationship.
I do not believe there is just one way there.
So I stand with my pod at crossroads where Robert Frost couldn’t write that frickin’ poem about the road not taken because there are so many of them you get dizzy turning and deciding which one to take.
I am a nomad type. Someone once called me a restless soul (thank god not a tortured soul).
And, yet, I do believe there is someone out there who will make me stop and be less restless. Or maybe better said … restless in other ways but comfortable grounded with a “one.” I have often called it independent dependence but … whatever.
The complexity of this aspect increases if you assume I am ‘nomading’ and constantly moving and someone out there is also not stagnant so lots of random pieces flying around (you get the point … but at least I have the damn pea pod to hold onto).
That is what makes discussing or defining love difficult.
Love to me, like I imagine anything that truly matters, is not a concept you can define by a simple dictionary definition. I know many use the dictionary (or Wikipedia) to provide meaning to the complexities of human nature, but I find it difficult to put a set definition on something so unique. Love seems so vast. A multitude of different factors pulled together and mangled into a tangible, yet fluctuating state. To each person the perception and evolution/creation of love is distinct.
If I were to be pushed into a definitive definition?
Love just is.
So while I am now on my 5th article on love the truth is when it comes to love nobody knows what they’re talking about.
Dr. Phil? Nope. Jerry Springer? Nope. Gene Simmons (Dr. Love)? Nope. Me included.
And maybe the wackiest thing about love?
You can lose someone you love and yet there will be a part of you that’s going to be in love with them forever.
So, you may actually NOT be with someone and still have some love left for them.
That is nuts.
While that is ‘loss’ there are also complexities with “keeping.”
I believe one of the hardest things of long term relationships is not really complacency or “being too comfortable” it is actually the fact you have forgotten that the person beside you knows you secrets, things you would never say to anyone else, the unforgettable goods & bads as well as the sometimes seemingly unforgiveable … and yet they are still there.
And yet still loving you despite it all.
(I told you this was complex)
It is impossible to assume knowledge of the feelings between two people (sorry eHarmony, match.com and whatever Russian bride services may read my site). Love is an emotion, emotions are specific to the person feeling them, and therefore you cannot begin to imagine how something makes another feel.
And love doesn’t hurt (no matter what people try and tell you).
It is the things that entangle it that bring pain. Absolutely love involves vulnerability to pain, but I struggle to think of anything worthwhile that doesn’t have some risk of ‘hurt.’
Let me begin the close of this post with a Bob Marley thought. I do not agree with the ‘only once in your life’ but other than that he does a pretty awesome job of what you get as a prize if you can figure out a way through the complexities to get to the prize:
“Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.”
— Bob Marley
In the end, I imagine while love is complex, it really just comes down to another somewhat odd thing. We rarely regret falling, choosing or being in love. We tend to only regret the chances we didn’t take and the relationships we were afraid to have and the decisions we waited too long to make.
Why do we have these regrets?
Because it so frickin’ complex you can never be sure …
So me? I say take the chance.
Nothing beats knowing that someone wants to be with you.
(note: and it’s even nicer to know that the one who wants to be with you is the one you want to be with too.)
Being around someone who makes you feel like for once in your life you don’t have to try and be happy? And it just happens?
Doesn’t get any better.
So get going. It is complex for sure.
But who knows what dimension you could end up on and it be the right dimension for your pod and another pea.