What is the word for the feeling you have when you are happy to let one person keep you up late and another to wake you early? You may not want to see the high or low numbers on the alarm clock (although we are not actually talking about a real alarm clock, who uses them any more, but saying mobile phone status bar seems strange) but you are not going to get too grumpy with either person.
It’s the same feeling that allows you to tolerate imperfections, to accept that there is more good than bad and be ready to forgive (and hopefully forget). That feeling is love, and like Heinz soup it comes in many varieties.
It might be the love you have for your family, whether it is the bond between you and your parents and any siblings. It is said you can choose your friends but not your family, and as a result the relationship you will have with your kin is different. You will find those that you want to spend time with as you get older but for many your first love will be your family, they are the ones who are with you as you grow up and will be those who know you best. You will also be more forgiving because they probably have a lot of dirt on you as well.
There is also the love of a significant other. Unlike the family love this is one that you’ve chosen, that special person who you want to spend your time with. Over time that love will change, but for me the test has always been “Is this the person I want to watch TV on a sofa with”. I don’t just want to veg out with that person, but nor do I want it to be like a movie all the time with grand romantic gestures every waking moment (there are only so many times you can run to meet someone at a train station).
I’m also lucky to have the parental love of a child. As with the familial love, there is a special bond I have towards my daughter because she is in part me. I have to look after her and cherish the fact that she is in my life, and the effect it has on the rest of our family. At the moment she has to do nothing in return, but she is loved immensely.
These kinds of feeling are what movies, songs and novels are written about. Yet there are many other less human objects I love (and no, this is not going to turn into My Strange Addiction). I love:
- My various sports teams
- New York
Just because they can’t share their love back doesn’t mean I can’t love them. Yet maybe my feeling towards them is what love really is?
You see, if I didn’t have them in my life I would be incredibly sad. They enrich my daily existence and to have them taken from me would remove the joy they provide. This is the same with my family and loved ones (and no I am not comparing the love for Mrs G directly to my love for bacon, she knows where she stands) there are times I think of life without them and it is a darkest timeline.
So for me that is what love is, does it make you happier when it is around. If so, that is love.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “I Want to Know What Love Is.”