That crazy little thing called love

That crazy little thing called love

As we grow and change so does the way we love, along with our whole idea of what that magic thing is. So, this Valentine’s month, I thought we’d look at an age-old question: Exactly what is love?

When I was five, her name was Tina. Mostly we held hands and giggled, and that was love. When I was twelve or so, it was Buffy. I admired her with a deep and abiding passion that was, I believe, based mostly on how she looked in this one particular mohair sweater. That, too, was love. Today I’m in love with a girl named Sue. A lot of the time we fight. Sometimes we’re just friends. Other times we’re a lot more. I don’t understand all my feelings about Sue, but I know that without her, my life would be totally different. And not better. And that, I think, is love for sure.

As we grow and change so does the way we love, along with our whole idea of what that magic thing is. So, this Valentine’s month, I thought we’d look at an age-old question: Exactly what is love?

How about this for an answer: Love is a complex mixture–of friendship, desire, patience, sacrifice, tolerance, courage, occasionally pain, and (hopefully) ultimately happiness.

Did you say friendship? That’s right. A real love affair is the deepest form of friendship there is. My friends Jack and Jannie knew each other for two years before they realized they were in love. All of a sudden one day they just turned around and really saw each other for the first time. Now they’ve been together a lot longer than other couples who started out twice as fast. So if you have fun together and care about each other’s feelings -and feel free to be truly weird around each other-you’re there.

You mean it doesn’t always strike like lightning? There is such a thing as Love at First Sight-but that’s not the only way.

Sometimes a great romance begins as coolness, sometimes as positive dislike. When I met Sue, I thought she was hopelessly stuck-up; she thought I was an irresponsible jerk. We took it from there, and we’ve been happy ever since.

What’s the difference between love and lust? I’d like to tell my boyfriend. Lust springs into full force almost immediately. But without friendship and tenderness, it fades and eventually dies altogether. If all you want to do is make out, you’ve probably won’t last beyond the first frost. Love takes time to develop. And as it does it grows, adding facets-like a diamond’s.

Okay, what if I think I love him, but sometimes I think he’s kind of a nerd? Loving someone means accepting him basically as he is. If you’re thinking, “I wish he were more my type,” something’s wrong. Loving him should make him your type. But we fight sometimes.

Does that mean we’re not in love? It probably means you are. Love involves all of you, and that means it’s not always going to run smoothly. I get it! Love is pain, right? Wrong. Sure, there’s some yearning and heartbreak involved, but if a love doesn’t make you happy overall, it’s not worth keeping. So am I in love? Do you have to ask? Then you’re probably not. Love, above all, knows itself. And when it happens, you know it, because it’s wonderful.

Here’s hoping that this year’s Valentine is the real thing.

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