What is TRUE love?
Love is a sickness.
In ancient times, people genuinely considered love a sickness. Parents warned their children against it, and adults quickly arranged marriages before their children were old enough to do something dumb on the back of their out-of-control emotions.
That’s because love—though able to make us feel giddy and high, as though we had snorted a shoebox full of cocaine—can also make us highly irrational. We all know that guy (or girl) who dropped out of school, sold their car, and spent the cash eloping on the beaches of Tahiti. We also know how that same guy (or girl) ended up skulking back a few years later feeling like a moron, not to mention broke.
Love makes babies.
Unbridled love like that is nature’s way of tricking us into doing insane and irrational things in order to remember to procreate. If we stopped long enough to think about the repercussions of having kids—not to mention being with the same person forever and ever—few would ever do it. As Robin Williams once said, “God gave man a brain and a penis and only enough blood to operate one at a time.”
Blind romantic love is a trap designed to get two people to overlook each other’s faults long enough to do some baby-making. It generally only lasts for a few years at most. That dizzying high you get staring into your lover’s eyes as if they are the stars that make up the heavens—yeah, that mostly goes away. Once it’s gone, you need to know that you’ve buckled yourself down with a human being you genuinely respect and enjoy being with, otherwise things are going to get rocky.
TRUE love is commitment.
True love—that is, deep, the kind of abiding love that is impervious to emotional whims or fancy—is a constant commitment to a person regardless of present circumstances. It’s a constant commitment to a person who you understand isn’t going to always make you happy—nor should they!—and a person who will need to rely on you, just as you will rely on them.
That form of love is much harder, primarily because it often doesn’t feel very good. It’s unglamorous. It’s lots of early morning doctor’s visits. It’s cleaning up bodily fluids you’d rather not be cleaning up. It’s dealing with another person’s insecurities and fears even when you don’t want to.
But this form of love is also far more satisfying and meaningful. And, at the end of the day, it brings true happiness, not just another series of highs.
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