Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) once said: “of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness.” LOVE – to starry-eyed romantics - is a feeling of sheer ecstasy. Love, they believe, is strictly an affair of the heart, something that cannot be understood, just experienced. Love conquers all and brings everlasting happiness. And no doubt about it, falling in love can be a unique experience.

But just what is real love? Can it be best explained or defined?
The word "love,” has been a bone of contention in our world right from primal times to our contemporary society. Many Valentine experts and psychologists have tried to give meaning to love in their own views: Jojo Moyes is an acclaimed romantic novelist who has 13 books to her name, and has twice won the Romantic Novelists Award. She opines that, "what love is, depends on where you are in relation to it. Secured in it, it can feel as mundane and necessary as air – you exist within it, almost unnoticing. Deprived of it, it can feel like an obsession, all-consuming, a physical pain. Love is the driver for all great stories - not just romantic love, but the love of parents for their child, for family, and for country. It is the point before consummation of it that fascinates: what separates you from love and its obstacles, would be your ability to usually remember that love supersedes everything."

Love is letting each other be who we are without fear of censure. Love is not wanting the other to become a clone of ourselves. ‘Other’ offers resistance, pushing us to find what is self. Love is actively embracing our equality and pushing each other to realize our full potential and make our full contribution to the world. Love is facing forward, both fighting for a common goal – both strong, both independent and positively choosing a knowing dependence.

Love is always leaving the door unlocked and continuing that love when ‘other’ may chose to use the exit. Love is letting go and wishing well. Love is aching joy. Love is the safe haven. Love is arriving home. Love is more than what can be expressed in words; love is more than grammar and verbs. Love is compassionate and soothing; love can be painful and grueling; but only for growth. Love is not abusive, love is not vindictive, and love is not selfish. Love will not leave you with a black eye and hating yourself. Love is the building blocks of creation; love is the substance from which we are made, from love, to love, by love.

During the years in my primary and secondary school, I was taught about the four types of love: mutual, erroneous, filial, and romantic. After learning about so many things in relationships, being and falling in love, I did debunk the idea of the types of love. I now believe, there is no such thing like the "types of love," as this most definitely depends on the individual disposition at a moment.”

Let's look at the following analogy:
Love at first sight or view: Oliver met Olivia for the first time at a party. He was immediately attracted to her curvy figure, and the way her hair trip over her eye when she laughed. Olivia was enchanted by his deep brown eyes and his witty conversation. They were at a normal disposition of love at first view; in the next three weeks, Oliver and Olivia were inseparable. Until one night Olivia received a devastating phone call from a former boy friend. She called Oliver for comfort. But Oliver, feeling threatened and flabbergasted, responded coldly. The love they thought would last forever died that night!

If love were to be literary, it will certainly lack identity. Ipso facto, no man will identify with it. For you cannot identify with what you don’t know, for it is a universal truth within the ambient of our hearts being polluted by what we don’t know”.

Obviously, movies, books and television shows, will make you believe that love at first sight, brings lasting happiness. Granted, but sometimes, it does not work that way. Physical attractiveness is usually what makes two people notice each other at the beginning. As I always say: “it is hard to see a person’s personality.” We may then be right to ask, "What is it that one 'loves’ when a relationship is but a few hours or day old? Would it be the image that person projects? For truly, you don’t know the person’s thought(s), hope, fears, plans, habits, skills, or ability. You’ve met only the outer shell, not the secret of the person’s heart. What or where then, could be the happiness in such love?
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Keep in mind the saying, “as a gold nose ring in the snout of a pig, so is a woman that is pretty, but it means turning away from sensibleness.” Nose rings were a popular adornment during Bible times. They were exquisite, often made of solid gold. Naturally, such a ring would be the first piece of jewelry you would notice on a woman.

by Stephen Wise


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