What is love ?

Mountain lake by Lady E

Mountain lake by Lady E

Well, apart from the über cheesy 90s cover by someone called Haddaway (naah, I’m not even posting the link – makes my ears shrivel in horror).

So erm yes, ’tis the season for half-term break with my two brats delightful children, days out at the lake or at the beach, and profound questioning.

The thing is that I left Mr Xmas approximately 36 hours ago, in a state of uncertainty about my ability to ever feel passionate about him.

Yet, it is official, I miss him. I miss the comfort of his deep, soothing voice, the way his arms wrap all the way around me, and his face lights up when he smiles.

I am also officially tired of attracting, and falling for broken men : They can be so devastatingly nice, and crave so much the stability and security I am able to offer, that I got blinded. I failed to fully register the danger, the darker side of their personality, lurking underneath the surface of their good looks and sincere attachment.

Take Mr Nice who is torn by a perpetual inner conflict between a need for stability and freedom, between the desire to be like his dad – a selfish, rich, unhappy man, and the desire to not be like him. I watched him wrestle his demons, and for a while, my presence  anchored him into stability, and a more peaceful version of his own life… Before suddenly, it no longer did.

I do not feel as viscerally attracted to Mr Xmas as I did to Mr Nice, or even T, but then again, what good did that do me ? In some ways, Mr Xmas is the anti-Mr Nice : He is not scared by commitment or children, responsibilities do not overwhelm him, and he knows beyond the shadow of a doubt that he loves me.

Will my attachment to him grow into something I can recognise as love ?….

And hey, what on earth is love anyway ?


6 thoughts on “What is love ?

  1. In all seriousness, this is such an interesting question and one that I have often pondered in the last year or so. When things were so difficult with James, I would ask myself if I wouldn’t be happier in a less emotionally-charged relationship. But the answer I always came to was a firm “No.” Because I realized that I could actually live more happily alone than in something that was ALMOST, but not quite, what my heart wanted. To live in a relationship that is “fine” and easy and feels good would not work for me in the long term; what was missing would be ever-present in my consciousness. I have done it before and think I may have finally learned the lesson that I cannot do it and be content. In that relationship, I would always be restless, yearning. But that is only me.

    I certainly do understand the exhaustion of the passionate relationship when it is not going well, and the Sirens’ song of a peaceful, easy union. I can only speak for myself when I say that it would be far lonelier for me than actually being alone.

    I think this is one of those intensely personal journeys that each of us takes… Figuring out what we need most in our lives and our hearts, without reference to what others feel or experience or desire. No one has to live with our choices as profoundly as we do, so we cannot let others make them for us. You will figure this out. The answer, whatever it is, is inside you already. Now the hard part is listening. 🙂

    • Dear TPG,
      You perfectly expressed what my fear is : “I cannot do it and be content. In that relationship, I would always be restless, yearning.”…
      And certainly, when I occasionally drifted into this kind of “fine” relationship in the past, this is what happened – and I eventually ended up leaving, breaking someone’s heart for no other reason.

      However, I am forced to admit that every time I have followed my yearning, and gone for someone I felt passionately about from the start, they turned out to be unable to meet my needs long term (to be stable basically).

      And this makes me question whether the sirens are not on the side of the passionate relationship, and not the other way round. Is my radar skewed ? Does it for some reason make me feel attracted to people who are unsuitable, because this is what has “always” happened and that way I am “safe” in repeating the same heartbreaking pattern over and over again ?

      So, what is love for someone like me ? Is it truly this intense (for a large part physical) attraction, with its undercurrent of danger ? Or is it the deep peace I experience when Mr Xmas holds me ? I guess ideally, it should be both. But something tells me that in my case, breaking the pattern is the issue, and the question becomes : could enough passion eventually bloom into a relationship that meets my needs, to make me want to hold on to it ?

      I don’t know… But for the time being, I am content.
      Where are things at with James ?

  2. What is love?)))
    That is the question of the century.
    I know one thing: The more we LOVE, the more it HURTS when we lose that person. Hurts like HELL.
    Even so, I will always choose LOVE. Deep, profound, bottomless LOVE.
    xxx Great piece.

  3. Dear Kim, I think you’re right, the more we love, the more we stand to lose, but regardless, it gives life its taste.
    I find it so brave that in the face of loss, you seem to have propelled yourself forward into more love, rather than shutting down on it. xx

  4. “Love is the feeling I give myself”

    You create the feeling in yourself when you are with the person. They don’t create it in you – you do it to yourself

  5. Hey Caroline, how are you ?
    Mmmm, I know the theory “Love is the feeling I give myself” but still struggle with its reality : Can you actually create your feeling love for a person just because you’ve decided to ? My past experience seems to argue against that and I wonder why.

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