What Love Isn’t

Somebody very important to me asked me if I knew what love is?   What a question. Of course I don’t know. I THOUGHT I did, but boy did I get schooled.

I answered, “Does anybody?”  I’m not sure about that one, actually.  My guess would be that most people haven’t given it much thought and that most people have love and lust confused.  Maybe there’s no such thing at all; maybe it’s a perfect match of one person being a host and the other a parasite…and I’m sure there are nicer WORDS for it, but you get the idea.

I’ve learned that each person’s definition of love, if they could even adequately articulate it, is as unique as that person is among the whole population of Earth.  So I ask YOU: what is love?

Think about it; before you answer ask yourself what would love look like if you took lust out of the picture.  I know, hard to imagine.  Still give it a shot.  Also take out the OBLIGATION factor; I mean love from child to parent, for example.  If not for those things, how would you describe love?

I don’t have the ‘right’ answer.  Maybe there isn’t one.  But I can talk about some things love isn’t.  First of all, it isn’t lust; it isn’t about sex.  And if you plan to build a so-called loving relationship, like marriage…on sex, forget it; it’s  not gonna work.

Love isn’t going after somebody because they have assets you’d like to take from them…things like bank accounts or properties or a nice home.  That’s not love.  That’s targeting an innocent party for your own financial gain.

Love isn’t keeping track of what someone does for you, or events for which they show up; it isn’t about the gifts they’ve given.  In other words, if love had arrows pointing, there should be one going toward oneself and one going away from oneself, or it isn’t love.  Love is not one-sided; love is not ‘taking’.  And it’s not all giving either. It HAS to be both give and take.

Love isn’t devoid of sacrifice. It’s full of sacrifice, or it should be…I think.  Love isn’t convenient.  Sometimes love means we have to break a sweat doing things we’d rather not do, for someone who simply needs us.  Sacrificial love doesn’t always show up during slack times; sometimes it shows up in the middle of a busy time.  If you can’t sacrifice even then…it isn’t love.

Love isn’t doing hurtful things when you don’t get you way or you want to do something you shouldn’t. You can’t hurt someone you love. If you DO or desire to, that’s not love.  You can’t do harm to someone you love. If that kind of behavior is in YOUR kind of love, please stay far from me. I already know you.

There is no such thing as unconditional love.  If someone says they love you unconditionally, better pat them down for your best silver or that nice ring you just bought.  There is no such thing as unconditional love.  If you aren’t getting something out of it, you’re probably comatose.   Remember there’s an arrow pointing in, too, and  if there’s not you are not human. Nobody’s that generous.

I do know this about love.  Never mind. I don’t know.