Sunday, 21 April 2013

"It depends"

Is probably the best answer to (most of) the questions below…

How can you define love? *

How many kinds of love can you distinguish?

Should love be unconditional? **

What can love be mistaken for? Desire? Passion? Fascination? Infatuation? Craving? Obsession? Affection? Care? Friendship? Dedication? Sacrifice? Something else?

Why do people pair off? Just driven by the feelings (?) named above? Not to be alone when they grow old? To have a shoulder to cry on? For practical / economic reasons? To bring offspring to the world? Out of primeval instinct of preserving the mankind? Because it’s socially acceptable? Because others do it?

Why do people decide to formalise their relationships by getting married? Does the institution of marriage reinforce the bond between them? Do they think due to formalised procedure of breaking up (divorce) they can make the other one stay by their side? Does the ring on the finger change the way of thinking of the opposite sex? For same reasons as in the paragraph above?

What keeps people together for decades? *** What does it take to put up with each other for such long period of time? Patience? Tolerance? Friendship? Something else?

What put relationship to a test? Parting for a longer period of time? Extraordinary hardships (incurable disease, accident, disability) or the down-to-earth problems (she spends too much money on clothes, he scatters his dirty socks around the flat)? ****

Does a relationship between two people, casually called “love”, has to go through specific stages? If psychology attempts to define such stages, is its approach universal? Does every relationship have to go through the same path? How about the concept of “love at first sight”? *****

Why do mating rituals differ with age? A silly question, but… Why a teenager who wants to go out with a girl acts differently than his ten years old counterpart?

How much freedom should there be in a relationship? To what extent can we influence, and to what extent tolerate our partners choices?

Is there such thing as destination? If somebody says two people were meant for each other, is it just a metaphor? ******

How quickly can a relationship between two people turn sour? How short can be the distance between love and hatred? If it can turn into hatred, or any other negative feeling, has it ever been a true love?

How is it easy to break a promise*******? If a promise is given before the countenance of God (church marriage), is it harder to break it, compared to the pledge made in a registry office? Is the time factor important – i.e. the more time goes by from making the promise, the more brittle the value of it is? If the other party breaks the promise, are we still bound by the promise we’ve given?

How come people hurt people they love? Do they do it deliberately or inadvertently? If the former, is it, again, genuine love? Should a “normal” human being feel guilty after hurting a fellow human? Is it inhuman to take pleasure in causing pain to other people?

Why sometimes it takes so little to fall out of love? Does it prove fragility of human feelings?

Why sometimes it’s the opposite – why is it so hard to let go? Does being unable to break away from a dead-end affection bear any testimony?

Is there a return from the point of no return? If so, it is true some wrongdoing can be forgiven, but never forgotten? Why some people after breaking up can still be friends and some hate each other guts?

The list could have been longer, yet extending it will get me nowhere nearer to the revelation, so I choose to take a bike from the garage and have a shake-down ride :-)

* Don’t just think of love as a feeling between two people of (usually) different sex.
** Consider manifold facets of love, including the concept of divine love, a deity giving its love to mankind.
*** Good timing for such question – five days after my parents celebrated 30th anniversary of their wedding and half a year before my paternal grandparents celebrate their 65th anniversary.
**** From what I’ve observed, living together is the best test. From the phase when you spend together only the best moments, you go to another one, when you have to get accustomed to your partner’s habits, share mundane household chores, begin to have a common budget, you get up the bed of roses and walk into the thorns…
***** I’ll dare to answer this question right away – it’s simplification / misnomer – there might be a fascination, affection, desire at first sight, but it can become love later.
****** My own take on this problem is that there is more than one “second half” to every one of us, hence odds of meeting at least one of them are much higher.
******* Having lived long enough to see people tying the knot before God and then watching their relationship falling into pieces I find this question immensely justified.

In fact, these are all questions to which there is no one clear answer. The realm of humans’ emotions is governed by an indefinite set of vague rules. It’s where its beauty consists in…


Anonymous said... you know the expression:
"paralysis in analysis"?
It's Spring're an attractive, unattached, young man.
You pose too many questions; the answer is simple: Ask a pretty young woman out for a date and see where it leads.

Anonymous said...

The answer is simple. Falling in love is a matter of the right chemistry between two people. The trick is keeping that flame alive over years and years.

The answer - the man should be in charge. He should continually surprise and delight his woman. He should care for to an infinite degree, thinking of her at all times, buying flowers 'out of occasion'.

In bed, he should put her needs first every time. Foreplay begins first thing in the morning; warm, loving words at the breakfast table, loving exchanges of SMSs during the day; gentle caresses and hugs on return from work.

An endless sense of appreciation for the wonder of having that One Special Woman in your life...

Should do the trick!

student SGH said...


checked it out ;-) it leads to... even more questions, just more precise. But if there are secrets, there's a pleasure in unravelling them. If something doesn't take effort, how can it give pleasure?


this is the kind of comment the post was meant to conjure up