“What is love? Baby don’t hurt me. Don’t hurt me. No more…”
Sometimes, don’t you seem to find yourself asking that very same question? 🙂
Being a graduate student, as well as living in our current time, issues of how, when, and whom to date always seem to surface in conversation. I wrote a blog post a month ago about being ’26 and okay with it.’ Reflecting after that post, reflecting about life, and reflecting about upcoming board exams and my birthday, I started to think back about my relationships. After reading posts from fellow bloggers, as well as going through some personal situations, I found myself asking this question:
When was the last time I was truly in love? What is love?
I’m not talking about the love for friends or family, which I have a lot of, both in the love for them, as well as the number of people. But I’m talking about the ying-to-my-yang, the Ricky to my Lucy, the partner-in-crime type of love. I’ve never really been the type of person to be a serial dater. I have friends who seemed to always be in a relationship, whether or not they actually seemed to like the person. They were never really single for longer than a couple months. But that was never me.
All my life I’ve felt like I’ve been “one of the guys.” I’m less feminine than some of my friends, and am more comfortable in a t-shirt, jeans, and flip flops any day. I’ll occasionally dress-up and wear make-up, but right now I just don’t have time for much. I’ve always been very involved in sports and non-tradtional “girly” things. Maybe those are reasons for why I’ve always been “one of the guys” rather than “the girl.” But I have never nor will I ever change myself to fit the mold of being liked. That just isn’t me. I’ve always stuck to my guns and who I am is who I am; take it or leave it.
But that night, I seriously considered those questions: When WAS the last time I was truly in love? What did it look like?
I think that we all get caught up in “puppy love” in the beginning of any new relationship. Then there’s the “lust” phase, when it seems more about emotions, physical contact, and physical attraction. But for me, I think of being in love with someone as having to compromise, sacrificing time and energy to make the other person happy, sometimes doing things you don’t really like or think are boring but doing it regardless because your partner gets joy from it and you like to see them happy. It’s the love that you receive from just being present with the other person, sometimes just cuddling and looking at the stars or spending hours talking on the phone without having it be forced small-talk.
At the end of last year, a friend had been talking about his “love language.” I had never heard that phrase or topic before, so I asked him to tell me more about it. He explained how there are 5 “love languages,” each representing a different form of how we best respond and wish to receive love, as well as the way we like to show our love for others. He mentioned how that was a common topic with guys he had gone on dates with, and told me that most people who talk about this topic have 2 love languages: one that they like to receive, the other the way they show their love for others. I looked up that information and here’s a quick rundown of what it all entails (source: http://www.5lovelanguages.com/):
It is a very interesting concept and one that couples should try to incorporate. I feel like this would help solve some relationship issues people have, especially about communication. I also think it would help a lot of guys out, since I constantly hear male friends talk about how they don’t like trying to read their girlfriend’s minds or that he thought he was doing something nice but it backfired/made her upset. If we each had a better understanding about how our partner’s love language and how they wished to receive love, maybe it’ll make for stronger and lasting relationships. And this doesn’t have to only be applied to romantic relationships either! It is applicable to how you show your appreciate and love for your family and friends. Think about it: Maybe your mom really felt that you cared if you took the time to make dinner and do the laundry for her? Or maybe you bought your sibling a gift they had been eyeing and working hards toward? Maybe you show how much you care for your friend by always giving them a nice, big hug each time you see them?
Food for thought.