What is love?”
I have asked myself this question for a long time. I sometimes think that I do know what it means. But, it’s just that, time and again, we like to contort the meaning of love to suit our own whims and fancies. So, what do I really know, then? I know that this one of the most important questions you will ask yourself, or someone else. I also know that this will be one of the most difficult questions to answer; and yet, it will be the simplest questions to answer. Makes sense? We like to believe that our first crush is love; the first person we date is love; the first person who breaks our hearts is love; the first person we sleep with is love, and so on. Maybe, to some degree, they do have some aspect that closely resembles love – fascination, lust, want, need, desire, etc. We associate these adjectives with love. But, love is more than just a few mere words. Love isn’t just a date, a crush or a fling. Neither is it just sex. No. Love is all of this, yes. But, it is also above all of this
Love is when you can be miles apart and, yet feel like you are connected like the two of you are sitting just next to one another. Love is going to their graduation because not just that theyd like you being there but because you really really wish to be there for them. Not just for them, but your happiness too. Being with them as a friend or anything really, just being with them. Love is when the other person has the ability to challenge you as a person in every way possible. Love is when you are saved by one person in every way that a person can be saved (I took this one from the movie ‘Titanic’ and it’s true). Love is when you feel connected body, mind and soul. It’s when you know that you stand a chance to lose that one person and it makes you insecure. But, it wouldn’t matter to you as long as it means that it’s what the other person wants. It’s when you feel that annoying ache in the middle of your chest which goes all the way down to your left hand to your ring finger because there is a nerve that connects directly to your heart. That’s what heartache is.
But, love is also that misleading rogue that twists your heart into any shape it wants and creates an illusion which makes you lose all sense of logical reasoning. Love is a magician. It may, from time to time, make you see things that aren’t there and make you feel things that paralyse your sense of judgement.
It’s that state of blinding which you get accustomed to and then you start seeing things around you just the way they are, or ought to be. Only, it’s too late because by that time, you will have already gone too deep in to the tunnel and the only way out is the way forward. And at some point in our lives, we will all have passed through this blinding tunnel. It’s true; a hard truth.
Remember the time when you had a crush on that girl who you thought was the most beautiful girl you had ever seen? And you couldn’t stop looking at her, like she was an angel of salvation who had come to save you from eternal damnation. And then you grinned like an idiot and tried to tell her but, never really got down to it. And then she went and friend-zoned you and you felt your whole world crashing in.
What about that girl you left for someone else? The one you had long conversations with about life, love, music, childhood and other irrelevant stuff – do you remember her? She was the girl you met at a random gig. She was the random one. But, she was also the only one who cared for you like no one else had ever done before. She was the one who made you feel different about yourself whenever you were with her. You could forget the bad stuff, all the negativity the people around you brought. She made you feel special, like the only guy in the world. She was your best friend. But, you never actually told her because you don’t do that. You are the alpha male who has the ladies waiting for you to talk to them and get into bed with them. You have a reputation of being the quintessential ladies’ man. She knew that, didn’t she? She just didn’t give a shit about what you were to others. She was too honest to be just another girl you could sleep around with. She was the only one who didn’t want to sleep around with you. And she was the only one you didn’t just want to sleep around with.
You wanted to wake up to her face every morning for the rest of your life. You wanted to kiss her lips like your whole life depended on it. She melted your heart and had the power to turn you into a fool in love. But, you never said it. Then one day, you became scared. You didn’t know how to give up everything for one person who meant the world to you. You didn’t want to lose her. But, you had other things on your mind so pushed love away. You were scared that you would break her heart. So, you took a step backwards. And you went ahead and broke her heart, anyway.
Love, my friend is all of this and none of this. It is the heart beat and the heart break. It is the laughter and the teardrop. It’s the promise and the betrayal. It is a beautiful disaster that we all must experience in order to learn about people and about life and about finding and seeking. Love can come from nothing and nowhere and turn something into everything.
Love changes you. It changes you in every possible way that it possibly can. It turns the wise into the fool and the wanderer into the seeker. It turns animals into humans and humans into animals. It shapes you and destroys you. It makes you happy, sad, angry, jealous, vulnerable and stupid. It fools you into thinking you have the world and it enlightens you to the world you could have. It makes you and it breaks you; only to make you again. Such is the power of love.
It changes your entire mind set. Maybe that girl you were just sleeping with will always paint your picture on every canvas or photograph every face that reminds her of you. Maybe the girl who broke your heart , will have hardened your heart and turned you into not wanting to be in love anymore just because you just don’t have the emotional stamina to put yourself out there anymore. Maybe that girl whose heart you broke for loving her too much will never love again. Maybe you will never love anyone as much as you loved her, but you will live in denial just to prove a point. Maybe you will destroy yourself for denying your heart the truest kind of love it could ever feel. Maybe…
Who’s to say what love will do to you, or how it will leave you in the end. Who’s to say you will ever find the true love you seek or if you will ever love again. Love is unpredictable, like that. It finds you just when you aren’t looking at all. And it leaves you wanting; begging, even. I guess you just make the most of it as long as it lasts and, in whatever small amount that it is available to you – a crush, a fling, a soul mate, or a twin flame.
But, every so often, love will be the reason for your existence. Every so often one out of a hundred people will come to find a love that is transcendental; a love that cancels out every other hurt you’ve felt in the past; a love that will become a path way for you to walk on and find yourself. Every so often, you will find a love that is worth holding on to for dear life because love, in itself, is life. It will be the kind of love that gets through to you; opens up every souring wound once again, just to be reminded that you can be filled with light. Every so often, you will find a love that lets the light in.
And every so often, you will have a chance at love; to do it all over again; this time, for real and for keeps. Love is an opportunity. You just have to make the most of it—for today, for tomorrow and sometimes—if you’re really blessed—forever.
And dear stranger, This wishful thinking renders our existence as a sum of all our heartbreaks; heartbreaks that were a result of our insistence on basing romance on the “one”. What if I told you these heartbreaks were partly, our fault? That the relationships met their end despite us thinking that we’ve found the one is proof that love is not a person. It never can be. We’ve been looking at it wrong all this time.
What fosters true love instead is timing. People can’t be perfect, but timing can be. True love is timing; it is the simplest fact, and yet we’re too busy chasing the one to ever understand its significance.
The saying, love will come to you when the time is right may seem cliché, but hidden in it, are bowls full of truth. If your timing isn’t right, it doesn’t matter how right the person next to you is, something or the other will most definitely keep you apart. To subscribe to timing being synonymous with love, the first thing we need to accept is the fact that we need to stop yearning for “the one”.
When you’re ready to settle down, any girl –the one you bumped into in college by a mutual friend, the one you right swiped on Tinder or even the one you met at a speed dating event–can be the person for you provided she wants to settle down too. She may not be the one, but she will be your one. You see, when you get the timing down pat, there’s very little that can go wrong.
Come to think of it, how do we even know who’s the one for us? If you hold on someone to their promise of being “the one” for you and magically gift you a happily-ever-after like it is in the movies, your relationship will be ripe for disaster. Life is never that simple, is it? It’s only when you spend time with someone for a long period of time, and they stick by you through thick and thin, will she be the one for you. In all these cases, the only marker that you need to look out for is undoubtedly, “timing”.
The greatest proof of love been intertwined with timing can be found hidden under the seven seasons of ‘How I Met Your Mother’. In the show, Ted, its lead, was a kind of person who believed in the serendipity of true love. But, he also believed in the magic of “the one”. He spent most of his prime searching for her; one who would have a yellow umbrella would love him like there’s no tomorrow and would like the same things as him. After six seasons of being single, Ted even found her. They got married, had kids and he, at last, told them how he met their mother. But the story didn’t just end at that, for Ted’s “one” died. The show came to its fruitful end not because Ted had finally found “the one”, but when Ted and Robin rekindle their relationship because both secretly want to.
In short, their timing was right. HIMYM might have tricked us into steadfastly believing that we will always find “the one” for us, but in reality, the show’s about ending up with the person who’s been there all along at the right time in your life. Ted and Robin had dated once and remained best friends, but they never end up together until the very end, because that’s when both of their timing was right. It’s also what Robin tells Ted at one point during the show, “If you have chemistry, you need only one thing. Timing.”