On the nature of love

As I listened to her recalling the details of the previous night and the intensity of the reencounter with her friend, I was astonished by the naturality she showed when talking about the strong feelings this man arised in her. It wasn’t the first time I heard her talk like this about someone, and of course I knew that he was special, but I had witnessed how deeply in love she was with her boyfriend and I couldn’t help feeling kind of confused…

“And doesn’t it make you feel bad experiencing these feelings for other men? Doesn’t it make you feel somehow… uncomfortable?”, I asked intrigued.

“No, it doesn’t. Why should I??”, she replied without doubting it for a second, as if what I was asking made no sense at all. “Love is a very natural feeling and I accept it the way it is. Having a boyfriend doesn’t automatically make you incapable of feeling love for other people.

I believe love is wide and boundless. I believe love has many dimensions and one can experience many different types of love. The love I feel for my boyfriend is totally different from the love I feel for other people, and I accept it naturally, since natural these feelings are.

Don’t think that these feelings are something permanent in my life. They are just magical instants I experience with some special people. They are similar to fireworks. But once fireworks are over, nothing remains. I go back home and I don’t spend my time thinking about it. My love for my boyfriend, however, is something permanent.

There are as many types of love as people in this world. One can feel a motherly love for someone, a mental connection kind of love, a more sensual and physical love, a mix of them all,… and each person can awaken a different type of love in you.”

“So this means love isn’t just an emotion… it’s also a decision, isn’t it??”, I asked verbalising thoughts I had lately been reflecting a lot on.

Ayna. Love is a decision. You can have all these feelings for all these people, and this is very natural. You can have all these different types of love, but in the end, you decide which one is for you worth having as something permanent in your life. You decide to permanently love and be loved by that one truly special person, and that’s absolutely beautiful.

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t feel love for other people. You can be madly in love with your partner and also love other people in a different way. There is nothing wrong about it. Love is a very natural feeling, and that’s part of the beauty of love. Don’t let anybody tell you who you can or you cannot love. Don’t let anyone make you believe that there can be something wrong about loving another human being.”

Her arguments sounded pretty convincing to me, I have to say. However, my mind was still racing trying to bring what she was saying to my personal life, to my own experiences and those of the people I knew…

“But… I don’t know… I’m trying to imagine myself in this situation and I’m not sure, but I think that if I’m madly in love with someone, or at least I believe I am, and I experience these feelings for other people, I would start getting crazy questioning the authenticity of my love. I would start worrying that the love I feel for my partner isn’t as strong as I thought. Otherwise, why would I be having these feelings for someone else!?”

“That’s because society has made you believe you can only love one person, and that you should feel guilty if you don’t. And to make sure you do feel guilty, they invented marriage, a contract you sign to say that you will be with that person for the rest of your life, that you will live with him and have children with him. A contract to prove that you will only have feelings for that one person and you will never love anyone else.

For me, that isn’t love. Love has nothing to do with marriage. Love is not a contract. Love is the most beautiful feeling there is and also the most natural. Marriage, however, is just a stupid piece of paper you sign to proof society you’re in love with someone. I honestly don’t give a shit about that. If I’m in love with someone, I don’t need to prove anything. If I want to be with someone for the rest of my life, I’ll just spend my life with him and that’s it. I don’t need a piece of paper to show it. I don’t get how people don’t realise you can’t connect the concept of love with a contract like marriage.”

She truly left me thinking… I had never perceived marriage in such a cold and meaningless way, but I have to admit she really had a point. After all, does it make any sense keeping someone by your side by signing a contract? what if you both tried everything and it still doesn’t work? what if any of you two are truly unhappy? would you like this person to stay there with you just because he signed some paper stating so??

“They say getting married is very romantic, but he truth is that it’s the least romantic of all things. Love should be enough. People should be together when their love for each other is strong enough. That is what truly ties you to the other person, and not a simple piece of paper.”

2016.02.07-12.03-theordinarylifeofm_the-ordinary-life-of-m_marta-moslw_istanbul_beyoglu_galata_plants_loveIstanbul (Galata), 7 February 2016, 12:03
by Marta Moslw

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