Love is one of the most difficult words to define. I challenge you to try. You can even go the easy way and simply Google the word “love”. What you will find is not one but hundreds of definitions along with countless books, movies, and songs all having to do with love. The reason why it is so hard to define love is because there are different forms/stages of love and there are so many things that love can consist of. Also, love can have a different definition to every one of us. We all have different experiences and different beliefs which play an important role in how we think about love.
Love doesn’t just start with the perfect first kiss and end with a happily ever after. There is so much more to it than that, so don’t fall into believing that love happens instantly like in most fairytales. In the article “The Science of Romance: Why We Love” by Jeffrey Kluger, the author describes the stages that a person goes through when falling in love. These stages are important to understand when trying to define what love is and where love takes us. I believe that we use the concept of “love” to get to a stable, meaningful relationship that will eventually lead to marriage.
The beginning of any relationship has to involve mutual attraction. Both men and woman look for certain features in the opposite sex. These features may be different depending on the individual but we all have what we like to call “our type”. Once you find someone that you are attracted to, you will notice very quickly that there is a strong craving that begins to drive you towards that other person. This eventually leads to a first kiss. “At the moment of a kiss, there’s a rich and complicated exchange of postural, physical, and chemical information. (Kluger, Pg. 4) This explanation suddenly adds much more depth to the definition of a kiss. It’s no longer just two lips joining together at the same time. This happens so fast and it comes so natural to us that we hardly ever stop and consider what is actually going on with our mind and body. This drives us straight into a romantic stage. According to Dictionary. com, “romance” is “a spirit or inclination for adventure, excitement, or mystery. ” Romance is responsible for some of the crazy things we do to maintain our lovers interested.
For example, when dating it is very common to receive flowers, chocolate or fancy dinners. Unconsciously we do such things to keep our lover interested and excited. However, none of this is necessary if all relationships are created to simply procreate. This leads Kluger to believe that there are other reasons to why get so caught up in romance. Maybe to prolong the selection process or to determine if that person you are pursuing is actually interested in you. If you’ve been in a relationship before you probably have a pretty good memory of being in this stage.
This is where some of the most memorable situations will happen. Because everything is new, it will be more exciting and adventurous. If you make it past this stage you might have a shot at establishing something more long term. However not everyone will make it past this stage. It is exciting and adventurous but it does not last forever. There can be factors that can distort our perception of a possible lover so be careful. Just as quickly as attraction and romance develop they can quickly fall apart as well.
It’s important to recognize such factors to avoid falling into a trap. For example, “people [who] meet and date under the influence of drugs or alcohol, only to sober up later and wonder what in the world they were thinking, [happens] because in both cases powerful chemistry [was] running the show. ” (Kluger, Pg. 6) Such substances can create an illusion. Making you think that an individual might be a good partner at the time. Only to realize later, that they were someone who you would have never considered if you were sober.
Knowing that alcohol or drugs can have that affect is important because it can prevent you from assuming that someone might be the right person when they really aren’t. Due to influences like in this example it can become very difficult to find that person who you can build a relationship with. Because our mind is designed to respond when stimulated it can lead us to believe that we just fell in love. The definition of love is impossible to define regardless of the hundreds of sources we can find on it. There is just too much to try and sum it up in a few sentences.
It can also be different for every individual. To me love is a feeling that is unconditional. It is accepting another person for who they are and sacrificing the unthinkable for this person. Don’t be influenced or misled by outside sources or even by your own brain. Love has many faces. Over time, with experience and more knowledge I think everyone can create their own definition of what love is. About 2. 2 million people in the U. S. every year do it when they pronounce their wedding vows. (“Centers for Disease Control and Prevention”) If asked to, would you be able to define love in your own terms?
Kluger, Jeffrey. “The Science of Romance: Why We Love. ” Time in Partnership with CNN. 17 Jan. 2008: 1-7. Web. 21 Sept 2010. <http://www. time. com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1704672,00. html> “Romance. ” Dictionary. com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 04 Oct 2010. <http://dictionary. com/browse/romance> “National Marriage and Divorce Rate Trends. ” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Office of Information Services, 01/14/2009. Web. 21 Sept 2010. <http://www. cdc. gov/nchs/nvss/marriage_divorce_tables. htm>