Freddie Mercury called it ‘A crazy little thing’ whilst the Everly brothers emphatically said it ‘hurts’. One would have to agree both were spot on with their assessment of the word called ‘Love’, a word that has over the years flummoxed poets, philosophers, painters, writers and singers – all understandably assessing it in their own way. Their interpretations hover around words like mystical, complex, heavenly, gloomy, a moment of transcendence etc which have filled and continue to fill books in library shelves the world over. Books aside, it is my belief if Cupid was asked ‘how the world today has lived up to the word’ he would be at a huge loss of words.
Science and religion have been our constant guide in understanding love to some extent, but the leaning of the meaning (by many people) has been towards the Hollywood myth of physical beauty, poetic passion, eroticism. In-fact the words ‘I love you’ in the case of romance has been used as a bait for luring the opposite partner for reasons other than the true meaning of what it should be. The reason I am saying is the 2007 Harlequin Romance Report released recently in Canada says that fully 58 per cent of men and 41 per cent of women have dropped an "I love you" solely in the hopes it would lead to sex. It doesn’t surprise me at all.
The biblical interpretation of love as trust, truth, patience, understanding, sacrifice, seems very conveniently forgotten, being relegated to the confines of the relationship cemetery resulting in the common trend of failed marriages. On a related note, modern science has its own interpretation of Love, for according to a study conducted by Texas Tech University some years ago; there are six types of Love that a girl and boy can fall in love. And one would be a liar if they said they never fell in any of the below category or categories (in my case).
Romantic Love : This is love when you are attracted to the opposite sex. This develops into a passionate feeling, this is a time when butterflies fly in the stomach, knees go weak, the heart throbs, a blush is instant (one wonders what happens later)
Game playing Love : This love involves no commitment to your partner or yourself. If the partner gets too dependent, you back off. (here the person is afraid to commit)
Friendship Love : You started off as friends which grew into love and it was all a gradual process. In this love you wake up one morning and realize you are in love with someone you least expect. (this can happen to anyone and can be quite surprising)
Practical Love : This is a no-nonsense approach to Love. Here a person may be in love with someone but not interested in marrying him/her because of reasons best known to them. (Examples could be different ‘religions’ or the good old ‘parental pressure’)
Selfless and Sacrificing Love : In this love you put your mates needs before your own, in return you ask for nothing. You are there during the good and bad times. (this kind of love is ideally what keeps the marriage or relationship healthy provided it is shared equally)
Having said that, love varies as we move on in life, we all can have different type of loves (for a friend, sibling, colleague etc) and each experience is different. Our existence hinges on it but we rarely care to understand this fact. Erich Fromm put it beautifully ?Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence."
Paul Webster, the great song writer couldn’t have said it any better when he put pen to paper with these words ?I met a young girl in Hong Kong town and I said ‘Can you tell me please ‘Where’s that love I’ve never found, unravel me this riddle what is love and what can it be and in her eyes were butterflies and she replied to me ‘Love is a many splendoured thing’.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
About the Author:
Author: Irwin Rego- Bahrain