What is love?

(photo by Kate Turner).
(photo by Kate Turner).

The weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day deserve more credit than they get. Sure it’s responsible for uncomfortable anticipation, anxiety and making you realize the loneliness that dwells inside you but don’t let all that smog prevent you from seeing the true beauty.

As Valentine’s Day approaches, we are forced to stop and analyze the love that exists in our lives and more importantly, be thankful for it. Although this is a warm thought, there is still something missing.

Through my research of Facebook statuses and tweets, the problem is clear: “love sucks.” It isn’t fair that we can generate so much stress over a word no one seems to fully understand. As of now, the only answer we have to the question “what is love” is unfortunately, “baby don’t hurt me!”

Let’s go back to Grade 10 science class and instead of dissecting a frog, we are going to dissect love.         The definition of love, coming from the Oxford Dictionary is “an intense feeling of deep affection.”

Right away there’s a roadblock: I have an intense deep affection for chocolate cupcakes, but do I love them? No.

Would I cry over them? No.

Would I have sex with them? That’s not important.

Now let’s specify that love can only be felt for a living being, usually humans but in some cases animals. Perhaps this task will be easier if we clarify some of the things we know love isn’t.

For example, we know love is not restricted to sexual chemistry because we love our friends and families. We know love isn’t exclusively associated with intelligence because Snooki is engaged. We also know that love does not solely depend on beauty (once again, Snooki is engaged).

But are we any closer to knowing the true meaning of the word “love”? Most of the time we have this mysterious feeling pulsing within us, so vividly present and yet we consciously avoid explaining it to ourselves, let alone others.

Instead, we buy each other clothes, chocolates and fancy necklaces. We would rather spend $200 on a gift than even begin to try and articulate our affections. We throw around the word “love” when we don’t mean it like it is a stuffed animal. Yet the second it should be appropriately used the word love becomes fragile. Perhaps we delude ourselves in believing love exists to maintain hope.

Regardless, there are certain emotions we know are real. Love may not exist but feeling lost and broken when you’re not with someone does. Losing the ability to concentrate in the presence of someone else does exist. Doing absolutely anything in your power to ensure another person’s happiness does exists.

If we can’t classify these feelings under “love”, I urge you to find a more appropriate word.

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