What does ‘Love’ mean to you?

“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams” – Dr. Seuss.

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As I’ve said like a thousand times, love is veeeeery confusing. Movies have shown me that yeah, it’s fun and exciting, but it’s also complicated and frustrating. I’m told that it can make you feel like the happiest person in the world, yet it can break your heart and make you feel like the smallest, loneliest person in the world. I’m always curious and fascinated about love and relationships. I absolutely love it when my friends call me and say “Jess, I met this guy and he’s super cool” (I think I genuinely get more excited than them!) or when the people I know post those super cheesy but cute couple photos on Instagram, or when people change their relationship status on Facebook from ‘In a relationship’ to ‘Engaged’ and then to ‘Married’ – all these thing make my heart smile.

I have been on a soppy binge-watching Netflix period where I have become obsessed with watching movies/tv series that are about love, that contain lust and happiness, heartbreak and misery, and hence the inspiration for this post. You see, as much as I love love and think I’m a total know-it-all, I admit I have limited experience in that field and I am no expert. So, I asked my lovely gal pals to answer one simple question: “What does the term ‘love’ mean to you?” It’s not a trick question at all, but believe me, it took them ages to write what it means to them – ‘Jessica, this is actually quite hard!’

This was their response:

“It’s like you have all lives in a video game. To me, it’s a connection, a rarity that’s almost non-existential but a feeling you know is completely different to anything else. Whether it be to a pair of beautiful shoes you just feel so have to buy! Or to your best friend who you connect with unlike any other friend because you can’t wait to tell them about the little and big things! Or to a nice guy, who understands you without you having to explain, without having to explain who you are or what you’ve been through, he just gets you.

The type of love that I know best is family love. You’re loved and protected and nothing else matters because you know in this world of such wrongs, this makes you feel right. To be in love is to have someone or something motivate and encourage you to be the best version of yourself, to want and be able to achieve anything and everything you’ve ever wanted to.

Type of love I can’t wait to have is that rom-com type love, that rare ‘hold me in your arms singing a Hindi song in the fields of some beautiful landscape’ like you’re the only people in the world type love, when you finally understand what Beyonce is talking about when singing along to Drunk in Love.”
– Asha Das

“I’m thinking of the love in terms of relationships. I think for me, love is getting to know each other and slowly transitioning into a couple. [I would say] If me and him had been together for about six or seven months, that is when I’ll start falling in love with them. Before that, it’s only ‘like’ and attraction. Love sometimes is not two ways. If they love me back, I would be really flattered. Now here comes the intimate part… Love is when you’re ready to sleep with someone, after all it is called making love haha!

Love is a big word and everything can be linked to the word love. For me, it’s when a guy would do anything for you and he thinks the world of you. It’s when you can see a future with that person, and if you’re lucky, they are the person you marry and have children with. I’d like to be married and have children definitely – I love children, I work with them all day!

This may be childish, but I’ve always wanted my love to be like what you see in Disney movies – you meet a guy out of the blue, you fall in love straight away (like you just instantly know you’re each other soulmates) and then get married. But I guess, in reality, you just have to wait and see what the future holds for you.

I love different things, for example, my family, my pets, my friends and other things, but with a different love. For example, another love in my life is shopping and when payday comes, I am the happiest person ever knowing I’ve earnt that money and I can spend it on whatever I wish. But I guess the love I want most, and am looking forward to is the romance with my perfect guy.”
– Taylor Wiley.

‘In terms of couple’s [love], to me, that love is where you have no barriers at all with a person. You can share anything with the person you love, regardless of how bad or boring it is, you get me? You’re just that comfortable with that person where you can chat total shit. Also, you trust them so much. [They] never make you doubt anything you do or say to them. You just care for them unconditionally, no matter what. Even if they piss you off – you’ll be annoyed for 2 seconds but be back on their dick straight after. [You] always want to know what they are up to or what they are thinking about – if they’re thinking about you.’
– raashi95

‘Nowadays, I feel as if people throw around the word like it means nothing. I think it’s quite a big question to ask as most people’s reply will be that they “don’t know.” There are different types of love; romantic love, family love etc. When I think about love, what comes to mind is the five year relationship I just got out of. I loved him and I guess I still do. Love can make you do crazy and stupid things… But most of all, it can hurt. And it hurts like hell. It’s trusting someone more than yourself, caring for them and always being there no matter what they need, whenever they need. Where you feel comfortable to be able to rely on each other, and the fact that you can turn to each other at anytime just knowing they won’t judge, they only listen. I also believe that loving someone relies on commitment. I feel like just being in a relationship for a long time, I can see how people can get almost too comfortable, and they take each other for granted, to the point where you’ll know they’ll take each other back. Is that healthy? Probably not, but I guess that’s what love is. It’s an emotion that you cannot control – an emotion that I cannot control.’
– Harleen Sandhu

“Love is the feeling of kindness. The ‘tingles’ you feel. It’s your heart telling you that everything will be fine. When you have kindness, we all have love. When we love someone, we are kind enough to show them our love. It’s knowing that you always have someone to count on, no matter what.”
– Avagaye Whyte.

And finally me…

What do I think love is?

Love is an infatuation with someone or something. When I watch movies and TV series, I am literally that sad person that falls in love with the character. Take for example, this week, I’ve just finished watching the full 7 series of Skins and I’m convinced I’m in love with Jack O’Connell who played James Cook. And then only I will take this obsession one step further, to the point where I’m currently watching ’71 as I’m writing this post. It’s honestly a film that isn’t really my standard choice, but I’m only watching it simply because it stars Jack O’Connell. (PS. it’s actually a really good film you know). See, I think I love him.

Jokes aside, to me, love cannot be confined to one definition. There are several types of love. I love my family. I love my friends. I love ice cream. Obviously my love for ice cream is different to the love I have for my family – or so my mum would hope anyways. Nevertheless, love is love.

Love is allowing someone into your life and as a consequence, allowing yourself to be vulnerable because you trust them with your life, whether it’s a friend, a partner, etc. I think you know you love someone when that person is able to make you happy in an instant, but they are also capable of making you sad, just as quickly. I don’t think you can choose who you fall in love with, it simply happens. It’s an indescribable bond. I don’t think you can make anyone fall in love with you, just like you cannot make yourself love someone else.

Love is when you’re dying to tell that person or people something that happened in your day, no matter how big or small. It’s the people you want to share your personal stories with, like real personal. It’s being completely and utterly happy with someone, where you put their needs above yourself. Where time literally flies by when you’re together. Where you can speak to each other all the time, but equally, know where silence is needed and that silence is never awkward.

Love is when you can totally be yourself with someone, the real you. I know people use that phrase all the time, “this is the real me” but I’m talking about the point where you literally have no shame with each other. I read this article where their first sorta rule/guideline of a happy, real relationship was: ‘You know you love someone when you’re able to shit in the same room as them.’ This is true – I think that they’re the people who you can eat like a pig with, the people you can really ‘ugly-cry’ with (believe me, I have the worst cry face of all time!) and snot all over (classy).

In essence, they are the people who make you the best version of yourself. Your own personal cheerleaders. Your backbone.  That’s what love is.

PS, a huge, maaaassive thanks to my girls for contributing to this post. I laaaaaaaave ya xx

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Also, if you wanna check out my articles on BrightShinyNews, that would be lovely: http://www.brightshinynews.com/author/jessicalam

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