Today I’m going to talk about love. It’s an overused term, I know. But I haven’t written about it in a long time. Not really. I have been suspicious of love, waged war with it, tried to control it, compartmentalise it and even ignore it. Today, I sit down with it like it’s an old friend, a welcome visitor to my life. Bear with me if I sound preachy in this post. It is not my intention to do so. What claim do I have, to speak knowledgeably about love, other than my own experiences? Writing is my way of telling myself, listening to myself and trying to make sense of myself.
Love. Love isn’t sex. We keep getting told that, as well as how women tend to mix these two more often than not. I don’t know if I’ve learnt the lesson well enough. But I know it is a lesson.
Love is also not romance. This was an unexpected lesson to learn. Love isn’t pretty, pink or pleasant (or any of those ChickLitey ‘P’ words). It is not fun or euphoric. Those are caused by chemicals that burn off just as quickly as they start. I’ve been meeting a lot of charming people lately. They are good listeners, good talkers. They smile and make me smile. There are compliments and flowers and chocolates and sweetness and light. There’s charm. There’s nothing wrong with these things. Except that one tends to mistake these for love and when they vanish, there’s the heaviness of disappointment to deal with. That is really ugly.
Love is not politically correct. The last person I know with absolute certainty that I loved, is more than five years younger than I am. He wasn’t nice to my friends and they did not like him. He was antisocial and selfish. But I loved him and he loved me, I think. That is what made the two year relationship and the engagement (which sadly, didn’t result in marriage) happen. Nothing else mattered. And that is what they mean by love conquers all.
Love doesn’t restrict itself to romance novels. It doesn’t stay within the boundaries laid by governments, families and ideologies. It refuses to be pinned down by stamped paper or weighed down by a gold pendant on a yellow thread. But sometimes it does grow in old friendships and in associations you take for granted.
Love probably should be trust. Though it’s got nothing to do with trustworthiness. Or logic or credibility or past experience. Trust – why do we use statistics of the past to determine that, when it’s about futures that can’t be determined? Statistics can’t even accurately determine whether a coin toss is going to land Heads or Tails. One trusts because one does; that’s all. And that might be the nature of love.