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What does Love look like to us? - 8 human perspectives



This particular piece was an interesting one to compile because of the diverse perspectives that I had the privilege of listening to. Love can be so versatile in its shapes and forms. So simple yet profound. So necessary for the flourishing of every relationship (familial/ romantic/ platonic etc).


Without further ado, here is a summary of 8 different views of love from individuals of varying life stages and backgrounds.


#1: When I say that I love someone...

I shouldn't feel the need to compete for their time and attention because I respect their autonomy, value their space, and support what's important to them without expecting anything in return. To me, love isn't an exchange or an investment. It's freely given, not forced upon. The moment I catch myself feeling indebted to someone or becoming frustrated by a lack of reciprocation, it signals the need to step away into introspection: Why am I feeling this way? Am I loving just to feel loved? How genuinely is my love then? Likewise, if someone says they love you, they will naturally want you to know just how much you mean to them because your feelings matter to them too. There is no obligation about it. It comes naturally when we are truly in love.


#2: Whenever I think about love...

it's always easier to express how we desire to be loved and to expect others to accept the way we choose to express our love. It seems easier because it leaves us not needing to question the love of the other person in whatever relationship we are in because it fits our perception of how love should look like. We want that sense of certainty and assurance that our love and care are not unrequited. We love to be loved. After all, who doesn’t want to be loved?


#3: In relationships & love...

we often have times when we question the nature and depth of our bond with another person. Is this person with me because they love me for who I am and not just because of what I have? Am I really that cherished by my friends? These are normal questions to ask considering that we are distinct and separate individuals and cannot really read another person's mind. At the end of the day, love is a very beautiful thing and it adds colour to our lives which is also why a lack of it can dull our lives and leave us in despair. However, this is also why I believe it’s important to make sense of our personal values and identity before seeking to be loved by others. If we don’t, we risk subsuming someone else's values and living a different life just because we crave their approval and attention.



#4: Love is a choice...

because you don't always wake up wanting to see or talk to your partner, kids, friends etc. Some days you wake up feeling in need of personal space and total silence but you hardly get the luxury to do so. These days can last for weeks due to the stresses in your life. Yet, it doesn't mean that you don't love your loved ones because you know that even though you lack the lovey-dovey emotions you once had, you would never want to live without them. They've occupied a space in your heart that can never be replaced and will always be important to you. That's why love simply as a feeling is not to love at all. Love is a choice you must choose to make every single day. In fact, it’s a choice that you will willingly make over and over again.


#5: Love always protects & preserves...

what you and another person share. It can be secrets that you share with your best friend or the family that you’ve built with your spouse. If you love one another, you must protect what you have and preserve its best state. The world is full of temptations that will fight to take your attention and care from these precious bonds of love that you have formed. Regardless of whatever relationship you have, be it romantic or not, your love for one another should make you want to safeguard the other person's interest and what you both share. Ultimately, it’s us against the world and how much we value what we have.


#6: When someone says they love me...

I look at the way they treat me with their actions. Words are cheap and I used to be easily swayed by sweet talk but now that I've learned from my past failures, I know better than to take other people's words at face value. I look at the things they do for me, when and why they come to me, and how accepting they are of my real self. This is how I know a person is serious when they say they love me. I never hold back when it comes to loving people but I am now very careful when it comes to believing others when they say they love me. Knowing just how much I can give to someone has taught me to be careful about who I choose to give of myself to, and I’ll only want to give all my love to someone who treasures it wholeheartedly.


#7: Time will tell how much I love you...

is my favourite quote from Dr Strange (the movie) because of how apt it is. How many relationships can stand the test of time these days? Not many. So many relationships of all sorts are breaking down so quickly that the longevity of relationships is no longer an expectation but a stretch goal. Similar to running an ultra-endurance race, there will come moments where we "hit a wall" and are on the brink of giving up but we know that if we continue to move forward and refuel, we will eventually make it to the finish line. Likewise, there will be times when we hit a wall in our relationships with others. Instead of walking off, our first resort should always be to stay on the course and deal with the obstacle at hand if we truly want to run the race of life together as friends, lovers, and family.


#8: True love is freeing...

and never holds one captive. In our society where gaslighting and toxic relationships are very common, we find it hard to tell if someone is truly for us or not. It's hard not to build walls to protect ourselves from rejections and judgments if we were to express our truest selves. However, I've experienced how empowering it can be to be vulnerable and real with someone you trust and likewise, be that person that others can let their guard down around. Love frees and doesn't seek to control or put down.

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