According to the Webster dictionary, “to like” means “to have a kindly feeling for”, and “to love” means “to like deeply”. This is one of the simplest ways to define love, and a feeling so omnipresent doesn’t need any more complications either. Its genesis lies in the most inherent human instinct to socialize and help each other. Love is the binding agent for the existence of mankind. All of us understand love naturally, but still we fail to find love. Why? Are we faulting somewhere? Are we misunderstanding love?
To complicate is human, therefore, we have complicated even love. We have given it different names and forms. We have even started calling it a relationship, i.e. “love-relationship”. And when we started calling it a relationship, we even restricted it. Love outside the relationship would be termed perfidious, forgetting all the time it is unnatural not to love. So, obviously no relationship can bind love, and there can be no positive relationship without love. The biggest culprit is unthoughtful linking of love with sex. No doubt, the two complement each other, and sex is one of the best mediums to practice love, but they are definitely not the same. Love is so omnipresent that any consensual sexual activity will essentially be involving love (to whatever degree), but the reverse is not always true. The sexual activity should be certainly restricted in certain circumstances; for example, incest should be restricted; but that doesn’t, in any way, means that the love can or should be restricted. Thus “love-relationship”, I talked about earlier, has the same fault: it tries restricting love to one relationship only, which is just not possible. Restriction of sexual activity to the “love-relationship” is a subject of debate and personal understanding, but love obviously can’t be restricted. The problem with this relationship is that when we refer to love in a “love-relationship”, we actually mean sex. Sex may need to be restricted because unrestrained sexual activity can lead to faulty understanding of degree of love in at least some of the relationships involving sex, such faulty understanding can lead to breach of trust in other relationship/s involving or not involving sex. But, to love is natural and it can’t be restricted.
Man has unlimited sub-conscious capacity to love, else mankind wouldn’t have survived, but, at the same time, an individual has a limited conscious ability to love constrained by limited resources like time. Therefore, reciprocity of love gives way to relationships, with friendship being one of the most widespread, sustainable and simple to find. Man would obviously like to utilize his limited resources towards those who reciprocate. Lots many factors can lead to this reciprocity. Sometimes forced factors like being-in-marriage can lead to love reciprocity, yet, at other times, natural factors like similar circumstances, mutual understanding, etc., can lead to love reciprocity. Sometimes even good sexual activity can lead to love reciprocity. Two good looking people may even start loving each other just because they both are good looking; something closest to what we call “love at first sight”. Nevertheless, the main point is that so many factors individually or in combination can lead to love reciprocity. Trying to preempt such factors is not only stupid but also ridiculous. Such trials to preempt such factors can actually lead to never finding reciprocity of love; the reason is simple as, by doing so, first one restricts his/her chances to find reciprocity by his meager knowledge of such factors, and secondly he/she also restricts his/her love for others and thus the chances to find reciprocity; this gives unhappiness to both him/her and others who keep loving him/her in expectation of reciprocity. A certain attraction is definitely necessary for reciprocity, but trying to define factors responsible for attraction is futile. To a great extent, predefined relationships like marriage, “love-relationship”, etc., which demand high degree of commitment to be in the relationship, are responsible for the futile search. These relationships are so idealistic that it is seldom possible to diligently follow all the written and unwritten rules leading to pre-requirement of a high degree of commitment from each of the partners. Such a commitment is possible only if love reciprocity is enormous or, in other words, “true love” has been found. Therefore, people search for “true love” so that they can feel safe to commit to a relationship like marriage, “love-relationship”, etc. This search is futile, extremely difficult and almost impossible as the factors are unpredictable and irreproducible. This futile search for “true love” by searching factors responsible for “true love” is the biggest resistor in finding “true love”, so the best way to find “true love” is to just stop finding “true love”. “True love” is a misnomer; all love is true. As simple as that!
©2007 Ankur Mutreja