As we approach Valentine’s Day, I have found myself asking, “what is love?” Is it a feeling, an emotion, an act? Is it fleeting? Lasting? Dependent upon looks? Or financial gain? Because when I see so many people seemingly falling in and out of ‘love’, it just makes me wonder about the ‘state of being in love’.
I remember years ago(yeah, I know..I don’t look that old)when a man would catch my eye and I his, he’d ask me out and I couldn’t wait for the phone to ring and we’d spend hours whispering sweet nothings to each other and we’d go for walks and to dinner and skating and bowling. Then someone else would catch my eye, or he’d do something silly and it was on to the next. I sound shallow, I know…but that’s how it was with me. I never stopped to think or consider what I was feeling or him, for that matter. All I knew at the time was that if I grew bored, there was always another one waiting in the wings to step up and relieve my boredom. I would think that I was ‘in love’ but now that I’m older, I look back and think, “no I was not in love.” To this day, I don’t think I know the meaning of the word, love. I can just as easily leave people and go off and not think about them just as I did when I was much younger. It matters not whether it’s family or a significant other or in my case, an insignificant other. I’m sure that there are people who do know what love is and have experienced it at least once and maybe more than once. They’ve probably determined that they’ve met their lifelong ‘soulmate’ for those who believe in that. Me, on the otherhand, I don’t believe in ‘soulmates’.
So, for me, I shouldn’t wonder why I am alone since I’ve never had a reason to stick around with someone. Yes, I’ve been married, once. And I promised myself that that was one time too many and no, I didn’t ‘love’ him either. There has never been that one person that could consistently make me want to say over and over again, “I love you” and actually show them by my actions. Yes, I’ve heard about so many people growing old together, but do you really love the person that you wake up to every morning? Do you make them happy and if you do, how do you know? Because they tell you so or because in some way, they show you? When do you know that you are loved? Is it the way that you are treated by another? Is it that you have grown so used to each other, you can finish each others sentences? Say a lot with just a look? Or do you stay with one another because of financial reasons?
Another point I want to bring up is that I’ve heard it stated so many times, “it’s cheaper to keep her.” Is that really what it’s all about? Financial security? And is this the case for the older, more mature crowd or do many marriages start out based on security in a world of financial insecurity. A friend of mine says that she absolutely hates her husband. They have nothing in common, but if another woman even looks at him, she throws a fit and she says that the reason why is because she needs his income and no one else is going to get a penny of his money. She says that they do not share a bed, have not shared a bed in years. In fact, they don’t even sleep on the same floor in the house and that he treats her with contempt. When she gets off from work, the house is a mess and he’s been home all day. On the weekends, his buddies come over and they drink from dusk until dawn and leave the bottles for her to clear up. I couldn’t live like that just for the sake of financial security.
So, I ask..is ‘love’ still alive or is it just a word we use to throw around to make what we really need from someone else, more palatable?