What is love?  I’m sure you have questioned yourself this many times before, we all have.  And how do you know what love really is when you find it?  I’ve said it before, I am by no means an expert in love or anything of the sorts, but I have no problem sharing my experiences and thoughts on anything.  So bear with me throughout this one where I may ramble a lot, and I will give you my best rendition of what love is.

To me, love is not just a feeling you feel in your heart.  It’s that emotional and mental feeling you get at the same time.  If you are not emotionally and mentally vested in a relationship (of any sorts), I think it’s fair to say that you do love the person in question.  Love can vary in many different forms, some people say they love you but they are not “in love” with you.  That’s a tricky one which I will try to explain later.  Loving someone or something doesn’t always mean you are completely and utterly attached to said person/object.  I’ve learned there are many degrees of love over the years, and I am no stranger to love nor heartache.  Here I will try to break down the degrees of love that I am currently aware of:

  • Inanimate love-  This love is the love you have for an object or place.  For instance, I am loving this Jolly Rancher I have in my mouth right now, it’s delicious.  I love a whiskey and coke on the rocks late at night while sitting on my porch gazing at the stars.  This is the love that changes all the time, sometimes you just plain forget about it.  Chances are in about an hour I will completely forget about how much I loved this Jolly Rancher, and I’ll live.  This is not the kind of love that leaves you yearning for more, or leaves a lasting impression.  You just remember over time that that is something that you truly enjoyed, as some people may put into the category of “Favorites”, such as favorite colors and foods.
  • Animal Love This is the love of your pets.  Everybody views this differently, so as to not step on toes I will avoid careless thoughts on this.  But you love  your pets, some people consider them a huge part of the family and some just consider them a family pet.  I have a frog in an aquarium in my living room, we love the frog, he’s a family pet.  If he died tomorrow, I’m sure none of us would mourn his death.  We also have a dog, Ollie, a black lab/great dane/bull mastiff mix.  He may be a giant pain in the arse, but we love him just the same.  I would be upset if something happened to him, yes.  But mourn his death, probably not.  As a child, we had many dogs, and there were several that I was heartbroken over losing, it happens.  The degree of loving your pet varies on how long it has been in your life and the kind of person you are, so I cannot really help you there, but people do love their animals so I felt it needed to be touched on.
  • Love Of A Child- There is no greater love in this world than the love of a child.  People who knew me just a few years ago would have never expected to hear me say this.  My son, Tucker Max, is two years old and a few months, and he is my entire world.  He is my reason for waking up in the mornings, he is my reason for living at this point and for trying to make myself a better person.  A little boy needs to grow up to be a strong man, and their biggest influence is typically their father, and I intend on showing him how stronger he can be.  My daughter is my other reason for living.  Granted, she is not my blood, but she is my daughter.  I love her as if she were my blood.  She has been in my life for the last five years, and will be there for many more.  When I speak of this love of a child, I don’t just mean the love that you have for your own kids, as great as it may be, but the love they have for you…love of a child.  To a two year old, you ARE their whole world.  They know nothing else.  They see you when you tuck them in, and they see you when the wake up.  They see you throughout the day, you are the main person they see day in and day out.  If you do not know what I mean about the love of a child, you are truly missing out.  My son sees me when he goes to bed, and I am the first person he sees when he gets up, then I leave for work.  Eight to nine hours later I come home after he has been with his grandparents all day, and what does he do?  Drops whatever it is he is doing and charges me at the door yelling “Da da da da da da!” and jumps into my arms to hug and kiss on me.  It is truly a heart-warming experience.
  • Puppy Love- Oh sweet puppy love.  Or the love you have for your grade school boyfriend/girlfriend.  They may be your first, or your second, but you love them just the same.  Hell, you probably told them many times that you loved them.  I still remember my first girlfriend in grade school, we lasted through almost all of Fifth Grade and parts of Sixth Grade.  She was my first kiss, it was at a summer social on a Ferris wheel, I was madly in love with her.  I remember being goofy and singing “Where Have All The Cowboys Gone” to her on the phone.  I still remember, hell, I still talk to her.  She’s a good friend to this day.  Then, the puppy love ends, you break up.  You are truly heart broken.  Especially when they break up with you for no reason, and you cry, and cry, and your whole world is turned upside down.  It sucks, truly.  But you lived, right?  You’re right there reading this blog, wondering when I am going to get to the juicy parts.  It’s coming, calm down, go refill your White Russian and come back, I’ll wait.  Oh, you’re back?  Let’s continue.
  • Great White Buffalo  Sure, you have no idea what I am talking about…liar.  Look me right in the computer screen and tell me that you never felt so greatly about someone that you truly cared about them, songs reminded you of them, smells reminded you of them, certain roads reminded you of them…and you never once told them how you felt.  You know damn well what I am talking about.  In some instances, you may have told them, but it wasn’t returned…or it was returned and something happened along the lines, and you lost them.  They got away.  They are your Great White Buffalo.  I have one.  We all do.  I still talk to my GWB sometimes, she’s still an absolutely amazing person.  She knew I really liked her, hell she might’ve known that I loved her.  We never officially dated, we did go to my senior prom together though.  I was crazy about her from the day I met her, and we were just high school students.  To this day she has grown to be an amazing, smart, successful woman and I am damn proud of her.  I look back on my life, and she has always been there to an extent, just enough to where I cannot forget her.  To this day, I’m about 97% sure if she said she wanted to be with me, I would not question it at all.  Not everyone has a GWB, but I feel that we all have had that feeling before.
  • Lust-  Plain and simple, you think you love this person.  But you don’t.  You either love the idea of loving them, the idea of love, or you love something particular about them.  You just want to love somebody so bad that you think it is true love.  Lust can be extremely powerful, and harmful.  You can lust over the wrong type of people, the people that are bad for you.  They probably do not love you in return, and you honestly do not love them.  You are tricking yourself into pseudo-loving them because there is something about them that you admire or desire.  They may offer you more freedom than you had in a previous relationship, but it’s a ruse to get you to allow them to sneak around behind your back.  They may constantly buy you things, which your ex did not, but your ex did not hit you when they drank.  Do not fall victim to this, do not trick yourself into loving someone.  This leads to an unhealthy relationship.  Whether it is physically or emotionally abusive, it is not a place you want to be trapped in.  If you even think for a split second that you are in a lustful relationship, and it is unhealthy for you, start planning your way out of it right now.
  • True Love- Well, if this is not a touchy subject I don’t know what is.  I really don’t know what to tell you anymore about what true love is.  I had it, I thought.  Then again, maybe I really did.  True love does not have to be reciprocated, as with most of these, but you know it’s true when YOU know it is.  Most of the time, unfortunately, you can convince yourself that it is true love, whether it is or not.  True love hurts, and it hurts bad.  But it feels so damn good too.  From my perspective, you long to be with this person, day and night.  Your day just doesn’t feel complete without talking to them or seeing them.  They change your views on a lot of things, without asking or telling you to, you just become so used to the way they do things that it happens.  When they aren’t with you things don’t taste the same, colors aren’t as bright, smells aren’t as pleasing; the world just seems dull.  And when you are together, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows either.  It takes work, but that’s not what this blog is about, this is about the “love”, not the relationship.  You know it’s “true love”, inside your heart, you feel it in your bones, in your mind, you feel it in them, in their kiss and their touch.  It’s even worse when it ends.  You thought the world seemed dull before, just when they weren’t with you at that moment?  If it ends, the world is shit.  Plain and simple.  Nothing tastes right, whatsoever, it’s just shit.  I don’t know how else to put it, life is miserable, lonely, and dark.  Sometimes it may not affect you that much if you are a stronger person, but for those who are fully committed, you end up in a dark place.  Digging out of that place is harder than hell to do, especially when you are not accustomed to being fully vested in someone else such as you were at this particular time.  It is possible to recover, you just have to put more focus on yourself and not them, focus on things you did before them, things that made YOU happy.  But overall this love is a great feeling, if you find it, cherish it.
  • Soul Mates-  I really don’t know what to tell you about this one.  I have obviously not found this person yet, but I know they are out there.  I would imagine this love is a mix of your Great White Buffalo and a True Love, everything clicks.  You can look at each other from across the room and feel an instant connection, you know what the other is thinking.  You would do anything for this person, but they wouldn’t expect you to.  You love each other unconditionally, and things are just right.  This is not a love you ever have to convince the other one of, you both know it.  You may have been together for thirty years or more, or you have only been together for weeks, and it all still feels new every single day.  I picture this love as a roller coaster.  It has it’s ups and downs, twists and turns, you never know what to expect and your heart is beating so fast the entire time, it’s a rush, it’s exciting, it’s pure adrenaline every step of the way.  It’s perfect.  And it is out there, and it will come to you.  You just have to learn to step out of your own way to be sure that when it comes, you are willing to accept it.

That’s my take on love.  Keep in mind, I’m no expert by any means, do not take my words and act on a relationship or getting out of a relationship because of it.  Just read them, and take a look at the relationship you are in, how do you compare?  If you are in an unhealthy relationship, do not, I repeat DO NOT, be afraid to get out of it.  It’s not good for you, it’s not good for those around you.  Leave while you still can, you will benefit from it in the long run.  For those of you that have never felt love, maybe you should try to open your heart a little more and let yourself be susceptible to the ideas of love.  Love is an amazing thing, truly amazing.  It will change your entire world.  If you have had a Great White Buffalo, and you are both single, why not let them know you are thinking about them?  The worst that is going to happen to you is you are going to be told “No” and you’ll still be single.  Thanks for reading this guys, I enjoy your feedback and comments.  Share this if you want, just click “Share”, right there at the bottom of this.  And always remember, love is free!