On Love

“Don’t pretend you’re sorry

I know you’re not.

You know you got the power

To make me weak inside.

Girl, you leave me breathless…

I can’t imagine

Life without your love,

And even forever

Don’t seem like long enough.

Every time I breathe

I take you in,

And my heart beats again.

Baby, I can’t help it,

You keep me

Drowning in your love.”

-Drowning

Backstreet Boys

 

“Your love is like a river,

Peaceful and deep.”

-(God Must Have Spent) A Little More Time On You

N’Sync

 

I have a soft spot for boy bands. They always put out great music. I’m not a big lovey-dovey guy, but most of said great music revolves around “love songs” (they’ll make a softie out of me yet). And, in this teen’s humble opinion, the boy bands that I pulled these songs from are the best of the bets boy bands. The songs that I chose are the best of the best of the best of the bets boy bands (lots of “best’s” there)- both songs mean more to me than any other ones that I have ever heard. They also do a good job of helping me get across what I feel about love.

Water is one of the most delicate things in the natural world. Slight contamination to water could be catastrophic to many, many different organisms, and therefore, water is handled very… reverently, almost. The right balance of chemicals and treatment is needed to keep water clean and healthy. When it comes to humans, and human interactions, love is the most delicate balancing act that we have to deal with, something that has many, sometimes unimaginable, difficulties. I haven’t had a lot of experience with love, but one half of this balancing act is the “giving” part of love. I think that if you truly love someone, you are willing to pour every ounce of your being into them. You are willing to trust them unconditionally. You are willing to dedicate large chunks of your time, your money, your life, to satisfy the person you love. You are, quite literally, willing to do anything for that person.

The other side of the balancing act of love, is, obviously, the “taking” part of love. People frequently fall in love for largely selfish reasons, and “taking,” in and of itself, is an inherently selfish action. Some of those reasons include attraction, of both physical and emotional nature (Physical is probably more selfish, but an argument can be made that both are. And that’s the argument I’m making), and money. Sometimes, these things are naturally given (and hopefully, are given in return- that’s where love’s balance comes in), but sometimes, they are not. However, love cannot work if there is all giving and no taking- a lot of effort would be going to waste, which is one of the worst possible feelings for a person, to watch their effort go to waste.

The reasons that love is such a difficult balancing act are plentiful. Determining what is real love and what is a superficial “crush” is the first of those. While love involves a lot of (giving and taking of) emotion, having a crush involves too much dependence on that emotion. A person may think that they are willing to “fulfill” what is required for true love, but in reality, some emotion or feeling other than love, perhaps excitement, loneliness, or something of the sort, is the dominating force of the crush, the main motivation, behind the person wanting to be in a relationship with someone (or thinking of being in a relationship- many crushes just stay crushes and never progress any further than that). That emotional dominance may be a part of true love, but because it is SO dominating, it minimizes the other parts of what would be true love.

Perfecting the amount that you “give” is the second reason that love is so tricky. A person that gives too much (or, in my own personal case, perceives that they are giving too much) can begin to feel worried or anxious over the state of the relationship. Worries about putting too much pressure on their significant other, or of cheating by the significant other, can become plentiful. Those that give too little can frequently disappoint their significant other. The person that gives too little should give more, and frequently can give more, but, consciously or unconsciously, choose not to. The little that is “given” is, often, not very good, anyway.

Yet another reason for love being so tricky is the flip side of the coin from the “giving,” that being the perfection of the “taking” in a relationship, in love. Taking too much could make a partner frustrated or upset that they are putting in the effort to make the relationship work while but feel that they are, perhaps, getting taken advantage of. Taking too little would result in a reaction similar to the “giving too much” situation, only in reverse- the other person, that ISN’T taking too little, will feel nervous and anxious. The other person might feel somewhat… distant from their partner.

Love is more than just give and take, though; it also involves self-discovery, self-realization, and in that idea, I believe, is where the majority of difficulty in love comes from (a somewhat scary thought, considering how difficult, how fine of an “art” it is, to balance “giving” and “taking”;). That difficulty is greatly encapsulated in the following quote, which a counselor gave to me when I was in inpatient treatment: “The price of true love is self-knowledge.” Self-knowledge was the ultimate downfall in my love experience, what caused me to fall apart, and that may be why I consider it to be so tough to handle. However, even if I hadn’t experienced what I had, I would still think that self-knowledge is difficult- I think that people better remember their mistakes, and better recognize their faults, than they do the opposite of those things. I think to manage those negatives, to be able to push aside the faults that a person may see in themselves, and focus on the positives they have, and display the positivity that comes with the good things they believe they have going for them (especially those things related to the relationship that the person may be in), is the most difficult part of love, no question.

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