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Freedom Requires Wings FRW The #1 QUILTBAG opinion blog on the web. We aim to open minds and help the queer community. News, blogs, video, worldwide suicide prevention and more. Worldwide

"True Love" In All Its Forms

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Tonight, I want to talk about love. This topic was a special request from one of my best friends, who’s going through a rough time on the relationship front, and she wanted to read something hopeful. I told her I wasn’t sure how hopeful it would sound, since I’m not in the best emotional place myself right now, but I promised to try my best. We’ve all heard the clich├ęs about love: what it is, what it means, what it looks like. I don’t know if it’s because of my asexuality, or just a completely unrelated aspect of who I am, but I have always looked at love differently from the way it’s portrayed in society. We all know that love comes in many forms. There’s romantic love, of course, but there’s also love between family, friends, pets, and others who influence our lives in various ways. In our society, there is a clear differentiation between romantic love and the other types of love. But to me, all forms of love have always been equal.

When my friend asked me to write about this, she specifically mentioned the concept of “true love”. Our society portrays love in a very specific way (in movies, books, etc.) – there is one “true love” for each of us out there, and there is some sort of magic, with “sparks” and other things, when we meet our true love. I do believe in true love. However, I don’t necessarily believe that there’s only one true love for each of us. I believe it’s entirely possible to have multiple “true loves” over the course of a lifetime. I also believe that “true love” can come in many forms, and is not limited to just romantic love.

I have experienced “true love” twice so far in my life (neither of which was my husband, by the way). Everyone who knows me knows that I am an avid baseball fan. What most of them don’t know (or know, but don’t really understand) is how much deeper my relationship with baseball goes than simple fandom. My first “true love” was a baseball player (who shall remain nameless for this post, but the people closest to me already know who I’m referring to). I’ve never met him (unless you count an autograph session, haha), and obviously there is nothing romantic about this particular love, but from my “relationship” (in a loose sense) with him as a fan, I learned everything I know about love. I learned the importance of loyalty and trust, and ultimately, got my heart broken for the first and only time in my life when that trust was eventually broken (not by him, but by the general manager who I will forever refer to only as “The Grand Idiot” for that incident). It took me a long time to recover from that experience. As a defense mechanism, I slipped into apathy, and couldn’t feel any deep emotional connection to anyone for several years (which, by the way, scared me more than anything else I’ve ever experienced in my life, and I refuse to ever allow myself to go down that road of apathy again).

My second “true love” was actually one of my best friends in college. I met him through another good friend (he was actually her boyfriend at the time), and sort of developed a crush on him, but pushed it aside since he was with my friend. At some point, he admitted to having a crush on me, so I admitted that it was mutual, and my feelings sort of snowballed from there. He was never in love with me, by the way, and we never became anything more than friends. But even though it was unrequited love, on my end it was very, very real, and one of the most emotionally intense experiences of my life.

So what does all this say about true love, for my friend who asked? To be honest, I’m not really sure, except that love is unpredictable. You can’t choose who you fall in love with, or when it happens. You can’t make yourself love someone you don’t, and you can’t make yourself NOT love someone that you do. Love isn’t something that can be explained or adequately verbalized. But it is, in my opinion, a basic human need and a basic human emotion. Again, I am not talking about romantic love specifically. I’m talking about love in general, whether romantic, family, friend, or any other source.

So what makes a love a “true love”? It’s hard to define. In the sense that she meant when she asked me to write this, it can only be applied to romantic love. But if you take a more literal approach, you could conceivably define any love, not just romantic love, as a “true love”. My love for my family and for my closest friends is just as legitimately TRUE as any romantic love, and as either of my “true loves”. So I could even argue that my friendship with this person, which has been going strong for 26 years (since preschool!), could be considered “true love”. She asked me to talk about finding true love (or not finding it). The only conclusion I can make here is that you can always find a love that could be defined as “true” if you expand where you’re looking for it beyond just romantic love. But in terms of romantic love, it’s not something you can go out and find. It just happens. And, my friend, the true love of our friendship is what makes me wholeheartedly believe that it will happen (again) for you! And to everyone else reading this, always remember that true love is the greatest thing in the world, no matter what form it takes. Don’t ever give up on it, no matter what!
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