I'm titling this 'round one' because I'm hoping there's more to find about this. I have to admit, usually these big life realizations are much more traumatic. This one has just been mostly interesting with a hint of depressing. If you're new to my What Is Love, Baby Don't Hurt Me crisis, it starts here. Basically I'd like to share some of the things I've ruled out as answers to the question 'What is love' ("relationship" love) ..since I don't have the answer, I can at least discard the non-answers. Maybe this is the wrong way to go about this but I don't know any other way to do it.
Untruth No. 1: "No one has ever loved me."
Essentially what started this was the sad emo reflection on how I've never been loved in the same capacity that I love. Maybe I was just in a downer mood (highly probable) but when I remembered that whole train of thought was what caused this screeching thousand-car pile up I was taken aback with how selfish and incorrect that statement feels. I know that some people in relationships with me have been real turds, or have said douche things, or have done douche things, from hitting and throwing things to calling names and cheating on me. But I don't think that it's fair to just lump every person in my life into some horrible asshole category. People love me in their own ways. My husband has loved me in his own ways despite our tumultuous relationship. In the past I've felt loved, many times. Whether or not I do in the moment of my emo-ness aside, I feel certain that I can assume by their own personal definitions of love, I have been loved by some people.
Untruth No. 2: "God is Love/One True Love Exists/Fate and Destiny/Soulmates"
-points to self- Atheist. I don't believe in God because..well....science. Just felt the need to throw that out there since it comes up literally everywhere I look for answers. I stopped believing in fairy tales sometime in my late teenage years, when the appeal of the Disney princess had worn off for real life. I also think that the relationships where people say I DON'T KNOW WHAT I'D DO WITHOUT HIM/HER are kind of creepy and borderline co-dependent. My better half, I can't be away from them, blah dee blah. I have never felt that way about anyone. I don't get how a person can exist as a team and not lose themselves in the process and it's something I wouldn't want to do. Lack of belief in religion also renders destiny as false, and I'm kind of thankful as far as relationships are concerned, because I think if I believed in destiny I would think myself incomplete without another who I need to constantly search for and so on.
Untruth No. 3: "Love exists in Nature."
This kind of ties into my whole recent enlightenment on the potential uselessness and harm of family where I surveyed human relationships next to other mammals, even those of higher intelligence, and couldn't find any of the values we're supposed to have. I don't see us as significantly different from other life on earth, unless you count how useless and stupid and wasteful we are, but the point is, love doesn't exist anywhere in nature. Gangrape does, as well as homosexuality. Sex for pleasure and competition for female attention exist throughout...but not love. Compassion is common among animals, especially pack animals like dogs (humans are pack animals as well obviously) but compassion and relationship love have always been distinctly different to me. So, my answer is not in nature.
Untruth No. 4: "Love exists within Family."
This is really just an extension of Untruth #3, but to highlight it, one of the most infallible types of love people talk about is the love of their offspring or the love of siblings. This is contradictory because families hate each other all the time. Families even kill and slaughter each other, or rape each other and neglect each other. Just like with the other animals that surround us, we're pretty barbaric and gross, and while these things aren't acceptable by the majority of mankind or society, they still exist, which rules out the possibility that love is sacred in every family unit. Good thing I never put much stock in family anyway, right? I'm not saying it's impossible to love your family or anything. Just saying it's not the right path to understanding love, for me.
Untruth No. 5: "When You Feel Love, You JUST KNOW IT."
Good goddamn, this one annoys me even more than the religion one. Seriously. No you don't just know it. It's not that simple. Maybe for the people whose most difficult decision in life is how many kids they want to shove out their vaginas but that is not me. If this were true I wouldn't be in this predicament in the first place. I wouldn't be divorced. I never knew if what I felt was real, even for Ron. I doubted myself all the time. I doubted whether my parents loved me from day one. I have a hard time defining the gray lines of infatuation and friendship and crushes and love. I always have, as most people have. I'm better at it now, but by no means do I think I can discern TRUE LOVE based on a few dates and a strong chemical connection to someone.
I always thought that 'love' was a riveting, important word. A big intense thing that you should only say when you really mean and you should only really mean when someone else's life was above your own. In the past when I thought I had this all figured out, I never factored myself into the relationship or how well it worked at all (probably why my relationships have all been hilarious failures?) but simply the other person and who they were. What they did with their life and how wonderful it was to be a part of their life. Basically, them, and their light. Don't get me wrong, being a good kisser or devastatingly attractive helped the case, but I can list off several people who are nothing but good friends that I would do anything for. Give anything to help, people who I think are the most amazing creatures on this little rock of a planet, who give me hope for our race. But yet I wouldn't want to marry them or have relationships with them, because that's just not practical or what I want from our symbiotic relationships. So yes, I can say I "love" them, but it's not the kind of love I'm searching for.
At this point I don't know what to do or where to go. I can tell you what love ISN'T. Does it exist to me? I don't know. I know it's not a priority, and I have such good relationships with people that I'm not going to go take a flying leap off the Mormon Temple just yet. Jaykay, there's no way I could even get in there with this rauchy mouth. I feel like I'd be an ugly disaster in a polyamorous relationship, yet monogamy within our species is also a broken system that hasn't worked out much lately in the last fifty years or so, since religion has loosened its grip on our balls. I guess maybe this is my cue to live in a grass hut by a misty lake and eat raw fish for a few decades. That's okay.