I have been asked, in a way, to discuss my views on love. This topic was mainly provoked because the asker, my friend Patricia Alexander, took note of the prom picture I carry in my wallet (which can be seen above) and inquired about it.
Of all emotions I find the notion of love to be one of the more complex; by what measure does one gauge love? Normally the term love is defined as a strong attraction to another person or thing, be it an animal, an object, etc. By my own measures there are two degrees of love which are warranted under different circumstances and hold different meaning; intimate love, mutually expressed and requited attraction by individuals for the purpose of starting a family (also includes an underlying sexual nature), and platonic love, a stronger term than “like” that I apply to close friends and family.
I’ll start by addressing intimate love; when it comes to intimate love there is a slight complication that exists in the form of infatuation, a pseudo feeling of intimate love for another. Infatuation is a common problem amongst adolescences, and a rising number of adults (more on that later), due to a lack of maturity both physical and emotional in nature; sometimes the feeling of infatuation is requited and misinterpreted as having a deeper meaning than it actually holds due to irrational considerations for what it truly means to love. The main difference between infatuation and true intimate love comes when one analyzes the build up and rationality applied to each; infatuation is usually hastily progressed and hormone fueled while true intimate love takes time to develop and requires strong, time forged bond between individuals. I feel there are many steps that must be taken before one should even attempt to find true intimate love; some steps may be taken at different strides but quite a few have a set progressive order they must be taken to avoid horrible repercussions.
For me to even consider expressing intimate love I must be capable of sustaining my own survival, by which I mean support myself financially; usually this is the first mistake people make when they express their infatuation, if one cannot support themselves then what hope do they have of supporting a family? Now don’t get me wrong here, being between jobs is completely different from being able to support yourself; one implies you are actually trying and holds a lot more ground than simply refusing to take part in the necessities of survival; for the cautious this step can be tricky, if things are taken slowly and carefully it can work with only one party holding a job. Another key aspect I feel necessary before expressing intimate love would be you actually have to know the person on a deeper level than basic friend knowledge; you have to know them almost as well as you know yourself to truly empathize with them emotionally, this plays a huge part when it comes to typical “relationship drama.” Many times I’ve seen relationships, both real intimate love and infatuation, fall apart because those involved didn’t actually connect with each other emotionally which inhibited their ability to understand one another. You must put the other individual’s feelings and considerations on the same level as your own to make this step work, for many this is troublesome as trauma in the past may lead to trust issues; these issues must be understood and worked mutually to resolve before continuing the relationship. Infatuation also typically leads to irrational willingness to submit to sexual advances, often resulting in unprotected sex and all the negative things that come with that when both parties are too immature to handle the consequences; I feel sex is the last thing that should be considered when wanting to have a healthy relationship, or at the least it should always be with protection, and sure as hell doesn’t need to be with people you don’t really know well.
Conversely, platonic love develops after getting to know, understand, and empathize with individuals you consider friends for extended periods of time; also platonic love is, usually, the default feeling held in regards to ones parents and choice members of their family. Platonic love for ones close friends is a way to express a deeper feeling of care for them, something that defines the act of caring, even the slightest bit, about the individual on a level that you essentially consider them as part of your family. For the most part I hold this type of feeling towards the majority of my friends, there are very few people I associate with on a regular basis that I even give the friend label to because I take deep consideration when choosing who I involve in my life above the common folk; the longer I know a person and the more experiences shared with them increases the bond I have with them and increases the impact they have on me. As a side note there, if people I do show a platonic love towards end up crossing me in unforgiveable ways they get kicked from this zone immediately, they then have a very slim chance to earn their way back into this zone.
(From this point forward things get more personal)
When it comes to expressing more than platonic love to someone else I have had only two open expressions of this type. The first would be my, now entirely platonic despite the protests of the latter, friend Melanie Crick. For the majority of Middle School, and if you’ve read any of my other entries you know how bad a time that was for me, I had a slight infatuation with Melanie; keep in mind this was a time when I was without my current mindset, I was a lot less mature than I am now and I was very socially inept. If I recall my old rationality in this situation, which followed typical adolescence thought processes, I became infatuated with Melanie because she shared the most common interests with me and she had, and still does have, a nice personality despite her slight immaturity; plus the number of people who didn’t make me borderline hate society as a whole were much lower than they are now, so really anyone who saw me as a person back then held some meaning in my life. Come freshman year of High School, at the encouragement of members of our friend group (including Nina), Melanie and I “dated”; as I said, this was FRESHMAN year, as neither of us had a means of making money or reliable transportation the only real “dating” parts of the whole relationship were conversations with each other and hanging out on online games outside of school. Certain complications, mostly involving immaturity, ended the initial run of that relationship (which lasted only a couple of months at most) and after that I had no real desire to jump into dating since that trial run at dating was only the product of a three or four year infatuation. I allowed a second chance “dating” with Melanie towards the end of freshman year and the beginning of sophomore year, that too ended because of immaturity on both parts, and from then on we remained platonic friends; she has occasionally attempted to encourage a third chance that I have repeatedly denied because I feel we are compatible as friends but not compatible as partners.
My second instance involving intimate love is more of a controlled infatuation scenario, this involves the girl in the photo above whose name is Hilary Morgan. I met Hilary freshman year and we hit it off fairly quickly, she is a cornerstone of my friend group developed in High School and has always made a good impression on me whenever we had class together; she also took higher workload honors classes so we had more classes together than Melanie and I had, even including Middle School, so we had a faster time to get to know each other. Towards the end of Sophomore year my infatuation had gone full blown but I kept my personal measures of what builds a relationship in check so I took things painfully slowly by the standards of our friend group; so slowly that it’s entirely possible she never noticed that I had any interest in her at all until Senior year when I expressed my desire to escort her to prom, a goal I intended to do since first becoming infatuated with her regardless of if we were or were not dating by that point. I still haven’t reached the point where I will fully pursue a relationship, I feel completion of college should be first and foremost for us both, but I have been taking the other steps such as escorting her to the movies on a few occasions and getting to know her better to further gauge our compatibility; even if the platonic love I share for this friend in particular never develops into anything more I still want to provide as many fond memories as possible and possible become the standard for which she gauges future relationships by. Personally, I don’t feel I am proper material for being in a relationship; I have a lot to learn and plenty of room to mature before I’m truly ready, not to mention I am currently jobless and need to get my life together before taking the more advanced steps.
(As always, if there are any noticeable typos or other errors please notify me. If you have any questions or opinions please post them in the comments section.)