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What is Love?

What is love? I don't know.

Let's start with Haddaway because they had the same question and I just want this song stuck in your head:

And if you give a girl a Haddaway, she's gonna want a good Jim Carrey parody, too.

(For those of you unfamiliar with CD's: they were like cassette tapes. For those of you unfamiliar with cassette tapes, they were like records. Except in a car. For those of you not following, if a CD stopped or skipped, blowing on it would work 50% of the time or else you'd be at Best Buy buying that Oasis, Fatboy Slim, Radiohead, or Haddaway CD again.)

But I always thought LOVE would look something like this...actually:

Love: just so honest and beautiful and romantic and imperfect; yet, realistically not happening in this scene. (If you've never seen "Love Actually", I highly recommend it - if you're mature enough for some mature content.)

But, I still can't wrap my head around what love IS.

1- When in doubt, google. (No need to caps; it's a verb now.)

M'k. So.

It's a noun and a verb. A thing and a thing we do.

But verbing-wise? That guy can love his sister as much as I love dancing? Hermf. No help there.

2. Okay, let's try ChatGPT/AI:

Me: What is love?

ChatGPT Love is a complex and multifaceted emotion and concept that has been a subject of philosophical, psychological, and artistic exploration for centuries. It can be difficult to define definitively, as it encompasses a wide range of feelings, attitudes, and experiences. However, here are some common aspects and perspectives on what love might entail:

  1. Emotional Connection: Love often involves a deep emotional bond and connection between individuals. It can bring about feelings of warmth, affection, care, and empathy.

  2. Attachment and Commitment: Love often involves a sense of attachment and commitment to another person, whether in romantic relationships, friendships, or familial bonds. This commitment may lead to a desire to support and nurture the well-being of the loved one.

  3. Altruism and Selflessness: Love often includes a willingness to prioritize the needs and happiness of the loved one above one's own. This selflessness is a fundamental aspect of many loving relationships.

  4. Intimacy and Vulnerability: Love often involves a willingness to be vulnerable and share one's thoughts, feelings, and insecurities with another person. This intimacy can foster a deeper connection and understanding.

  5. Passion and Attraction: In romantic contexts, love can also include feelings of passion, attraction, and desire for another person. These emotions can contribute to the intensity and excitement often associated with romantic relationships.

  6. Acceptance and Understanding: Love often involves accepting the other person for who they are, flaws and all, and seeking to understand their perspective and experiences.

  7. Empowerment and Growth: Love has the potential to empower individuals to become better versions of themselves. It can inspire personal growth, development, and positive change.

  8. Variety of Forms: Love can manifest in various forms, such as romantic love, platonic love, familial love, and even love for things, activities, or ideals.

It's important to note that love can be experienced and expressed differently by different individuals and across cultures. It is a deeply personal and subjective experience that can evolve over time and take on different meanings in different relationships.

And after reading all of that, I be like David from "Schitts Creek":

I was tossing pillows over these thoughts most nights: I want to be "in love" and "be loved", too. Are they mutually exclusive? At my age and circumstance? Hm.

Toss. Turn. Sweat. Repeat.

3 - Pinterest led me to Corinthians

But honestly, as much as I love the personification of love here, it just feels like a really long unrealistic "to-do" list for me.

4- I phoned a friend who recommended I try her therapist

Seeing a new therapist felt like cheating. But I made the appointment (in person).

It was a bougie part of town and her waiting room was very spa-like. (Don't worry: I made sure she was "in-plan" and that I'd met my deductible). Pretty wall-paper. Cozy. Nice, chic, ergonomic chairs. An entire coffee/tea thing. A couple of shiny mirror things I thought might be double-glass windows for her receptionist (think witness lineup).

While I Keurig-ed myself a decaf coffee with two little cups of Coffee-mate Irish Cream, the therapist texted me that she was running about 5 minutes late.


Then ten minutes late.


Then fifteen minutes late.

Me bitch-texting my friends.

My coffee was luke-warm and had lost any ounce of caffeine: just like me by the time she arrived.

The door opened, and she greeted me in those gentle intonations and vibrations only a therapist who does yoga has.

I felt like Kristen Bell. Just stop.

I thought she'd begin with the usual "What brings you here today?"

But no. Time is money.

Insurance info? Check.

Check? Check.

Once her checklist was all checked, she dove into her life.

I think I was able to eek out a few things that had been on my mind lately - to which she replied "Wow."

Then she began talking about herself again.

She wrapped things up with her age, the fact that she'd rather not be doing therapy in person - as she'd rather be up North at her cottage with her second husband; but that she'd offer me a list of providers who might be a better suit for someone younger and willing to do sessions via Zoom if I felt like we weren't a good fit. (Sidebar: I'm super glad my friend and this therapist are a good fit. She just wasn't a good fit for me.)

That was it? I barely got to say anything.


(God, I love me some Wilson brothers.)

She did text me a few days later to make another appointment.

I politely declined.

But in all fairness, I did leave with some food for thought.

She believes in something called Love Addiction. Love as an addiction?

I have different feelings about that.

The Beatles agree with me.

All we need is love.

Maslow agrees with me, too.

Tier three, peeps.

Love? Not an addiction: a need.

And let's not forget that infamous baby study. "Popular Science" won't even replicate the study on monkeys because it's too "unethical" :

Love as an addiction? Foolproof, research-based NO.

I'm not buying. (Just like the car my daughter wants.)

Love is a need. NOT an addiction.

The most scholarly article I could find within five minutes of "research" was an article titled "Addicted to Love: What is Love Addiction and When Should it be Treated?" followed by this paradoxical quote:

My brain hurts at this point.

Am I addicted to my kids?

Am I addicted to the upcoming season of "The Lincoln Lawyer"?

Am I addicted to ranch dressing?

Am I addicted to finishing "The Housemaid's Secret" before bed?

Am I addicted to my favorite lip gloss: @buxomplumpshot #2258?

I mean: to what extent does something we like become an addiction?

What I'm trying to say at 12:33am Sunday AM is that right now, I'm eating leftover Chinese food from an earlier dinner with my friends, with a snoring dog on my left, and a hugger dog on my right, and I'm loving it. I'm missing my kids a ton because I love them so much.

So I can love this moment, this situation, the beings beside me; but also those in my heart and soul - like my kids and my deceased mother.

But I still cannot answer the question "What is Love?"

And I'm not alone.

This question has befuddled the world's best poets, philosophers, artists, musicians, actors, empaths, gurus, religious persons...anybody who has ever existed on this planet. You, too, probably.

I think the problem is that I've complicated it.

Relationships are hard. But love is easy.

Love just is whatever she wants to be.




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