Love is a choice

In this day and age I feel like the meaning of love has been diluted.

We seem to think love is a feeling that just flies in and out of our lives, but is it?

I like exploring what love means in different languages and it’s so interesting. In Japanese saying ‘I love you’ is so serious and sincere you can’t say it to anyone in any situation. In my language (kinyarwanda) it’s the same too and coincidentally in my language there is no word for ‘like’ you just go straight to love. My friend told me that in her language ‘I love you’ translates to ‘I see you’, kind of like in Avatar.

So then what is love and what is the meaning of love?

I’ve been thinking about it and I think love is deeper than an emotion, than a feeling. These days I’ve heard people fall in love and then fall out of love just as easily. I used to wonder about that and I used to wonder why is my mom still married? What keeps her in love? Do the people who stay married have some kind of secret?

So this lady came to our church to preach and she’s a scientist and she was talking about the science of love and what happens in your brain when you first ‘fall in love’. You get hit with a cocktail of hormones that make you feel like you’re floating on air. It’s a great feeling and people can get addicted to the feeling. However soon your hormones level out eventually and your relationship hits a comfortable stage that is less exciting but more fulfilling. But the lady said this is the point where people get bored, they’re not high on hormones anymore and so they think they are out of love and this is the end of the relationship, some people never make it past this stage and will only have relationships that last a year or so. Does this sound familiar? I feel like this happens a lot in our generation. There are exceptions of course, but some don’t think and just feel and only go by what their hormones tell them. It’s disheartening as they never really get to experience deep abiding love (romantically I mean). Until of course they mature or someone comes along to break the cycle.

I’m a woman but I hate the whole ‘spark’ thing. Stereotypically we’re always waiting for the spark. I have met men, however, who also wait for the spark. But what is the spark? Yes you should be attracted to someone but it doesn’t need to be fireworks, cartwheels and a fanfare. For me love is when I connect with someone spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally. When I have truly connected that’s when I know he’s the one for me. But I haven’t met many people who think the same as me.

Back to the secret married couples (who last) hold. My mom and a guy who was teaching Sabbath school at church said that everyday they chose to love their spouse. They woke up and chose their life partner. They’re not blind, they see other good looking people out there but they chose their husband or wife. Even the science lady said the same thing. She had a moment after she was married where she met someone who, if she wasn’t married, she’d date. But she was married, she had chosen her man and so she said no.

That’s why when people cheat I have very little sympathy, you chose to cheat. No one forced you, you chose to love someone else. Instead of blaming others come to terms with the truth of what you did. Even if you had problems with your spouse, you could have chosen to fix the problems or divorce them but no you cheated.

Sometimes it’s like love and marriage is a game people jump into. Marriage is serious and if you can’t see forever why waste money on a big wedding? Why waste time? Why make promises you can’t keep?

You do feel love and in the beginning it can feel like just an emotion but after that the hormones level and you have a chance to have something real and deep. To feel something more than the hormones. From then on out you are choosing to love that person, to stay with them through the good and the bad. Through the hard times and the easy times. Even when they’re supper annoying you chose to stay with them and to fix it and work at the relationship.

So for me love is a choice.

I’ll end with a bible verse:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13: 4-7).

Ps: Disclaimer, there are good reasons people decide to not love someone anymore, like abuse for example. I’m not disregarding that.

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