The Latest Blog Posts From Ryan David
I once heard someone say "Love is the delusion that one man, or woman, in particular differs from others." Which I interpreted to mean that everyone is really the same, but somehow “love” can make someone seem different. A bit confusing, but it got me thinking about my understanding of the word love, its meaning, and prompted me to say that it’s actually quite the contrary; to me love alone is the action someone chooses to take after acknowledging and accepting the differences between them and another. To which another friend disagreed and said, "Love is NOT an ACTION...your ACTIONS can show if you LOVE someone...but by no means is love an action, it’s a feeling, an emotion!" Which I think is a sentiment shared by many people, but one that sounds to me like someone who is under the impression that loving someone and being in love is the same thing? Which would imply that since they are the same thing, it wouldn’t be possible for a person to do one without the other, correct? Well I disagree because yes, it’s obviously possible to be in love with someone and love them at the same time (do both). But it’s also possible to love someone that you’re not in love with (only one and not the other). Agree? Let me clarify; the ACT of love is driven by feelings (emotions) for, and from caring about someone. But, that ACT or the actions, are different from the effortless feelings one has for someone when “in love". Agree?
So the question becomes: Is “love” alone primarily if not ultimately in essence, an action? I say it most definitely is...it’s a choice...something you choose to do...not to be confused with the FEELING of being "in love", in which choice is not an ingredient, let alone an option. Love is a choice that is made, one that is born from the feelings for, and the connection to another person – yes often a person that we are or were once "in love" with. This association, or correlation, may be what prevents most people from being able to distinguish between the two. If to you love is not an action and is rather a "feeling” or “emotion", then I ask you to describe or define the "feeling or emotion", as you say, of LOVE. Not of being in love, just LOVE. I would venture to say most of what you described was the physiological responses and sensations that take place in the body, and what we FEEL when we are in love, or feelings similar to that experience.
Yes loving someone and the act of love encompasses feelings and emotions for another person. But those are different than the effortless emotions and feelings we feel when experiencing the phenomenon of "being in love". Those feelings fade, those chemicals subside, and then you are left with a choice about whether to continue loving and showing you care about this person the way you did so effortlessly, or to move on under the illusion or with the excuse or misunderstanding or false interpretation that you don't “love” them any more simply because you are not experiencing the same euphoric “in love” feelings that you once did when you initially fell in love with them.
Even more intriguing is how humans are not only capable of both, (which are two different things) but we are capable of experiencing both simultaneously, with different people! Consider the following in an effort to understand and accept the difference between the act of love, and the chemical handcuffs I speak of that take over us when we are in love:
How is it that a, generally speaking, happily married man can run off for a night, or a weekend, or every other weekend for months or years at a time with another woman, to anywhere, just to enjoy and bathe in her company, to experience the intimacy and the carnal attraction that they feel for each other internally on a deep level, to relish and lose themselves in the connection they feel in their soul for one another...then return to his wife, his family and continue to provide, support, and stand by the woman he has known for years and would take a bullet for as if he never left…as if he never did a thing? How is this possible? And by the way, it’s possible.
Or the woman that cares for her husband, respects him and his work ethic, his dedication to his family, that he is supportive and provides for her and possibly their kids...but one day she experiences a look in another man’s eye that leads to a comment, remark, or statement, that leads to a smile, which leads to a small conversation, one that feels like she's waited her whole life to share, one that involves a laugh and a happiness, a feeling of being alive and a comfort that she hasn't felt in years, and although there are no "problems" at home, no major concerns, nothing that would identifiably be forcing her away or pushing her towards someone else...she finds herself wanting more. The connection, although brief and at this point completely innocent, was too strong to ignore, too strong not to explore. And after subjecting herself to, or seeking (sometimes subconsciously) this man’s company, simply his company, that she finds so new, so magically amazing, so invigorating, so real and genuine and raw, after honestly opening up and telling each other what seems like everything there is to know about each other (including the fact that she is happily married with a husband she loves and has no intentions of leaving), after totally opening up and sharing intimate secrets with one another, trusting each other with the most intimate details about their person, and establishing trust as though they have known each other for an entire lifetime...somehow, they eventually find themselves alone, where that inevitable first, simple, soft, connecting, “harmless” little kiss, that has been bursting at the seams with anticipation and eating a hole right through the walls of the room in her mind which attempts to contain her romantic imagination and fantasies...this desire has been like a plague, like a splinter in her mind 24/7 since they first spoke, since they first connected unlike with anyone before or at least as long as she can remember... well that kiss makes an appearance. And from there one line is crossed at a time, one boundary erased, the envelope is pushed, and the fireworks and sparks become too bright to ignore, too much to suppress, and with any and every free waking moment she becomes a slave to her feelings and the emotions that this man elicits in her. From there the relationship and connection take on a life of its own. How does this happen to a woman that loves her husband and would take this secret to the grave in an effort not to devastate him and destroy his heart? How is this possible? And by the way, it’s possible.
Some of you are saying to yourself and thinking, well is it cheating if you don't get caught? And I say, only you know the answer to that...and you know in your gut, in your soul, in your heart, the answer is a resounding, hell yes it’s cheating. But the denial, repression, excuses and rationale make it so easy to dismiss it for what it is. The fact of the matter is, you are in love with one person helplessly, while simultaneously making an effort to love another that you deeply care about. The most interesting phenomena about the phenomenon of being in love is why these chemical handcuffs only bind us to one person at a time, at least in my experience. Why do the serotonin, and dopamine, and oxytocin [oxy-toe-sin], and others pour on in the presence of one person I love or am attracted to but don't or wont in the simultaneous presence of another that I care deeply about?
Is it wrong, this “having my cake and eating it too” (whatever that really means) scenario that I have painted? In terms of respect and regard for the other persons trust and feelings, yes, hell yes it’s wrong. It’s destructive, it’s careless, it’s reckless, it’s selfish...but it is human nature. It’s science, it’s instinctual. It’s physiological. That however, in itself, is not an excuse to succumb or fall victim to the urges or desires, and temptations that are innately within us if we are in a committed, “monogamous” relationship. That is not a free pass to cheat or stray or bail or abandoned someone you are involved with who is committed to you and only you in every way. Because after all we are humans, the most sophisticated life form on the planet, with the ability to reason and choose. Thought - a variable that is so often dismissed from the equation of love. Higher level thinking, the one thing, the only thing one might argue, that sets us aside from any other animal in the wild kingdom. It is this ability to choose that we are blessed and cursed with when it comes to how we conduct ourselves and act upon the chemicals or emotions and there after thoughts that we experience when we are in a "monogamous" relationship with one person, but find ourselves drawn to or attracted to another. That fight, that battle, to selflessly act in one way for the person you're with, the person you love, when your instincts and emotions are pulling you towards another, is the toughest, most complicated element pertaining to romantic relationships, pertaining to any form of the word LOVE.