Thought Catalog
March 15, 2017

7 Ways To Define Love (Because There’s Not Just One)

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Allef Vinicius

1. Warmth and luminescence

i.e. An infant is born and is placed in his mother’s arms. His eyes open and adjust to her face for the first time in his life, and he immediately knows he is safe. Comforted, he closes his eyes as her features begin, for the first time, to etch into every cell and memory in his being.

2. Comfort and compassion

i.e. A toddler is both excited and nervous for her first day of school/daycare. It is the first time she will be away from either of her parents for an extended period of time. She clings on to her father’s shirt as tightly as she can, later switching to grasping his finger when he puts her down by the gate. The teachers are waiting patiently with bright smiles on their faces. The child refuses at first to let go, but is coaxed by the care in her father’s voice. He is a giant to her, and he swoops down and hugs her one more time. And this time, she can feel his heart race in sync with hers.

3. Trust and empathy

i.e. A boy’s eyes scan for his friend in the crowd. They are like brothers and he is worried about his situation at home. They have known each other for years and he has only recently learned of his difficult living conditions at home. He has told no one out of respect for his friend’s wishes, but cannot feel at ease without knowing his friend is safe. Finally, his friend steps off the train and on to the platform. They see one another and both smile. He has the urge to run up and hug him.

4. Support and security

i.e. A young woman meets her sister at a local coffee shop. This meeting has been long overdue, as she needs some guidance from her older sibling. She has been overcome with feelings for someone her parents will never accept. She must keep her a secret from them, but reveals the dilemma to her sister. Her sister understands, and is as scared as she is but does her best to not show it. They hold hands the entire time they are there, feeling for the moment as though the world around them had completely melted away. Her sister promises her that everything will be okay, that things will work out.

5. Passion and affection

i.e. He doesn’t mean to look so intimidating when looking at her, but he can’t help but furrow his brows when studying her. There are certain angles, he notes, certain movements, where it’s hard to believe she’s actually human. She waits for the moment to pass, but fears it never will unless she interrupts. They have grown together, in every sense. Their bodies and minds have slowly descended from some metaphorical heaven, and something has new begun to take life between them.

6. Nostalgia and longing

i.e. I wake to ruffled sheets on an otherwise empty bed. I reach out into the void hoping to pull out something, perhaps a single ray of sunshine in the form of a strand of hair that has somehow lingered. There it is, but in a different form; it escapes from between the blinds and hits me in the face. I want to call her name, but know she isn’t there, hasn’t been for some time. I fear the echoes will only haunt me further, remind me of all the vacancies, make me feel emptier than I already am. It’s morning and I haven’t slept, so I close my eyes. And she’s there.

7. Transcendent and unconditional

i.e. Lines, walls, and barricades – they all come crashing. Borders blur into non-existence. Some see this as myth but we have committed to prove it to be more legend. Everything is reduced to a crawl, to call it slow motion is still an understatement. I and You become We; simultaneously plural and singular. A collective, a combination, a team; beyond colour, creed, sex, or ethnic background. You are me, and I am you. Beyond what “they” have defined as normal. Normal? Who needs normal? Normal pays bills. Normal does not create happiness. Normal does not provide a lifetime of memories and warmth and butterflies. Some people cannot fathom this. Some people will never understand. But we will live on, live forth, strongly into the light until the end of time. And beyond. Ever more beyond. TC mark

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