23 July, 2009

What About Love?

“What do you do if you love two people?  Who do you choose?”  

This is a question that some of us have probably asked ourselves.  We find ourselves drawn to two people; loving them and being loved; and enjoying spending time with each; yet, unable to be with both.  We have to make a choice; a choice that isn’t necessarily about love.  

Perhaps a better way to state that is that the choice is made beyond the love felt for this or that individual.  

As I contemplated the questions posed above and the various reasons people make choices or the reasoning behind so many interpersonal decisions, I started wondering just how many of those decisions are based solely on love between adults?

Marriage is one such example.  How many marriages exist due to love alone?  Sociologists suggest that unless there is abuse or open conflict, a marriage needs to remain in existence for the kids.  It is believed that kids have fewer risks if raised in a two parent house even if there is little love or intimacy or trust between the parents.  It is the stability of the house and the security of the family that kids need.  

I know marriages like this; I would guess that we all know marriages like this.  The adult relationship is over and yet, the marriage remains in tact.  The choice to stay is not one of adult love – but perhaps love of children, lifestyle, and so many other variables.  

Relationships are ripe with circumstances in which love is not a factor.  There are people who, despite strong feelings of love, simply can not be together.  Perhaps it is that their dreams take them in different directions, or they have personality  characteristics that don’t mesh, or the desire to commit simply is not there.  The love is there – the timing is not.  

It is a wonderful notion that love lies behind our decisions and choices.  That “love is enough” to overcome obstacles regardless of how big or how small.  I believe that love, the emotion, is able to do all of these things.  Love, the emotion, is given freely – no expectations and no conditions.  

The actions, decisions, and choices that we make – how often are they about what lies in our heart or the love that we feel for one another?  How often are they based on giving over a sense of obligation, commitment, responsibility, societal expectation, or a fear of what lies beyond the choice?

I return to the original two questions as posed by my daughter.  “What do you do?”  You love them.  You give them love – accept them and expect nothing in return.  And, “Who do you choose?”  This answer is far more subjective as I don’t believe that love asks us to choose between people or to compare people.  I would never ask someone to stop loving just as I would hope that no one would ask that of me.  

Who would I choose?  Who would you choose?

Is it all about love – and if it is not, then what about love?  Where does it fit?


dadshouse said...

I agree that stable households are great for kids. As for loving two people, and having to choose. Not a bad choice to have! I want ONE person to be madly in love with.

April said...

There's this great book called all about love that talks about love as the active verb. Love is only as powerful as you say if action is taken to accompany the emotion.