What Is "Love"?

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love noun \ˈləv\ a (1) : strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties (2) : attraction based on sexual desire : affection and tenderness felt by lovers (3) : affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests b : an assurance of affection

Love
Image: Paul Lowry via Flickr

I spent a lot of time this weekend with one of my closest friends, Jess. She and her boyfriend broke up recently because, even though they love each other, they were just two different people heading in two different places. She's an art graduate looking to travel and make art; he's still in school to become a doctor and wants to stay in the same small town forever. They both love each other, but she came to realize that their relationship would not survive simply on love alone. They were going in different places in their lives. There was still love there, but little compatibility.

I know that there are times when we have to cut off people from our lives because they are toxic and the relationships are terrible and ruining us. I was forced to do this with my family. I came to realize that I could not and would not stand for the mental and physical abuse coming from my parents and had to end that relationship. While it was hard to do, I know it was the right thing and it has brought a lot of good things into my life.

At what point do we decide this with a significant other? At what point do we decide that a relationship will not survive simply because two people love each other? How many times are we going to put up with the same mistakes over and over and over and over again before we stand up and say ENOUGH.

Is it really love that keeps two people together or is it the fear of being alone? Is it the comfort of what you currently have versus the uncertainty of the future? Is it the fear of change that keeps us in these relationships? Is love what really holds these couples together or is it something else? Something weaker?

How do we know when a relationship will not survive solely on the love two people have for each other? At what point do the same mistakes make it obvious that a relationship is doomed?

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