What is Love to You? 

”What do you wish you knew about love?”. This is a recurring question author Natasha Lunn asks the interviewees in her book “Conversations on Love”. Most of the answers she receives seem to have one common ground; there are multiple facets to love, and oftentimes perhaps we don’t really notice and take time to reflect…

Veronika Ringblom Avatar

”What do you wish you knew about love?”. This is a recurring question author Natasha Lunn asks the interviewees in her book “Conversations on Love”. Most of the answers she receives seem to have one common ground; there are multiple facets to love, and oftentimes perhaps we don’t really notice and take time to reflect upon this. As Valentines is around the corner, some might have a lovely date, a time to celebrate and deepen their relationship. Meanwhile others feel deserted in a relationship or lonely in the absence of a significant other yet seeking for one. For others this is an opportunity to spend time and show their love to family and friends. At this time of the year it may become visible what some perhaps long for, but hopefully also an opportunity to appreciate the love that we already receive and give to others. Contemplating on what love means to ourselves and in how many different ways we can show love, and as well as receive it, is perhaps a good opportunity for self reflection. 

There are multiple aspects to Love. It can be the mundane everyday life occurrences, the beautiful and powerful feelings, but perhaps also somehow a personal and complex aspect of our lives. Our first experience of love comes from our family. It is the core from which we receive and learn how to show love to others. For everyone it’s not a given that one’s family provides this kind of love, and it shouldn’t perhaps be taken for granted either. But it’s perhaps the “ideal” first love we receive, forming a strong bond. Indeed, not all families are perfect; but rather complex as well, marked by quarrels with parents and siblings, yet, in the end, your love for them knows no bounds.

In a romantic relationship, love is akin to the bonds we share with friends and family, but with added layers of intimacy. It involves feeling secure, trusting each other, and providing mutual support. Lasting love requires a balanced give-and-take dynamic, allowing both partners to be themselves despite compromises. Like a rollercoaster, relationships have highs and lows. Besides, there are the less charming sides of your partner you grow to love. Despite their perhaps dark secret (that you can live with) and when the person smells and farts. Embracing a partner’s imperfections, including less charming aspects, is essential for genuine love to thrive. Accepting and loving someone for who they truly are, flaws and all, is perhaps what allows for unconditional love in a relationship.

Yet certainly love is not exclusive only for a romantic relationship and the closest family. We form connections and show appreciation to friends with whom we feel safe around and laugh about silly things, listen and talk to them about our concerns. Showing love for them can also be the fact to allow them distance when they need it. Although we perhaps don’t literally tell all our friends, or perhaps even never, that we love them, we do show them that we love them through our actions and appreciation. A kind of unspoken platonic love. 

Often when comparing ourselves to our friends, family and people around us, whether they have a partner or perhaps just qualities we wish to have, the pressure and expectations might become overwhelming in finding true happiness for ourselves. But ultimately, depending on what stages of our lives each one of us are currently in, the meaning of love might take on different shapes and therefore this comparison to friends and people around us might cause some unintentional harm. At those times when we seek this happiness in others, the unbearable unknown and struggles might almost be the only thing we see. However, love can come in so many different ways, and not necessarily only from a significant other. As Lunn writes “You can be seen by various people in different ways, and no one person, not even your parents, can really see the whole of who you are. So it’s about finding all the different people you can love, and seeing the positivity each one of them brings to your life.” Do we notice these subtle opportunities for love which are woven through our daily lives? 

Love manifests in various ways. The romantical relationship, family, the closest and less close friendships and perhaps even people who we don’t pay as much attention to. The pursuit of love may be seen as an ongoing journey of self-reflection and outward connection. It involves understanding your own needs, desires, and imperfections, fostering self-compassion, and using these insights to love others and embrace life. Lunn articulates quite beautifully: “What I had learnt is that you don’t really find love at all; you create it, by understanding that you are part of something bigger.”. So, perhaps, take a moment to reflect on the unique ways you both receive and give love to those who grace your life.

About Nådiga Lundtan

Founded in 1948 and has since been an important part of student life in the economics program at Lund University. Nådiga Lundtan covers a wide range of topics related to economics, society, and politics, as well as careers, entrepreneurship, and innovation. It is a platform for students to share their ideas and opinions on economics and related fields.

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