Love: The Mosaic of all Emotions

Joan Marques - Ed.D., MBA.
Burbank, California

Love can not only be denoted as an emotion that depends on the people you direct it to, but also as a sentiment that means very different things to different people.

Let's analyze the first and easiest part of the above sentence first: Loving your children is different from loving your spouse, your parents, your friends, or your job. In some instances the love you feel could be defined as a caring concern; in others as passion; and yet in others as respect or sympathy.

However, the second part of the opening sentence of this article is even more interesting to evaluate. For, have you ever considered that you may love your lover differently than he or she loves you? You may both call it the same thing, and still feel different about it.

And the differences in perspectives about love do not only vary between men and women, but also among the individual sexes. Let's take a closer look at that:

Most women think that men, on average, love with less devotion. It has been stated time and again, by women and men alike, that men can love their life partners very much, yet not think anything bad of having an affair now and then. Oh yes, they may feel bad if their partner finds out about it, but they don't see it as an infringement to the feelings they have for their other half.

That being said, let me state right away that such is not the case with all men. There are men who truly devote themselves to one partner. Or at least, so they say.

However, even among women there may be multiple perceptions of love. One woman may forgive the life partner she dearly loves easily for an infidelity, while another woman will get up and leave at even the slightest sign of a slip from her partner. Both women will say that their actions are based on love. The first will probably state that love overcomes everything, while the second will affirm that there is no place in real love for third wheels, and that staying would only lead to deterioration of something that once was so beautiful. Both women are right, of course, depending on their personalities and their interpretations of love.

There are also women who consider it acceptable to have a relationship with one or more other partners on the side, while at the same time maintaining their long-term relationship, and do so without any feeling of guilt. These women will definitely also come up with a solid explanation for their acts. They may say, for instance, that there are some flaws in the relationship at home, which are being patched up by the affairs. In these cases the women are, according to their viewpoint, fueling their home relationship with whatever it is that they have outside.

In general it can be stated that for men and women alike it is hard to digest when they find that their partner does not feel the emotional depths that they are experiencing in the relationship. This, too, has been a steady complaint of many couples through time, and I cannot say from which side it came more often: male or female. It just seems to be the case that, oftentimes, one partner feels a little more than the other. There is always one who is willing to go to greater lengths for his or her partner than the other way around.

For some people this is really a troublesome fact, as it may hurt their pride when they find out that their loved one is just not as serious about being on time for a date, or unwilling to sacrifice a night out with friends in order to be cozily together.

Three things are proven facts about love, though:

    1. Love can bring you to ultimate heights and severe downs. Numerous graves all over the world are filled with those who died for love, either through suicide or through a broken heart.
    2. Love changes over time: passion subsides and companionship takes over. And this is what may provoke some reflection within you: the latter lasts longer. There have been many relationships based on sheer passion that got shipwrecked within a few years, while there have also been numerous ones based on calm understanding and deep friendship that stood the strains of time.
    3. There is no single correct interpretation and expression of this complicated emotion. And maybe that is where the beauty of it lies: in the fact that love may very well mean something different to everybody on this planet.
Love, the mosaic of all emotions: the subject with no end...