Defining what love is and how to tell whether you actually love someone has been a challenging task for many generations throughout history. Different writers, poets, thinkers, musicians, movie producers and painter have tried to depict love in one form or another. I, however, believe that the definition of love is very simple – love is your desire to be with another person. When you are not with him/her, you are looking forward to being with them again, you can’t wait to continue sharing and exchanging thoughts, observations, laughing at and with each other, as well as holding each other. If you spend more time thinking about the other person when you are not around each other, than you are thinking about anyone else, it’s safe to say that you are in love.
I am tempted to say that love simply equals your desire to be with each other plus sex, but that wouldn’t be entirely true. An elderly couple who have enjoyed a long, loving relationship full of passion, and who grow old together, love each other no less when they are unable to have sex anymore. The desire for each other’s presence is not diminished by their inability to express love through sexual contact. In fact, many would argue that their love is stronger because it doesn’t depend on sex.
You may wonder how defining love is helpful to any of the modern dating issues that you might be dealing with. Well, the definition of love is extremely important to handling at least one very common, and serious problem known as serial dating or dating fatigue. If you find yourself in a confusing place of meeting a lot of new people online or otherwise and going out on endless “first” coffee and dinner dates, sooner or later you will want to put an end to it, and you will start to hope more and more for meeting that special someone, who will stand out from all the rest and will make you want to stop going on any more dates.
But how do you know which, if any, of the people you have been seeing is that special someone? One way to determine this is to go back to the above definition of love and ask yourself – whose company do you really miss? When you see something interesting or when you think of something funny – who do you want to share it with asap? Who, if anyone, are you thinking of when you are alone? If one person out of all those you have been going out on casual dates with stands out, then that might be the person who have feelings for. While this alone might not be enough to have a committed relationship, and surely it takes two to tango in order to make it work, this is a good start. Continuing seeing anyone who you don’t feel that way about, if you are in fact on a mission of finding someone special, will be a temporary distraction and waste of time.
You may think “Duh, that’s kind of obvious – when you love someone, you want to be with them”, and you will be right. But sometimes we need to be reminded of that which is obvious in order to make the right choice in a confusing situation. Further, plugging your dating situation into the above definition of love will force you to not just rely on a hunch, but to really think and analyze how you feel about whoever you have been spending time with lately. “He/she is cute” or “He treats me nicely” or “She is hot” is not going to cut it anymore.