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What is Love? Definition of Love in a Relationship

What is Love in Relationships

L-O-V-E. Four letters. One word. Several meanings. Several stories. 

The purest of emotions, the deepest of feelings, the highest of ideals. 

The subject of the misguided profession, the object of undue affectation. 

Passion. Pleasure. Pain. Bond. Blood. Bliss.

You can’t quite manage to fully capture the extent of this state but once the strings of your heart are tugged, there’s very little left to do. ‘Head over heart’, ‘Mind over matter, yet Cupid strikes the best of us ever so cleanly.

Companionship is one of man’s primal desires and in our quest for kin, we find love. As emotional beings, however, we sometimes find it difficult to properly identify and put a name to our feelings. Sometimes, it could be infatuation, at other times admiration, sympathy, or even outright delusion. 

Due to the combination of our hearts being in a constant state of flux, the shared features of these feelings, and the human factors of care, attention, support, etc. that may be provided in and around these periods, it is possible to assume that what is felt is ‘love’ when, in fact, the heart feels strongly for the individual in question but not quite in a manner to be explored romantically.

True love is the perfect form of love, without ifs or buts. Patient, kind, unwavering, timeless, irrational. It is what religion and faith try to draw on as a principal tenet. It is being loved for merely existing and no more. It is familial, satisfying in the presence, and reassuring in the absence.

It takes on all sorts of forms and along the way, loses a bit of its essence to charge.

The thing with charge, however, is that it could be positive or negative; weak or strong; static or fluid. However, unlike electricity, it is hardly ever neutral. As a matter of fact, indifference may mean there’s no way back in a once-romantic relationship.

What is Love in a Relationship?

Love in a relationship is a charged form of love that is expressed romantically. It takes a lot of trust, vulnerability, and shared will to preserve the fervor of love, and is an extremely heated emotion on both sides of the divide. It is active, endearing, passionate, and intense, and has the potential to be just as brutal, especially if unrequited or disrespected. 

It is unique to the partners in the relationship and thrives when nurtured adequately. It is shared and is the active ingredient in every romantic relationship, providing a solid foundation upon which the union is built. It deepens with an understanding of each partner’s demands and the willingness of both partners to meet each other halfway. 

The points listed above, including: ‘passion’, ‘pleasure’, ‘pain’, ‘bond’, ‘blood’, and ‘bliss’ would be discussed subsequently in the manners by which they relate to the concept of ‘love’.

1. Passion

The defining characteristic of love in a relationship is passion. It is the desire and longing that pervades each partner’s soul and burns in their hearts. The optimism and zeal to go the distance together, regardless of obstacles that the lovers may face… It is the confidence that dating teens have that what they have together will last forever. It tends to be blinding and blushing, especially in the early stages. Most aged couples struggle to recapture the passion of their youth because even a semblance of that can inject vitality and fresh life into any relationship.

2. Pleasure

It is an extremely delightful experience to find a partner to pour your heart into. With life comes a desire to create memories, share wins or losses, give and receive comfort, take risks, try out new things, explore, and basically share parts of oneself with others. The thrill of doing this with a partner and the feeling it brings is what is captured here.

The evening strolls, getaway trips, movie dates, enjoying each other’s company in silence, hearty meals shared, and soulful conversations had, among others all helped to heighten the pleasure felt by both partners beyond the attraction they have for each other.

There is a reason sexual relations between romantic partners are called ‘lovemaking’.

3. Pain

To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering, one must not love. But, then one suffers from not loving. Therefore, to love is to suffer, not to love is to suffer, and to suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love, to be happy, then, is to suffer, but suffering makes one unhappy, therefore, to be unhappy one must love, or love to suffer, or suffer from too much happiness…’ The above quote from Woody Allen is a perfect description of the pain that is felt as a result of love.

Even in death, love festers. It is said that grief is love persevering and even that is pain.

4. Bond  

More than we like to admit, a cord connects us to those with whom we have shared moments of intimacy. We attempt to explain it away in a flush, referring to it as a ‘soft spot’ or ‘momentary distraction’ for old times’ sake but because the flames of love might not be totally extinguished, it is not rare to find old flames get reignited. This is proof that connections exist in love; emotional and otherwise.

5. Blood 

Blood, here, is representative of sacrifices. Partners, who are very often sources of joy to each other are also reasons to make sacrifices, some more demanding than others.  They range from ‘trivial’ issues like music tastes to life-defining sacrifices like settling for certain careers or cities to accommodate one’s partner’s needs.

6. Bliss

To cap it off, romantic relationships are intended to end in bliss beyond the challenges that may be faced along the way.

To indicate interest and sustain a connection with love interests, it is important to understand the concept of love languages.

They include words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch.

They are active expressions of love in the native language of our partners or intended partners, without necessarily having to spell it out. It is so important that we speak their preferred language and do so in their dialect too because love lies not just in being gratified but in extending some to your partner.

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