What is love?

After tackling ‘What is the measure of success?’, Hà Nội Scribbles examines another big issue: what is love?

Having the question posed by a friend recently, it got me wondering what do we really mean by that four letter word?

It has been long established that the emotion we call love is initially produced by a chemical imbalance in the brain. With hormones working over time and clouding the issue, perhaps a better question, for another day, might be how do you keep love fresh and alive?

Love and fireworks in Ha Noi, VietnamI can only offer my own stuttering experience in affairs of the heart. Without getting too nausea-inducing, my definition of love would be the object of your affectations being the first person you think of in the morning and the last person you think of at night. (In a positive way, obviously.) Admittedly, this is easier if they are lying right there beside you.

So far so good. But what else does it mean?

Long walks on the beach. Cuddling on the couch. Making each other laugh. Being silly. Breakfast in bed on a Sunday.

Respect. Sharing the load. Overlooking the other’s flaws and annoying little habits.

Talking. Being interested in each other. Dancing in the kitchen when your favourite song comes on.

Giving each other space. Communicating. Being truthful. Talking about how you feel.

Sharing. Having the same goals, values and aspirations. Working together as a team. Making sense as a team in the first place.

Feeling like the other person makes you whole. Generally being awesome when you are together…

I am no expert. What I have imparted is merely what I have discovered along the way on life’s bumpy journey.

Maybe your experience has been completely different. Maybe I have copied these ideas out of a Mills and Boon romantic novel.

Who can tell with 20:20 vision the perspective of another person?

We can only walk in our own shoes and trust that life’s journey isn’t too hazardous along the way.

And before anyone asks, broken hearts can be mended, and, yes, there are plenty other fish in the sea. For life is far too short to harbour negative feelings. They are exhausting and a complete waste of time, brains and energy.

As I am often wont to suggest in these circumstances: be like a dog, kick some grass over what you have left behind and move on.

So there you have it: love is more than a hormone-driven state of affairs. It is both tangible and intangible. As paradoxical as that sounds, we are the poorer for its absence in our life.

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