Originally posted on February 7th, 2017 on Her Campus UCF.
The word “love” is often feared due to the pressure of emotional attachment. Most would agree that the only thing scarier than falling in love, is finding out that you are not loved back. But what does that mean exactly? Well to one person, it might mean that the guy they’ve been crushing on doesn’t have mutual feelings. For others, it might mean that no matter how much time and effort they put into a friendship, it might not be reciprocated. On the contrary, it could be less severe and mean that the puppy you’ve been admiring in the park wants no part of your attention.
Each of these scenarios lead to drastic changes in how it affects your mood. These downers could last from minutes to months, depending on the weight of the situation. That lead me to wonder why. Why do all of these situations inquire unique changes in one’s mood if they are all based on love? It’s because love is one of the most powerful emotions in existence, and holds the ability to manipulate feelings in thousands of different ways. Simply, no two loves are the same.
If you asked me my opinion on love six months ago, I would have broken down in tears. Fresh out of my first relationship, I was convinced that the two years I spent in it were all fraud. But time goes on and people change, and the growth made is the most important thing that could happen. Two and a half years ago, my best friend at the time turned into my first boyfriend. Still awkward teenagers, fresh out of puberty, our 14 and 15 year-old selves didn’t know what we were getting into. We made mistakes, and we fixed them, but we never knew how to love.
“Love” was a term that we tossed around like a softball, letting it come up whenever and as often as possible. It seemed sweet and endearing, and was always the perfect phrase to use to solve all of our arguments. Yet because of this, its meaning got smaller and smaller with every use. There is nothing wrong with expressing emotion, but throwing it around in the wrong context gave it a new meaning to us. The word holds such a power that is deserves much, much more than this.
I do believe I was in love during my first relationship. We cared about each other and were each other’s best friends. Yet every love is different and I would not use the same word to compare my previous relationship and my current one. As I have grown in the past three years, I have brought the word “love” on the journey with me. Each love is different, as the word holds such a powerful position in society. I love puppies. I love Disney World. I love my family. I love my friends. But I don’t love them all in the same way. It’s incredible that such a term has been used to compare passion towards a human being, as well as a favorite food. Which leads me to believe that the word is one that is ever changing.
I was happily in love in my past relationship at the time. I am happily in love in my current relationship now. Yet these two loves are the farthest things from similar. The love I felt in the past is nowhere near as raw and as emotional as the love I feel now, yet that doesn’t invalidate how I felt in a specific moment 15 months ago. Maybe it’s a factor of time, but I’m a firm believer in the evolution of vocabulary.
The love your best friend shows to their boyfriend is a different love that they show you, yet the power the word holds remains equivalent. Love is powerful and everyone is lucky enough to experience it in it’s different forms each and every day. Don’t let the stigma of the word scare you from expressing your true feelings towards anything and everything. Love your pet. Love your favorite pasta dish. Love your grandmother. Love your fuzzy socks. Love your kindergarten teacher. Love your boyfriend or girlfriend. Love yourself. But most importantly, don’t be scared of the word “love”. It’s powerful, but you hold the right to acknowledge it in whichever means necessary to fall in love with the word “love”.