I recently read a blog post in the Weddings section of The Huffington Post titled “Do We Really Know What Love Is?” It’s a provocative title and an even more provocative entry. Vicki Larson begins by saying:
Love is why we marry, or at least that's what many of us believe. . .That's fine except, what is love? Many of us are stumped to define it, and even those of us who can define it often find that others may not agree with our definition. Yet we all have an idea of what love is.
A friend, a college professor who teaches a class in love, says her students are terrified of having to define love, terrified by the idea that love should even be defined. Hate, narcissism -- they have no problem agreeing on definitions for those. But love? They shrug, a defeatist shrug, and say, "Well, it's different for everyone."
Is it? If love is different for everyone, then what love are we talking about when we're building a marriage around it or divorcing because we no longer have it? What love are we talking about when we insist people marry "for love"?
It got me thinking––what is my “definition” for love? One of my favorite reflections on love comes from the writer Marguerite Yourcenar who described her ideal partner as:
someone who bolsters our courage and approves, or sometimes disputes, our ideas; who shares with us, and with equal fervor, the joys of art and of living, the endless work which both require, never easy but never dull; someone who is neither our shadow nor our reflection, nor even our complement, but simply him/her self; someone who leaves us ideally free, but who nevertheless obliges us to be fully what we are.
What is your understanding of love? Your partner’s understanding? Can you put it into words? Let your understanding of love guide you in creating your ceremony.