What is love? Baby don’t hurt me!

The thing is love does not solve problems. Love makes life worth living, that’s it. Love doesn’t solve anything. Being in love, feeling love towards something, for something or someone, is not an indicator of compatibility.

Love does not solve relationships. As thick as it may sound, relationships have nothing to do with love and it is often that they are hurt by love, more than they are helped.

This is not a popular view. The unattractiveness of this idea is because love confers meaning to life itself. Then there is yet another, more deeply rooted, belief that meaning will solve problems. Of course, it doesn’t. Meaning by the way, creates more problems. Just ask any committed person about the sacrifices they made. Ask any artist about how their emotional life is. Committed people and artists are some of the most meaningful people and yet this doesn’t fix anything for them. On the contrary, it is a constant struggle to keep the meaning afloat in the ocean of meaninglessness.

People use to say: if you love me you wouldn’t do this this for/with/to me. People also use to say: if you love me you should do this for/with/to me.
Some people even say: if you love me you will do this this for/with/to me.

And this is where it gets complicated: we do everything. We can do anything. But relationships are not about what we do but about how we act.

How we act in a relationship matters more than what we do. The acting part is that “for/with/to me” part. You can do anything. But you will act a certain way when you do it for someone, or with someone or to someone. And “the way we act” is a nice popular way to talk about: behaviors.

Strong relationships have compatible behaviors. Compatible feelings do not help the relationship, they just start it.

Behaviors are very complex. They are hard to discover in the first place. They are embedded in our personality and they always, always show up uninvited. Then they cover multiple areas at once. A behavior that breaks everything at work, is great at home. A behavior that solves your sexuality wreaks havoc emotionally. While being good somewhere and bad somewhere else, behaviors must be active in both places to work. You cannot deactivate behavior by just deciding if it applies.

Behaviors are very complicated. They stem from early childhood. They are interconnected and intertwined. Most of the times they inherit from other behaviors, and the root ones are heavily influenced by parents and extended family. Behaviors sometimes grow branches and become impossible to remove because you cannot devise a smart enough incision into your personality.

Love is patient, you are anxious because life is short. Love is kind, you are mean because you are defensive. Love isn’t jealous, it doesn’t brag, it isn’t arrogant, it isn’t rude. But you will be, no matter how hard you try. Jealous because you are insecure. Bragging because you don’t know who you are. Arrogant because you think you know who you are and rude because you do know who you are. Love doesn’t seek its own advantage, you do because you have a subconscious plotting its own life. Love isn’t irritable, but you are throwing tantrums when the world doesn’t stop for you. Love doesn’t keep a record of complaints. Oh, but how accurate you are, wishing inside to never hear the things you can’t unhear. Love isn’t happy with injustice, but it is happy with the truth. You are the one who can’t handle the truth and who’d do anything to sweeten the justice. Love puts up with all things, trusts in all things, hopes for all things, endures all things. But you put up with some things, for a while. You hope for whatever will prove you right. You endure what you can’t avoid and resent every second of it.

Love never fails. You will fail because you are not love, but a mere human trying to cope.

Coping is the basic behavior and it is formed when you are a bundle of joy horrified of starving to death. All the ways in which you’ll act exactly not like love, will be the slow, certain death of your relationship. 1 Corinthians 13:4–8 describes this dreaded path in its purest form. Love is this bully that snaps you from the strings inside you never knew you had and puppets you into being everything you’re not.

Keeping the relationship of your life is a far greater achievement than finding the love of your life. But love makes life worth living. There’s our riddle.

What is love? Just don’t hurt me.