Will Smith said recently:
"I was a guy who, when I was fifteen my girlfriend cheated on me and I decided that if I was number one, no woman would ever cheat on me. All I have to do is make sure that no one’s ever better than me and I’ll have the love that my heart yearns for."
So what is True Love and what motivates us to find it?
What do we expect it to be like and what are we willing to sacrifice for it?
Are you true to yourself or does the pressure and rules of society influence you when it comes to love?
These are all questions I have asked myself in time. To most I found the answers by trial and error for which I have no regret. Nothing from what a book, a close family member or friend can tell you, ever really makes sense until you don’t experience it yourself. And one thing stands true as far as I’m concerned: true love is difficult. Difficult to find; difficult to control as it is overwhelming; difficult to trust as it is too good to be true. Difficult to live without yet difficult to not want. Still, as difficult as it may be, True love is exceptionally beautiful!
True love must never be regretted. A lot of people live by the concept that true love must be/is unique and forever. I have come to conclude that sometimes true love happens for more than one reason and more than once. And every time is unique due to the why it is there for. Sometimes it comes along to simply show you it exists and to prepare you for a maturity of feelings, so when it comes to visit you again, you can recognize it and appreciate it at its true worth.
Like when we’re young and blindly in love. Some believe that young love should not be considered as we were “young and stupid. What did we know of love? We were kids.” Like Will Smith, right? I believe we are a kind of “grown up” at each stage in our lives. We were mature enough as children taking on the responsibilities of that age. Homework and friends and trying to not piss mom and dad off by taking the unnecessary risks they had always warned us of. We were smart enough to perhaps not date violent men, get pregnant and drop out of high school when we were teens. That’s also a different kind of maturity. We were level headed enough to perhaps start smoking in college but not do drugs. So why can’t we get credit for being mature and smart enough to love like no other when we were young? Younger and more pure at heart, taken aback by love, infatuated with the very idea of it. It’s that kind of exhilarating feeling that you get once in a life time, when all rules can be bent, nothing seems impossible and air wouldn’t taste the same without that man/woman next to you. And if sometimes it goes away, it is because we grow up even more. Because sometimes people need to find who they are first and they must do it on their own. Maybe some need to do it at a slower pace, but that doesn’t mean that their road to maturity made their feelings invalid and childish. This kind of young true love makes you acknowledge the limits of your power to love, just because you went at it so mindlessly and stretched them to the max. It shows you the boundaries you can cross, the inner fears you can face, the compromises you’re willing or unwilling to take. The measure of time you allow yourself to feel „it’s right”. The wisdom to simply recognize if „it’s there or not” without much confusion. Sometimes, true love comes as a lesson before true love actually settles in and we will be ready for it then. Just think: you’ll never love again like you did years ago, but secretly, you enjoy the random butterflies a new boy/girl brings in your tummy right before your mind takes over and controls everything. Growing up comes at a cost.
Of course, as usual, I am talking from personal experience not form books and Google search. I loved when I was young (about 21) and I am grateful I did because when it was gone I realized how intensely and whole heartedly I can love someone. It’s like a universe of feelings, so scary and so beautiful at the same time; I would not have it any other way. As I grew up I started mistrusting my own experience because more logical reasons took over. I calculated more than I felt, I mentally concluded what is right or wrong instead of trusting what I “saw” with the eyes of my soul in a person. And then I got married and I realized this whole logic/feeling mixture theory was a mistake. I must love like I know I can love and no other way. No other way. Being in love, being a strong couple and good partners in everyday life, respecting and caring is not enough. Not in the beginning. That man must be the universe of your feelings and from that everything else will follow. If not, then your brain will rule your relationship instead of your feelings. Not that I am saying there shouldn’t be a balance between the two. Think of love as of thick golden honey. It will glue you two together while inside you, it will smoothen your edgy thoughts, your anger, your impatience and misunderstandings, corroding them enough, slowing them down enough, melting them down when they are not worth while so when they come out of you, they are sweeter, no matter how mad you thought you were or how bad the situation is involving your loved one. Love is there to make it better.
Which brings me to the definition of love. I’m 32 years old and I still haven’t put the entire puzzle together, but I will try to define love through my eyes. Before anything let me just say that I am one of those people, like my psychology professor used to say, a person who asks questions they will never get the answers to. So you might not be able to relate to my definition as it is most likely less practical and more philosophical.
Love is something I could never put my finger on but that I’ve always known I’d recognize when I’d see it because I have wanted it all my life. However it comes to me. And I believe that if we want something badly enough, we can call it to us. Sometimes we don’t get lucky that way, but I would not give up the fight. Love frightens me sometimes, because if it’s true, it comes unexpectedly. I cannot see it and it usually springs from corners of my life I would have never suspected to hold such surprises. This kind of love makes me powerless which I hate as I always like to be strong facing my own feelings. But then again, this is where its beauty lies. If a man can get me weak in the knees and takes my sleep away, then he must be stronger than I am, different and captivating. And I don’t mean the excitement to meet someone new. No. I mean that kind of mental connection that pisses me off because I can’t control it, because it stops me from deciphering him, from building myself out of knowing him so that from behind those safety walls I observe and decide what to do next.
That man who can prevent me from building these walls because I’d be too busy bringing his down would be worthwhile my time. I love with my brain first, that’s the truth. If that happens, then the rest is history. So love to me means mirroring myself into someone else and receiving what I give. When I love, I should only fear losing it, nothing else.
Love is a purpose in my life that is why I will never settle for less than what I want, deserve and give.
As I said, we should celebrate love in all its forms and animals make no exception. After all, they do not read surveys of “10 things you need to know about a real relationship” or “15 signs you’re man is cheating”. Even better, right during courtship none of these “ladies” ever read the Cosmopolitan Special “Things that tell you he is in love with you”. I’m sure there’s a hormone somewhere in their bodies or a love pattern genetically transmitted through the ages that makes them choose one partner out of the many on display.
Perhaps we like to call it evolution or simply “animal behavior” and diminish the value of their mating games but we are not all that different. The ladies still look after big strong males, colorful plumage, intricate dance routines or nest building skills (some free food also helps! haha) and we know they enjoy a good male fight over their rights to procreation. And the gents are still after the ladies who “show it off” monkey style or the ones who ignore them and play hard to get. But usually, they just know.
So in more ways than just one they are like us and with them too, some relationships are formed for life. Beyond their primary instincts and the basic want to procreate, love in its animal form is a need. A need for companionship, safety and survival. So for February 14, here are 14 animal couples that chose to walk the long path together, with their ups and downs. Just like us J
Gibbons are the nearest relatives to humans that mate for life. They form extremely strong pair bonds and exhibit low sexual dimorphism, which means that males and females of the species are of roughly equal size, a testament to the fact that both sexes are on relatively equal footing. The coupled male and female will spend time grooming each other and (literally) hanging out together in the trees. But more recent research has found that these unions are not quite as uncomplicated as once thought. With mates occasionally philandering, and even sometimes dumping a mate, the gibbon mating culture has started to look perhaps a little bit more like ours.
Swans form monogamous pair bonds that last for many years, and in some cases these bonds can last for life. Their loyalty to their mates is so storied that the image of two swans swimming with their necks entwined in the shape of a heart has become a nearly universal symbol of love. Why birds mate for life isn't as romantic as it first appears, though. Considering the time needed to migrate, establish territories, incubation, and raising their young, spending extra time to attract a mate would minimize reproductive time.
Good looks are not a prerequisite to a faithful relationship. In fact, black vulture society makes sure of that. They have been known to attack other vultures that have been caught philandering!
You're unlikely to ever find a French angelfish alone. These creatures live, travel and even hunt in pairs. The fish form monogamous bonds that often last as long as both individuals are alive. In fact, they act as a team to vigorously defend their territory against neighboring pairs.
Often portrayed as tricksters and con artists in popular folklore, wolves have a family life that is more loyal and pious than most human relationships. Normally, packs consist of a male, a female and their offspring, essentially making wolf packs akin to a nuclear family.
An albatross may fly great distances over the oceans, but despite its extensive travels, this bird will always return to the same place — and the same partner — when it's time to breed. Pair bonds between males and females form over several years and will last for a lifetime, cemented through the use of goofy but affectionate ritual dances.
In an ant colony, a queen mates once with the male(s), stores the gametes for life, and the male ants die shortly after mating. In contrast, several species of termites can form lifelong pair bonds between a female "queen" and a single male "king" who literally give birth to their entire kingdom.
Although most rodents have a reputation for promiscuity, prairie voles break the trend, generally forming monogamous pair bonds that occasionally last a lifetime. In fact, the prairie vole is typically cited as an animal model for monogamy in humans. They huddle and groom each other, share nesting and pup-raising responsibilities, and generally show a high level of supportive behavior.
There's a reason that turtle doves come in pairs of two in "The Twelve Days of Christmas." These emblems of love and faithfulness have even inspired poetry in Shakespeare, being the subject of his poem, "The Phoenix and the Turtle."
Schistosoma mansoni worms
They may not offer the conventional image of love, but these parasitic worms are usually far more faithful than the humans they inhabit. As unromantic as it sounds, they cause the disease schistosomiasis, also known as snail fever. When they reproduce sexually within the human body, they form loyal monogamous pair bonds that typically last the entire cycle.
They are the national emblem of the United States, and when it comes to maintaining relationships, bald eagles soar much higher than the country they symbolize. Bald eagles typically mate for life, except in the event of their partner's death or impotency — a number far lower than America's divorce rate, which now exceeds 50 percent.
Beavers stay together for the kids. Not only are these loyal creatures faithful to their mates, but they’re also devoted parents. Dads don’t just go off to build dams and whatnot while moms stay at home raising the kits; both male and female beavers take an active hand in bringing up their offspring. And once those kits reach about 2 years of age, they go off to find true love of their own, and the beautiful cycle of monogamous beaver love continues.
When these slow-moving lizards enter into a committed relationship, they’re really in it for the long haul. Once a male sees a female he likes, he’ll begin to follow her, sticking by her while he courts her by gently nudging and licking her. This can go on for months before the pair even copulates. (We’re not sure how many dates that counts as, but probably a lot.) Once their bond is formed, a couple will seek each other out to mate again every breeding season. They may stay together for 20 years or longer. And when a shingleback skink dies, its surviving partner will remain by its mate's dead body for days, tenderly nudging it, perhaps trying in vain to revive it, or perhaps simply grieving
When barn owls choose each other as mates, they stick together until death. That’s terribly romantic. Their mating rituals, however, are a little more aggressive than what most of us think of as typical romance. A male barn owl initiates courtship with showy display flights and a lot of loud yelling and whistling. Then they hover around the chosen female until it’s time to mate. They’re kind of like the loud, obnoxious juiceheads you can find at any trendy bar or club. But hey, some people are into that. Who are we to judge? At least the barn owls, once they hook up, never cheat.
American tree sparrows are monogamous (one male mates with one female). Males and females form breeding pairs after they arrive at the breeding sites in the spring. Both males and female sing to attract a mate. Females become excited when males come to sing nearby. They call back to the male, making a "wehy" sound. Males may show off for females by spreading their wings and fluttering them or darting to the ground in front of the female, then flying back up to a perch.
I will conclude with a few random pictures from the animal kingdom that are self explanatory.
(: Mela :)