The Spectrum of Love


I am no expert on love.

Well, nobody is, but most of us probably have had enough heartbreaks, what ifs, and could bes to try to have an understanding of it. What is love, exactly? Is it the enduring friendship that began with two intoxicated beings having a one-night stand followed by a morning cuddle that is too comfortable to be let go? Is it the overly attaching relationship dating back from, what, 8 to 11 years ago? — the kind where your first ‘love’ made his or her way to meet you in the altar? Is it the short-lived romance filled with great conversations and night outs that involve some pizza e birra here and there?

The experience of love comes distinctively across different sets of people. Like permutation, where with just a few variables, one can make hundreds of possible combinations out of it. It probably is an unbelievably wide spectrum full of varieties that looks like a line made of dots. Our version could be on any of those dots. Every single person would definitely have his or her idea of love, and no one’s version is better or worse than the other.

Love can both be a tall glass of gin and tonic shared on a laidback food joint on a seaside, and the fingers, slowly running through one’s hair, every night before bedtime until both of them/us fall asleep.

Is there only one “true love” or “the right one”?

Does love have to come in a complete package with possession?

Can you “love” someone without actually having him or her?

Can there be a better kind of love?

All of us have different cases. We might choose the fiery, full of intoxicated nights followed by passionate kisses kind; or perhaps, the altruistic, arranged, straightforward companionship kind.

My mother used to tell me, that my grandmother, the iron lady that she was, used to get irritated a lot by my late grandfather. Back in those days in the 1980s, whenever she gets angry, he would carry her on his arms, all the way through their bedroom. She would still be mad, but he did not care. He just wanted to respond to her anger with a smile. Now that is definitely love too. Perhaps, on one of the furthest ends of the spectrum.

Here’s one of my favourite writings about the concept of love, and especially “soulmates”, written by Salman Aristo more than 10 years ago.

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