I'm a big advocator for love. I'm a very "emotional dreamer" like person, so you can probably deduce that I happen to like talking about love a lot.
I will confess, I've never been in love, nor am I in love with anyone right now. I experience the most beautiful aspects of love with my family and friends of course, but I also experience its most purest forms when I see breathtaking scenery, or when I read a good book, or when I hear someone sing songs or read poetry.
I however, have been around many people who have thought they were in love, but realize they actually weren't after being away from the person they were once sentimental about.
I have this theory to propose. The theory that we think we can declare that we are in love the moment we feel different about someone.
I think that we just happen to fall in love with our ideas of people, not who they are.
Most of the time, and I feel that I catch myself doing this as well, we come up with images or visions of people in the way we like to see them. If they don't follow after these dream like depictions of them that we have, we often deny that anything's wrong, we just blame their "flaws" on a bad day. Once we see that these flaws become reoccurring ones, we start to realize that this whole time, we've been thinking of this person to be one way, when in fact that version of them only ever existed in our heads, funny right? How we could possibly have fallen in love this whole time with the person we thought they were. The version of themselves they thought would be most presentable to disclose to us. The most beautiful mask they could put on, not to cover up their identity, but to filter out the bad things about them.
I may have never been in love, but I don't think this has anything to do with love at all. At least, not our love for other people. Just the type of love we have for ourselves.
I honestly think that it's a good thing when people take the time to stop and think before jumping into situations because as much as we think we know everything about ourselves, we really don't. We go into automatic protection mode when people don't seem to be fit with our expectations of them. That is when I feel we are not ready for love, whether it may be romantic or platonic, we simply need to sit and listen to others first before we can claim something to be rooted in love.
For me, being rooted in love means many things, but here are 2 things that I feel are most important when loving others:
1) That you would give something up for them. No, that doesn't mean that just because we think we can give everything up that something is rooted in love. When you give something up for someone without choosing to let yourself be glorified for it, that is love. When you decide to stop smoking because you know how much it'd mean to them. When you realize that you would be better off hanging with the right people. When you stop and listen to what they have to say. When you show up to a meeting on time because you want to show them that they're important.
2) That you would be accountable for them. Sometimes it's important to realize that people need our help, or need us to hear them out, but they don't always like telling us because nowadays opening up means you're a burden, and altruism is interpreted as weakness. When we become accountable for others and allow them to realize that we're there for them no matter what, it just becomes a natural thing for love to develop properly. Most of the time, saying you're there for someone doesn't help much. Showing them that you are, like listening to them talk about their day, giving them advice for a decision they want to make when they ask for help, or helping support them during exam season, allows you to show that you love someone genuinely.
Love is not meant to be a breeze. It comes when we least expect it.