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  • Writer's pictureJude

Thoughts: Love and Infatuation

Updated: Dec 28, 2023

If you love a flower, don’t pick it up. Because if you pick it up it dies and it ceases to be what you love. So if you love a flower, let it be. Love is not about possession. Love is about appreciation. Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho)

I am not the type of person that is greatly inspired by a quote, however this quote on love by Osho is one of my favourites as I feel it encouraged me to look at love from a different perspective. For me Society and Media are dictators of how we should act, express and live our lives. They dictate our emotions by influencing us to act certain ways in response to a feeling or conflict involving us. In this case, love. What is love? What is the difference between love and mere infatuation? Why is love expressed so physically? After asking myself these questions I produced my own answers that take into consideration experience, outward influences and reflection. With this in mind I would like to share with you my thoughts on love.

What is love?

When I daydream about my family members an unearthly appreciation of them forces me into a trance like state. I can’t express in words how much I cherish them. This trance leads me to question the inevitable future where they won’t be present. This ominous feeling in my stomach I get when I contemplate walking the Earth without any of them feels like a bottomless pit. I don’t believe emotions are innate, but we all loosely have similar emotions and certainly within this family the feelings are mutual. The feeling I described just now is how I experience love. In relation to Osho’s quote, my sense of love is a blend of possession and appreciation. I believe once I mature it will be purely appreciation, as I will have to accept possession is limited.

But for now I want to keep what I love forever, I won’t accept things that I love being taken away. Using these examples of how I feel toward family, I compare this to others – if the feeling is not remotely similar and I’m willing to let them go I do not love them. This is where I can differentiate between love and infatuation. Infatuation is somewhat childish love, unrefined and miscalculated – you can be infatuated with anyone and the feeling not mutual. Unfortunately many people are infatuated with someone living under the guile that the emotion they share is love. This is incorrect. If the person you claim to love doesn’t share the same feeling toward you and you spend your time trying to impress them you should understand what it truly is. I feel many relationships today end simply because of this, hence I believe people should question whether it’s love or infatuation. But I have to admit sometimes infatuation can grow into love when the differences are spotted and worked on.

When we turn on our televisions in the evening time the dramas on show literally act as a guideline for most people to act accordingly to. For example – Eastenders, Coronation Street and Hollyoaks utilise stereotypical reactions to drama and reflect the worst in Society. Like striking a cheating partner or taking drugs & drinking alcohol in reaction to a losing a loved one. When it comes to love the Media and Society often push the idea of showering your loved ones with gifts, love has been commercialised – for instance Valentines Day, a special day where we are forced to spend romantically out of love for our Partners. Some people also consider price as a measurement of how much this person actually cares about them, nevertheless in reality money and love do not correlate.

It has reached a stage where people question the strength of their loved ones emotions for not purchasing what they desire, and our peers often goad us into thinking we’re being maltreated through comparison. Most people who haven’t had the chance to be spoilt due to financial reasons have experienced this disappointment. For example – the teenager who is angered because his Parents won’t buy him a Car, or the young woman who feels unloved and is reconsidering marriage because her engagement ring cost £20,000 less than her friends. Whatever the case you shouldn’t succumb to this way of thinking, although in youth it’s somewhat unavoidable.

So how do I love?

We are all different people, we work differently in our minds and even those who are considered sheep are unique when sheared. Therefore I doubt there is a universal way to love, but for me personally growing to know someone over time, sharing a mental understanding and admiring them as a person sets the stage for love. I feel picking the flower shows a desire for the physical aspect of someone whilst observing it allows you to gain an understanding of them that goes deeper than touch. Although this doesn’t mean literally do not touch them, intimacy such as intercourse before that connection is made could have the same adverse effect as picking the flower. From personal experience I can say my opinion has changed on a female after such and any chance of love has been tarnished.

Even though I described infatuation earlier as childish love I feel this is relevant to the topic hence I will run through it briefly. Plato wrote about love in his dialogue Symposium, which is a gathering/drinking party. Among the several gathered were Socrates and Alcibiades. The topic of discussion was love and everyone took turns giving a speech about it. Alcibiades offered his speech where he expressed his love or rather infatuation for Socrates. He compared Socrates to some Greek deities in reference to what made them special, including a statue of Silenus and Marsyas. Silenus’ statue was ugly in appearance but contained gold, which represents prosperity of the soul. Marsyas used a flute to cast spells.

He uses these to refer to how Socrates is, he’s ugly but what’s inside makes him so beautiful – the beauty of his mind and soul overshadows his outside appearance. The words that come out of his mouth are more powerful than spells of a deity. He also states his words were so powerful they made his soul reflect, and because of this he strives to become a better person to meet Socrates’ valuation. Despite offering himself many times Socrates turns him down. (If you don’t know, in Ancient Greece men practised pederasty – which was a masculine relationship between young men and teenage boys)

I have felt this feeling before, attracted to someone who has inspired me so much with their words I have improved myself and still do to be worthy. I also feel this with my Parents, my love for them is so grand I don’t want to disappoint hence I seek to achieve to pay them back for their kindness. When I find this feeling again and it’s mutual I will endeavour to maintain and appreciate it forever through marriage. That’s how I will love.

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