"The Definition of Love" by Madelyn Moore

March 11, 2018

Feeling love for the first time can be scary, exciting, and nerve-wracking all at once. Even if it’s not the first time. But does what I’m feeling actually qualify as love? Can “love” really be reduced to a single sentence in the dictionary?

Is it possible to confine the word “love” into one generalized definition? To put it into a fixed box? What qualifies as love, and what has to be done to show it? That’s just a small glimpse of what my Google search history has looked like for the past few weeks. Seriously, trying to determine whether or not you’re in love with someone can be extremely confusing and stressful, especially when you’ve never felt it before. I mean, how am I supposed to know if what I’m feeling is just a strong case of the butterflies, or if it’s actually the real deal? Luckily, I have a close friend to convey these mushy, smushy emotions to, and luckily, she gives really great advice. As I was lying on my bed in the fetal position with tears streaming down my face while texting her with shaky hands, she said something I’ll never forget. She told me that love is whatever you perceive it to be. If you decide that love means feeling a hole in your chest when you’re not with that person, then that’s love. If you decide that love is how you feel the most like yourself when you’re around that person, then that’s love. Coming to terms with the fact that you are, in fact, in love can be super intimidating at first, and definitely a little surreal, but, hey, your heart doesn't lie. Just don't forget to protect your heart through this bizarre whirlwind of emotions. Reframe society’s definition of love and make it your own. Oh, and don’t love people who don’t deserve it.

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