All Encompassing

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I recently read that the definition of love is liking, respecting and appreciating the authentic being of another. Aiding that person with cooperation during their life journey is another practice of loving someone. That sure sounds nice. But something that, on the surface, seems a little lacking when you think of how someone traditionally describes love. But let’s go with that for now.

Real friendships not only mean there are intense and deep feelings of like, respect and appreciation for each other but having real friends also means you enjoy that additional “I’ve got your back no matter what” mentality with them. Add to that, there is a level of honesty within that connection that occurs which you won’t find in connections more appropriately deemed acquaintances. Life would be harder for us if we didn’t have at least one of these kinds of friendship.

Intentional sexual connections can happen in isolated incidents, with fuck buddies or full-on committed relationships. Having these types of encounters are not only beneficial to us, but they are also enjoyable as well. Keep in mind, having any sexual encounter requires us to dictate what brings us pleasure in order for them to be satisfactory.

I’ve watched people talk about soulmates and “loving like I’ve never loved before” only to see it fizzle out fairly quickly. So were they either not in love, not friends or was it not understood that sex is fleeting and that in long term relationships without a committed effort, sex could become boring not understood to begin with? Of course, each relationship which comes to an end has many varied reasons for the demise but shouldn’t ones that we expect to be everlasting to have the qualities of love, real friendship, and sex?

And if we don’t have all these components as I mentioned above, why are we surprised that the relationships lacking one or more of them are possibly not as fulfilling as we’d like them to be?

I welcome your thoughts!

 

16 thoughts on “All Encompassing

  1. IMO, there are various types of love, meaning person-to-person love. As young people love is usually a by-product of lust, especially for the male. (I don’t have a fully developed sense of what love/lust is for the female, but I can remember a longtime girlfriend saying to me, I want this just as badly as you, I feel hollow inside, but I have to think of the consequences, you do not. Please know that. I am not saying I don’t need you or love you, I am not ready to get pregnant.) That kind of honesty helped me to understand. But it did not help my lust, only my love.
    Later on, with the relaxing of lust, and the learning of desire, then I think the physical part of love became secondary to the need for love. I still might not truly understand, but it came about that the person was far more important than the body she lived in.
    But then came the big whopper, when my wife said to me she wanted to be with me, but she did not need to be with me. For her that was a sign of ultimate love, but for me in my immaturity, it was like a low blow. How can you not need me in your life if you love me? I lost my wife, but I learned a valuable lesson. Need is not love! Need is just psychological lust. And it is as strong as teenage lust, for a man.
    Finally, one day I was able to say those very words to a woman. I choose to be with you, above all others. That was the day I discovered what mature love is. Unfortunately, when I tell this to others, not all of them understand. They need the lust, they need the need. They cannot understand choosing wanting over anything else. This makes me sad, even knowing how long it took me to understand that kind of love. But they have to learn that for themselves. It is not something one can teach.
    However, I cannot understand loving a person so much you can forgive them for hurting others, and lying for them. That one goes against who I am.

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    1. Right, we can each have different relationships. This piece hopefully clarifies there are variations. I’d never heard a good definition of love until I commented on it today. I would disagree with you about one thing, and maybe only because I’m a woman, but I understand lust is different than commitment to a relationship. Every man (and some do) should work hard to understand that their biological need does not trump a woman in a relationship. In this piece, I’ve only outlined what I’ve learned.

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      1. If I said different, then I miswrote. Biological feelings do not trump a woman’s wishes. Women should never even be driven to the point where a yes or no is necessary. Young men do not always appreciate that, and young women do not always no how to keep their rights–but that is presently a parental problem, on both sides. I can say I was never prepared for that situation in my home. Neither was the girl I wrote about. I was lucky she figured it out before things went too far. It does not always turn out that way.

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      2. Forgive my misunderstanding then! In response to what you just said, I would say that a women MUST say yes or no and that expression needs to be respected. And a man MUST hear and respect this. From what you’ve posted, I feel like you understand this. 🙂

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      3. I like to think I do. There are just so many levels a guy can screw up on. Mainly, though, most screw-ups are due to treating women like non-persons. Might is right, and lust is just, or some such egotistical feeling. I was brought up in the 50s, a particularly bad time to be a growing male. Our lessons gave us dominance. Almost 70 years on, not enough has changed.
        Thousands of generations have failed to teach males respect for others. When will that lesson be the most important one?

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      4. When Americans stop trying to “Make America Great Again!” and people of other nations stop looking back, and start looking forward. America was never great, Britain may have ruled the world but its people were still horrible people– maybe not as individuals, some were obviously good people, but en masse they were colonial bastards.
        All I am saying is conservatism works to keep us from progressing, and often causing us to regress. Liberalism is only slightly better. To succeed we need something totally new, totally different from what has come before. That means dismantling the nuclear family, but no one wants to go there with me. Parents like to think they own their children, and can teach them anything they want.
        They have a responsibility to their chidren, especially in our present society, but they do not own their children. No one owns anyone, or at least should not…

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      5. I agree! May I recommend you read “Looking Backward: 2000-1887” by Edward Bellamy? Many of the thoughts you’ve promoted here are very similar to the premise of this book. If you do check it out, would welcome your thoughts!

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  2. I am in a loving relationship. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for my partner, I can say in full confidence he feels the same. That being said, my “soulmate” was my best friend Robyn. She brought something to my life, to me I will never find again. Each of these people have shown me love in such differing ways both complete and encompassing. I have come to believe love is hard to define because who are we to tell someone else how to love or what their love should look like. That is my 2 cents. ❤ Excellent writing Susi. As always you have me thinking.

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    1. First, let me tell you that I am so very happy that you have or have had these relationships! They are what I would consider so very valuable! 🙂 Second, you are so right about how hard it is to define these relationships but only because the needs change as we experience life further. What I think about this today could be very different 10 years from now. 🙂 But the most important feeling still is did we feel loved? Thank you for your kind words, Candice! ❤

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