Think you are falling a little harder for your partner or is it just the nerves? We spoke to seven women to know their take on the timeless questions - What is love?
“Love is sticking around when things get tough.”
43 years, Writer, Married
“Most people say that love dies once you get married. That’s a myth. After tying the knot, love just takes a turn, a more secure and beautiful one. Love is in the small stuff. Like when he stays up late waiting for you, after you’ve stormed out of the house after a fight with him. Never mind that you’ve been driving around the city like an insane person, with your mobile switched off. It’s love when, even though he’s mad as hell, he’s sick with worry and just wants you back home safe. Love is when he looks at you like you are the most beautiful woman in the world, just after you have given birth to his child. You know you look bloated, tired, bedraggled, exhausted, drained, and are at your worst, but to him, you’re still as beautiful as you were when you first met. Love is when he cooks a meal for you and the children, and irons their uniforms because he knows that you are working on a deadline. It’s writing a poem for you on your birthday even after you’ve been together for 19 years. It’s sticking around even when things are at their crankiest, angriest, worst. Love is when someone believes in you and truly cherishes you...forever.”
Falling in love can bring on the same euphoric feelings as using cocaine, and it only takes a fifth of a second, according to a study by Syracuse University.
“The secret is in ‘and they lived’.”
51 years, Writer, Married
“When people talk about love, it’s usually in reference to being blown away with all the butterflies and excitement and romance. But the first flush of love can start to feel constrictive over time. One concept every new couple romanticises is that of growing old together. For me, the key to love lies in that ‘growing’, and allowing a lot of space for the other person to grow as well. To share your life with someone doesn’t mean you both have to live the exact same life. It doesn’t even mean that you have to want to do the same things, or be with the same people all the time. It just means that you care enough to allow each other to have happy, independent lives that come together, in ways that you choose for them to. To get to ‘and they lived happily ever after’, the secret lies in the words ‘and they lived’—very full, individual lives.
“Love is a big, fat riddle that needs figuring out.”
16 years, Student, Single
“Love is elusive and so confusing because addiction and attraction, desires and dreams, they all attach themselves to one another. Love is a book, a song, a place, an art form; love is in ideas and dreams. You love people, and you fall in love with people, and then there seems to be a grey area in the middle where you know you definitely more than ‘like’ someone, but aren’t ready to call it ‘being in love’ yet. You’ve never felt this way before, but is the strength of your feelings because you’re older or because you’re in love? When life seems like a book or a movie, have you fallen in love? Can you fall in love and then move on, and shortly fall in love again? Love is a big, fat riddle that needs figuring out.”
“Even after two years, we still have to prove our love from time to time.”
25 years, Marketing Manager, in a live-in relationship
“My boyfriend and I have been in love for two years and we still have
to prove it to each other from time to time. But that shows that we want this relationship to work. Sometimes, I fall asleep on the couch after a big row with him, and I wake up in bed the next morning. I know he’s the one who carried me in the middle of the night, and it’s his way of saying that the fight is over and he is sorry. One morning I looked at him the way I do whenever I need reassurance that he loves me. I started saying, ‘Baby, do you...’ But before I could complete my sentence, he said, ‘You look beautiful. I’m going to make an egg-white omelette for you because I’d like to take care of you.’ ‘Won’t that make you late for work?’ I asked. ‘It will, but I can’t imagine you hungry.’ That’s love.”
“Love is being best friends.”
22, Student, in a long-distance relationship
“‘What is love?’ is probably the toughest philosophical question out there. It’s the one riddle we’re all trying to figure out, no? Well, for me—and I talk from personal experience—love is friendship. At the risk of being mocked for quoting Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, love is being accepted for who you are. And no, that’s not a cliché, it’s the truth. My boyfriend is my best friend. We have inside jokes, we make fun of each other, and we share everything under the sun. He’s the person I turn to for fashion advice, and he’s also the one I b*tch and complain to when my girlfriends are behaving badly or p*ssing me off. He’s the one I call when I’m having a bad day and he’s also the one I call when something amazing happens. And even though we’re in a long-distance relationship, we make it work, because we’re friends. Love requires commitment and compromises. Luckily for me, he’s the one that makes most of them.”
“When you have a baby, you understand the true meaning of love.”
32, Communications Lead, new mother
“The affection a mom feels for her newborn is indescribable. Albeit overwhelming, it is perhaps the most exhilarated one can ever feel. I certainly felt that way when my husband and I welcomed our little newbie into the world recently. Not quite three months yet, she is already babbling, gurgling and has us all wrapped around her little finger! It’s a love like no other—the sort which makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. Of course, babies can be a lot of hard work. I no longer have time for anything but her—not to answer the phone, to catch up with friends, or even take a minute or two for myself—and it can be exhausting. But one look into those twinkling eyes, and all my anguish disappears. Not only has my daughter taught me to be a mother, she has also taught me to look at my own mother—and our relationship—differently. A fondness which can reinforce existing relationships...that, in my opinion, is pure, unadulterated love!”
“Love is free of labels and free of circumstance.”
27, Journalist, recently engaged
“Describing love is difficult. It’s many things—feelings, attraction, chemistry. But if I had to put a finger on it, I would say that love is a feeling that can’t and shouldn’t be justified with labels; it’s free of circumstance. I met my fiancée eight and half years ago, and even though he knew within the first few months that he wanted to spend his life with me, it took me till last month to actually take the plunge. It’s simple—I love him because he is just him, not because he’s my boyfriend, or because he’ll be my husband soon. Even if we weren’t getting married, I would still love him the same. And I know he would too. That’s why we’ve stayed together this long.”
According to a recent research, couples who say ‘I love you’ 10 times a week are happier. Well, there you have it.