Love is a big deal, and a lot of work. It can be a source of intense happiness, but it also can lead to heartbreak. And, in addition to a feeling, it can be an action or a choice. It can be a commitment to a person, a community or a cause.
In the context of relationships, it can include everything from a deep affection for someone you know to a desire for intimate connection or even an outright crush. It may be a mixture of feelings and behaviors, or it can refer to non-human animals, to principles, or to religious beliefs. In the end, however, it’s an enduring and cherished human emotion.
As a result, it is often a loaded word with different meanings and signifiers, making it hard to define. Even the expressions it’s used for differ, with “luv ya” indicating more of an affectionate, casual love than “I love you.” In fact, the phrase has so many different meanings that it is difficult to define, especially when comparing it to other emotions.
Regardless of the exact definition, experts agree that it involves strong feelings of affection, protection and commitment. But, they disagree about the nature of those feelings, with some suggesting that love is a primary emotion while others believe it’s a complex mix of primary and secondary emotions.
One of the reasons that ‘love you’ is so fraught with meaning and implication is because it is a declaration of a commitment. Saying it means you’re prepared to put in the effort, take the risks and make sacrifices for the other person. This is a significant step, and people are often afraid to do so if they don’t feel that the other person reciprocates the feelings.
Some people are said to be always happy – a trait that is both admirable and confusing. It’s easy to assume that those who are happy aren’t crushed by life events, prone to misjudging situations or unable to enjoy the simple things.
In reality, they’re just good at managing their expectations and priorities. They’re conscious of what is important to them and they make the most of their opportunities. They stop to smell the roses and drink out of a glass that is half full, instead of worrying about whether they’ll get a better one soon enough.
And, while these people don’t seem to have it all, they probably do have a healthy dose of self-respect and self-love that gives them the strength to face difficulties without getting discouraged or turning away. Besides that, they understand the power of a genuine smile and the importance of letting go of grudges. These are the keys to a long-term, sustainable happy life. The rest is just a matter of practice and perspective.