Stronger than Love

I recently came across the questions – Is there an English word that is means more than love?

The easy answer is – no, English sucks big time in that way.  So many other languages have multiple (dozens!) of words for “love.”  Not English.  Lame!

But then I started really thinking about it.  Why?  Why do we need a word stronger than love?  What is love?

unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another

That sounds pretty complete and deep to me.  Why should we need a word that means more than that?  Unselfish, loyal, and benevolent concern.  If a man loved me that much, what else is there?

I think it’s because we throw that word around so much.  Teenagers who’ve been dating each other for, like, three minutes profess their love to each other.  It’s haphazardly used on those we feel strongly about, are attracted to, or lust after, but we really don’t know all that well.  I’ve even heard that some people use that word so they can get what they want from the other sex.

And then, our emotions about so many other (less meaningful) things in life have become so exaggerated.  “My new iPhone is the greatest thing on the planet!”  “I would literally die if I didn’t buy these shoes!”  “These tacos are life!”

Is it because we have attached the word “love” to things which don’t actually deserve such a word?  “I LOVE my new pen!”  “OMG!  You would LOVE this recipe!”  “I’m totally in love with the character on this new TV show!”  Somehow, these don’t seem to fit with the above definition.  They cheapen the love that is shared by an adoring couple who are committed and devoted to each other.

I think what we should do is use alternative words which mean less than love.  “These tacos are amazing!  I’m so glad I tried them!”  “Those shoes are so terribly cute!  I really want to add them to my already ridiculously massive collection.”  “This recipe makes the most delicious dessert – you won’t be disappointed if you try it.”  Have we over-used the word “love” (and thereby lessened it) out of sheer laziness and lack of creativity?

I like the definition above.  I think I might print it out and keep it.  Unselfish, loyal, and benevolent concern for another.  If I can find someone about whom I feel like that (and who feels that way about me), I will know that I’ve found the one.  I will have found love.

 

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