What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Love… That age-old question… What is love? Well, in a word, it’s “benevolence.” That is, it’s the desire to do good to and for others… to offer something better to the person than what they had before. Unfortunately, though, we all too often base “love” on feelings alone, rather than what love truly is.

Quite often, when someone says that they are in love, they are more often referring to that biological feeling they get when the dopamine (pleasure) and norepinephrine (fluttering heart) kick in, along with lower levels of serotonin. This causes the phrase “love is blind” to come to life. It’s true, because the neural networking area of our brains that assess other people are basically put on the back burner and, just like people with OCD, we begin to obsess about the other person. This lower level of serotonin (depression) is not to be confused with higher levels of serotonin during sexual activity (aggression), which is not to be confused with balanced levels which bring about feelings of relaxation and/or sleep. Serotonin is all over the place! Since I’m talking about sex, there’s also estrogen (desire, generally for women), testosterone (desire for both men and women), oxytocin (bonding/trust), and a few other things that will come into play.

But, I digress….

Question: What is the one gift that you can give to someone who has everything?


I mentioned benevolence, above. Do you think that the couple who has been married for fifty or sixty years, who truly love one another, were driven throughout their relationship by the chemicals mentioned above?

Reminds me of a story. I met an old couple at a restaurant one time and was invited to sit with them. We were discussing relationships and the topic of “divorce” came up. He spoke right up. He proudly said that the word “divorce” never entered into their thoughts. She turned to look at him, briefly, and then turned to me and said, “Yeah, but the word “murder” came up a few times.”

How often do you serve the person that you say you love? That’s probably an easy question to answer, if you’re in the first couple of months (up to 18, on average) of that relationship. We do our best (most times) to impress the other person by serving them. We make ourselves better looking for them, so they can dwell on our presence with some amount of joy. We’re right there, on the spot if they need someone to talk with. We go out of our way to help them with even the smallest thing, giving them an “Aw Shucks” attitude when they return our gesture with a smile and possibly a kiss, acting like we are this way all of the time.

What happens after that brief honeymoon period (time is relative) is over? The honeymoon turns into a “honey do” (or even a “honey due”) phase. And why not? You were trying to impress them all along with your goodness and your charm. Did that vehicle, one day, run out of fuel to continue on? Our divorce rates and social anxiety problems, in regard to relationships, seem to indicate that’s what happens.

But I digress…

By the way, the answer to that question above, about giving that gift to someone who has everything… the answer is: A better version of yourself. Think of that. It doesn’t exist until you offer it. It’s something better than what they had before. It may have been there all along, but it simply wasn’t recognized by the other person until you said or did something that opened his or her eyes.

How often do you serve someone?

Do you serve them because you think you have to, or because you choose to of your own free will? The parent serves the child. The child serves the parent. Neither really has to (Unfortunately, we’re seeing this more and more often in the news.). The loving couple serves one another and the really “lucky” ones get the chance to do it for a very long time, regardless of highs and lows throughout the relationship.

Also, did you know that there is no such thing as “luck”? There is such a thing as “hard work,” though. There is such a thing as “pain” as well. It hurts and can be considered work when one has to bite his or her own tongue. This goes both ways: in speaking (choosing your words properly) as well as listening (that is, not listening well, and answering with a knee jerk response in an ill manner).

It all gets down to this: How do you serve the one that you say you love? Here’s a more difficult question for some to answer: How easily do you accept the gifts offered to you by the one(s) who love you? Sometimes it’s easier to give than to receive.

Love cannot always say, “I love you because of what you do for me.” Rather, love, at times, must say, “What can I do for you?” And love follows through.

It’s that simple!

By the way, guys… I’ve heard it said that doing the dishes (all of them), WITHOUT BEING TOLD TO, can actually lead to sex. It doesn’t have to, but it can. Now, think about doing them a couple times a week, and maybe even taking the trash out, or fixing something. I’ll let your mind go crazy with the possibilities from there.


This article originally appeared in my “Critical Thought For Your Life” blog, over on blogger.com. I have deleted that blog and re-posted this article here.
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