Love is something that means very different things to different people. For some, love can be purely romantic, or even purely sexual. For others, real love is utterly unconditional and only truly exists between family members, or between people and a deity. And for some people, love is fluid, ever changing, and everywhere, and is felt for family, friends, partners, pets, and even inanimate objects, dead artists, and fictional characters. None of these people would be right or wrong, but one thing is certain: love is the most powerful force in the entire universe.
Between partners of any description, be they married or cohabiting, boyfriend and girlfriend, straight or gay, young or old, love is a relationship of mutual understanding and respect. Marriages and partnerships are often built on common ground that people find when they first meet; this can be as deep as sharing religious, philosophical or religious beliefs, or as simple as finding that you love the same film, book, or band.
This kind of love is often reliant on some kind of ‘chemistry’: that strange feeling that they give you in the pit of your stomach, and the feeling that nothing in the world is more important to you than enjoying the moment you’re in together. Some people feel that they experience love at first sight, where they know from the minute they set eyes on each other that they want to to be with that person, but something built on common interests and understanding must be stronger.
A parent’s love for a child can also often be described as love at first sight, but this is very strong because it comes from a natural instinct to protect our offspring. This love can often start before the baby is even born: you only have to look at the pride and excitement of many parents-to-be when they have their scans and feel their baby kick for the very first time. This kind of love is also felt by a child for its mother; it is unconditional for at least the first few years of life, and can also be felt between siblings.
It is the strength of this feeling that makes love the most powerful emotion that most of us will ever experience. People can do some dreadful things out of hate and fear, but love can push us to do much, much worse. And it is often love that can cause us to hate, whether it’s out of jealousy, or anger because our loved one has been hurt. Love, ultimately, is a sacrifice, whatever the relationship, and it must be the most powerful force in the universe because as human beings, we make true sacrifices for nothing less.