What is love?

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Before I answer that question, I should start by saying that out of all the holidays, Valentine’s Day is among my least favorite. It sucks for single people, it sucks for coupled off people, it sucks for little kids, it just sucks.

It does. I mean really, hearts and arrows and candy and flowers, is that love?

Fine, fine. I’m not completely made of stone. I have loved. I have loved a lot actually. Some may even say too much. I have lost, been burned, forgotten, remembered, taken for granted, and bawled my eyes out. All over love.

I just don’t see where a box of chocolates can adequately compensate all of that.

Martin Buber wrote about love. He said that love could not be quantified. Isn’t that funny? He said you couldn’t measure it with any instrument. He defined love as the simple action of turning to your partner with the wholeness of your being.

This always makes me think of that song “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” Turn around. Every now and then I get a little bit terrified, but then I see the look in your eye…

Anyway, the only reason I read Martin Buber was because I was forced to. I took a philosophy class to impress a girl. Only, I almost failed the class and nearly gave the professor a heart attack when I turned in an MLA-styled paper.

It was a good paper though.

I remember reading it out loud to that girl. I think the main gist of it was that although I did agree with Buber on how you couldn’t love someone from here to there, this much, or that much, it was still important to love constantly, incessantly and relentlessly. To love through thick and thin and pain and joy. To just love.

Not bad for an English major trying her hand at philosophy, right?

Well, it didn’t work.

Not for the professor, for my classmates and surprisingly not the girl. She thought it was all nice and wonderful on paper, but wasn’t about to believe any of it.

So I vowed to spend the rest of my life proving my theory, all while still desperately trying to impress that same girl with my words:

I love you.

And, I’m not just saying that because today I’m told I should.

I’m telling you because I can’t stop loving you, every day.

Quite simply, you are my favorite person in the whole world.

Not Reese Witherspoon.

I don’t even know Reese.

Her breath could be stinky for all I know.

It’s you.

My best friend, my therapist, my joy, my lover, my secret keeper, my muse.

You’re my absolute favorite.

You.

Because I love everything about you.

Because every love song describes you.

Because everyday I find myself loving you more than the last.

Because you make us, us.

And I like us, a lot.

So, I don’t know if that fits into any philosophical writing.

I don’t know if that’s even an accurate definition of love.

But, I do know I want to spend the rest of my life trying to find its meaning with you.

Will you not be My Valentine tomorrow and just be by my side, gulp, forever?

Never before seen, unapproved picture. Uh oh.

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