The Mystery that is True Love

Romeo and Juliet is a timeless play by William Shakespeare; it is believed by many to be a thrilling tragedy about the true love of two unfortunate young people. Others say that killing themselves over the other's death was selfish and not an act of genuine love. According to the dictionary, true love is when a person who loves or is loved truly; like a sweetheart. This, however, cannot be accurately understood alone, which then raises the question, what is love? The dictionary would define love as a deep or tender feeling of affection, attachment, or devotion to a person or person. Although those things are true about love, they do not completely define or give any insight into what love actually is. Love has many faces and can be seen in a variety of relationships, but true love is the most rare and awe inspiring; true love is not just genuine love for someone, it is loving someone more than yourself.

To love someone more than themselves, people have to understand what love is, not just be told that love is being in love with someone, or that love is affection or devotion toward a person. A killer may have deep feelings of devotion to their victims, and a kidnapper can have tender feelings of affection for their captive but society would not call that love; they would call it insanity! To truly understand love it is necessary to look back into the first place it is found; the Bible. 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 (NAS) reads: "Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, it is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…"

This is how one of the first books written defines and describes love. Behind each part is a vast understanding that few take time to learn because it is thought to be obvious. Some in truth are more obvious, for example: patient in old English means long suffering, so when it says "love is patient" it really is saying love suffers through; "love is kind" refers to gentle behavior; "love does not envy" originally meant envy or jealousy which are both negative feelings and love cannot be found in such dark emotions; "love does not brag" (or boast) is saying that when you love someone you do not do things so society will think good of you, but rather raise your values and make choices for them; and "love is not arrogant" is saying that someone who loves is modest and expects change rather than assuming that they know everything about their partner and predicting their actions because love is not conceited or proud. Other areas are more in depth. When it says that love does not act unbecomingly it means that real love does not defy the moral and mannerly standards and thus gives by not acting rude and ill-mannered. "Love does not seek its own references" speaks about love's unselfish nature. People truly in love do not worry about their own praise, honor, gain, or happiness. This is not to say that a person loving themselves is wrong but merely that love should have a mentality of "how can I serve you?" rather than, "what will doing this get me?"

"Love is not provoked", thus it is slow to anger and does not seek to upset others. It "does not take into account a wrong suffered" says that when a person loves another, they will not seek revenge nor hold grudges. This goes hand-in-hand with the next line: "love does not rejoice in iniquity but instead rejoices in truth." That is saying that love does not take pleasure in hurting others and responds to their failures with compassion rather than ridicule and justice is positive and good but punishing is not.

"Love bears all things" original wording meant to keep confidential or cover those we love. It holds the idea of "putting up with" and loving someone should make a person try to protect not spread the failures of love ones. People in love should believe all things, meaning they should give each other the benefit of the doubt and not make decisions without significant evidence of fault. Likewise, "love hopes all things" means they should look for the good, even if it is easier to find the bad. Finally, "love endures all things" or stands its ground. So no matter what unexpected thing comes at them people in love don't give up. Love requires a decision to give regardless of what is received in return.

These make up the essence of love but what it does not cover is how someone would know if it was true love. As Troy Grisgonelle states in his article (paragraph3) Relationship Misconceptions 12: Love Verses Being in Love: love is like "the difference between you and me, between give and take, between sacrifice and selfishness."

There are two kinds of love: being in love with and loving someone. Being in love is a feeling, it's when you see someone that fits your image of perfect for you and being with them gives you butterflies and all you do is smile. This isn't bad, in fact it is completely necessary, however, alone it has no endurance and eventually fades. It's not to say that being "in" love isn't a part of loving someone, it just is not true love. True love involves loving someone which is a choice. A person must adopt the attitude that chooses to do what is best for their loved one rather than what would be easiest or would make them most happy. A good way to tell if love is true isn't if their relationship is perfect, rather it would be if they are willing to work through the issues. Love involves and requires equal sacrifice and how bad it hurts depends on what we feel we are giving up. This isn't meaning the difference between prices of objects but rather how much the person values that item compared to how much they value the one they say they love.

True love is being willing to choose that person over yourself and give up things for them whether you get something back or not. That could mean anything from giving up going to a sports game to in some cases giving up their life. There is no doubt that a girl is loved by her boyfriend when he puts his life in danger to protect her because that's what love entails. Selfishness is no longer a desire that overwhelms because the desire to do things for that person grows to outweigh it. Love as society knows it is the feeling, true love involves the choice. As Grisgonelle says, "'I am in love with you' means 'you make me feel warm and fuzzy'… 'I love you' means 'when I have to choose between my desire and your need, I will choose the latter.'" (Paragraph 28) This perfectly sums it all up into simple terms not often understood. Love, as society defines it, can be found anywhere but true love requires a self-sacrifice and honest devotion that has been forgotten. True love requires not just affection, but a person's everything.


A/n: Well there it is. I know it from a pretty biblical standpoint but it really fit. It may not be that great but I figured it wouldn't hurt to post it;) Thanks for reading