Home Stories and Poems Understanding the Most Complex Emotion: LOVE

Understanding the Most Complex Emotion: LOVE


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What is love?

L-O-V-E: It is the emotion that is said to make the world go around. Every emotion that we experience in our lives is a by-product of this master emotion. It does make you wonder, what really is love?

Robert A. Heinlein says, “Love is a condition in which the happiness of another person is essential for your own”

I think this is a simple yet beautiful way to describe the most powerful emotion in the world. One can experience love for a large variety of things: it can be love for another person, love for an animal, love for a thing or even love for a routine in our lives such as going to the gym or playing a particular sport or instrument.

How many times, in their lives, does a person fall in love?

One question that has frequently been asked about love is how many times a person falls in love in their lives? This, of course, is about falling in love with another human being as opposed to new gadgets (we all know that list wouldn’t end, looking at the number of new versions Apple and Samsung are coming up with constantly). Three surveys had been conducted to find out the average number of times a person falls in love. The first survey said that a person falls in love only twice in their entire lifetime.

The second one raised this number to four people. The third survey stated that men tend to fall in love more than women do.  It could have been that the statistics varied so much because of the different groups that these surveys were conducted in. The first group may have consisted of saint-like or really lucky people, and the second group probably consisted of people who believed in the good old ‘trial and error method’ while the third group, I’m not even going to argue against the third group (I am almost certain men fall in love more than women). However, these statistics are varied because no survey can really put a number on the times a person falls in love.

When do people generally fall in love?

Love, other than being powerful, is also the most unpredictable emotion. There is a very famous saying which goes as:

‘You can’t choose who you fall in love with.’

There is no fixed time or age, or duration that love occurs at. You can have your first love when you’re fourteen years old and stay with them for the rest of your life. You could meet them after you’ve divorced your first spouse. You could also meet them when you’re grey and far over the other side of sixty. You could fall in love with someone you’ve known your whole life or even fall in love with a stranger.

You could fall in love at first sight or not realise that the one you’re meant to be with has been in front of you this whole time. That’s why I don’t believe that one survey can predict this number accurately. It will vary from one individual to another. If I had to, I would put the estimated number of times a person falls in love between two to seven times.

How do people in love behave?

Love, however, should not be confused with lust. The things you feel and experience when you look at Brad Pitt or Hrithik Roshan is not love. When you find someone in your class or workplace good looking, that’s a crush. Love is the feeling that, quite honestly, makes you act like an idiot. Not eating because the person you love is angry at you, on top of being ridiculously over the top, is something that people in love do.

Let us take the case of two individuals Arjun and Raashi. Before they fell in love, they were two individuals with differing opinions. They both had their separate individual lives and friends that they hung out with. Once they got together and eventually fell in love, everything changed. All of Raashi’s shopping friends were traded in for one single replacement – Arjun. Beer and cricket matches were replaced in his life by flowers and soap operas. In the initial days, you couldn’t catch one of them without a huge smile on their faces.

Rainy season and romantic songs on the radio were their immediate mood boosters. You could catch them giving you those superior looks during the monsoons as if the season had been personally handcrafted for lovers such as themselves by the gods. These days they faced the wrath of their friends, especially the single ones.

They could constantly be found talking about their better halves or texting and talking to them on the phone when they were not with them. Whenever they fought with each other, these poor friends had to listen to the sob story and act as a go-between the two of them. Arjun stopped eating for the duration that Raashi was angry with him. Raashi, while watching Romedy Now on repeat, criticized the entire male gender. The next day, everything was fine in paradise, and it was all rainbows and dancing in the rains. The same, however, cannot be said for the poor problem fixing best friend.

Although love is very unpredictable in terms of when and where it occurs, one thing is certain. Love does, in fact, make everyone act like a complete fool. And I do mean everyone. But that is not necessarily a bad thing. It is also one of the few emotions that brings happiness to the world.

Demi Lovato’s song ‘Catch Me’ has captured the emotion of falling in love very accurately:

“But you’re so hypnotizing.

You’ve got me laughing while I sing; you’ve got me smiling in my sleep

And I can see this unravelling

Your love is where I’m falling”

So don’t hold back when it comes to love, and like DDLJ famously said, “Come, fall in love..”

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