Love is not closeness in the sense of familiarity because it is possible to love a total stranger — “love at first sight”. Love can cause desire for the greatest possible closeness. Love is a feeling, not a command. Love cannot be willed into existence. One cannot sincerely make a vow to ‘love’. One can, however, commit oneself to be loyal to another person despite momentary feelings. When one feels love for another person repeatedly and strongly over a long period of time there is good reason to believe that those feelings will continue. Vowing to love under such circumstances is not misleading in the sense that the person who vows believe that love has a high probability of continuing. Lovers have a desire to reassure each other and to be reassured. Few people would agree to buy a house or have children with a beloved without a strong expectation that the love is an enduring one, as all these involves a long-term responsibility which can only be fulfilled with mutual care and support. And that’s the reason for marriage …. ‘Marriage’ …is a social obligation… a legal contract by which a woman and a man becomes wife and husband…so as to provide ‘love’ care and company to each other and share the social and economic responsibility of each other as well as children born to them.
Love can cause desire for the greatest possible closeness or it can even stir such anxiety as to make someone fear closeness and run away. Love can be a barrier to closeness when being honest with the beloved entails too much danger of revealing faults, inadequacies or shameful deeds.
Love is not a habit or a duty. But when commitments have been made and/or expectations are high, the consequences of not expressing love, whether heartfelt or not, can be fearsome. When one is aware that it would be painful for the beloved to not hear words of love, habits seem a safe recourse.
Paru Krishnakant “Piyuni”
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