Ask a person about their definition of love, and you’re likely to get a cliché as a response. If you really want a heartfelt glimpse into someone’s perspective on relationships, you have to open your mind, and pay attention to the way they talk about their significant other when they are not attempting to describe their feelings. I believe that the way a person speaks about their boyfriend or girlfriend when they are not around says a lot about their relationship.
Have you ever been listening to someone, when something just slips off their tongue and you’re standing there, thinking that they must really be in love? I’ve certainly experienced that throughout my semesters here at Vanier. According to what I’ve overheard in college, love is…
…when a teacher asks the class where they feel love, and nearly everyone replies that it comes from the heart – everyone, except one student, that is. This one girl confidently explains that she feels that love manifests itself in the stomach, in moments when her boyfriend says something cute to her, for example, giving her butterflies. Love is like a butterfly.
…when a teacher discusses his life story during a first class – and mentions his ex-girlfriend often. When he tells the class that as soon as he was hired for his dream job, his first reaction was to run to his girlfriend’s workplace, just to be with her for a minute, to share the news, and to share that exciting moment. Love is sharing milestones.
…when an English teacher tells her students about the way her husband encouraged her to persevere, to keep going through all those nights of despair, back when she was getting her master’s degree. How he would be sitting on the bedroom floor with her, helping her go through all her notes and previous drafts, revising and editing with her from dusk ‘till dawn. Love is a shoulder to cry on, and a boost of confidence whenever necessary.
…when a Cultural Currents teacher is lecturing about romantic love, and goes on to slightly mock gallantry – then takes it all back. He critiques the fact that men are expected to open doors for women, aiming to prove his point by mentioning that his wife accused him of “not trying” because he hadn’t opened the car door for her, yet, moments afterwards, he mumbles almost to himself, that she’s right, that he should put in that effort more often, that she deserves it. Love is not effortless. Perfect love is imperfect.
Writing and photo by Katherine Willcocks
Originally Published: February 2016