Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Love is NOT an Emotion...It is a Choice

I was talking with my sister the other day and we had an in-depth conversation on love. The emotion of it, the ins and outs of it, we pretty much tore love apart and put it back together. Why? Just because we can :)

No really, she had a conversation with a friend (lets call her Julie) who could not understand why my sister wanted to spend her extra time with her husband. Granted Julie is also married to a contractor who works in Iraq and only comes home for one month twice a year. Julie complains the she needs a vacation from him while he provides a very nice roof over her head, money to go to school (she does not work) and a new car. I would imagine they would stay in a constant honeymoon state because of the limited time they have together but she has problems spending two months out of the year with him.

Which brings us back to love.

Most people marry for love. They are in undeniable, no-holes-bared love when they walk down the aisle and profess this love to God, family and friends, right? So what happens after the vows?

People do not realize love is a choice. You can chose to love someone just like you can chose to stop loving someone. If love is not a choice, than you could never move on from a broken heart and you could never love another person after that first love broke your heart. Let's break this down...

People often confuse that butterfly in the gut, want to jump their bones feeling with love. That is not love, many people describe it as lust or infatuation. I call it the Cloud Nine Stage (more on that later). I think it was best explained by Carrie Bradshaw in Sex in the City as the Zsa Zsa Zsu. Some unexpainable feeling (or chemical reaction if you read this previous post) that makes you want to be around that person every chance you get.

But, after we get used to the Zsa Zsa Zsu (and we always do) we began to see the other person's flaws, those habits that tick us off. And then we chose rather we want to continue with them. We chose to love them (or not) through it all.

The choice of love is what makes you want to continue to work at the relationship, but the Zsa Zsa Zsu often keeps there. Chosing love makes you nourish a relationship when it is dying, make time for that person in a busy world, ask yourself if your partner would be ticked off if I did X, Y or Z. Love is a careful, honest and sometimes brutal choice.

I love plenty of people I would never be in a relationship with, but the Zsa Zsa Zsu is what I want to have with my life companion.

I know some of you have thoughts on this one. What do you think? Is love a choice?

*Photo is Cherishing.The.Moment by Fred. Matthews*


  1. I think you make a great point about Love. I can see why you'd feel this particular way.

    Me personally, I can't truly define the emotion itself but there have been times where I loved a certain woman and wished that I no longer did, so maybe it's both a choice and 'just the way it is.'

  2. Sister you already know how I feel...LOL! It is a choice I make happily!

  3. love is a choice

    love is

    love aint

    love is great

    love sucks

    love is undeniable

    love is love

    great post!

  4. I have been going over this in my mind since Tuesday.

    I would have to agree. Love is a choice because love is definitely not that feeling you first feel when you meet someone and the juices get to flowing.

    Love is sacrificing, compromising, making it work and putting in the effort. Love is staying when you no longer like the person or what they are doing, but knowing that the dislike will pass. Love endures.

  5. Don,
    I understand your view, but think about this...maybe you chose to stay and wallow in that moment when you could have picked yourself up and tried to move on? Just a thought... :)

    Yes, I knew you would be on board :)

    Liked your response. As usual you are dropping knowledge from tha dome. lol!

    I think you got were I was going with this post. Yes, the choice to stick with it when the infactuation is gone is love. Not the actual feeling.

  6. Love is not a choice, only what you decide to do about your love is.
    I have been with the same woman for 16 years, and have fallen in love with someone else recently. I cannot deny my feelings for this new woman, and they are not simply infatuation or lust. Now I must make the only choice I have, what should I do with my love?

  7. Alan...You may not see love as a choice but consider this...how well do you know this woman you have fallen in love with? Have you seen her angry? Have you seen her sad? Have you seen how she handles diffculty? How she handles her finances? How she handles her emotional ups and downs? How is she with family? Has she demonstrated her morals to you?

    You may in fact be complacent with the woman you are with now, and this new woman has rekindled emotions that you have not felt in a long time. Is that in fact love or a fleeting feeling of getting to know someone new?

    So often we are quick to label an emotion as love because we have no other words to describe it. Love endures all, love never fails, love conquers all. In order for it to do all of that we have to choose to allow it to do so.

    Tell me...can you honestly answer all of those questions about the woman in question? Your feeling may not be a choice but is it really love?

  8. Interesting topic, just would like to add, if Love was not a choice then God would be unjust. Lust on the other hand is addictive it controls our emotions enslaves us sometimes, Love is free just like Love is good and if it is good than it is a choice free will. Dont let Lust take the place of Love it will backfire on you when it fades.

  9. I just wanted to pop in here to say that i loved the picture used for this piece! Then i read the post under it & wanted to chime in as well...4yrs later! LoL Great piece/blog, provocative to both the eye & mind, thank you. :-)