Exact Approximations

Monday, January 07, 2008

Ask yourself.

Sitting outside watching the moon chase rain clouds, I randomly asked myself a question: How many people do I love? (Relatives not included).

I came up with three.

Is that sad? It seems sad. I can't explain why.

What's your count?



  • Love has different meanings. You could love people but not romanticaly. I love 5 people who I would do anything for that are not my family. I don't think that's alot but then I don't know.
    Loony Tunes Aunt

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:28 PM  

  • For sure. I'm absolutely including love that is not necessarily romantic. I like your definition - "people who you would do anything for." My working definition was "people whose untimely death would have the capacity to destroy me." Your definition is probably better, and definitely easier to apply =)

    Five doesn't seem like a lot. Especially since you've had more years to collect these very special people. When I was thinking about this question, I thought about a lot of people who I once would have done anything for - but no longer. And alas... only three have the staying power.

    I've been asking around. Half reported 10+; the other half were about 5 or lower. I'm at three. A friend of mine answered one. Fiance' named six and then drifted off in his mind, presumably adding more to the list as they came to memory.

    I don't know what to make of the low numbers. I wonder if it says something about my capacity to love or ability to let people live in my heart? I don't know what to make of the high numbers either... I do know that the higher the number I was told, the less special I felt to be one of them. (And I admit that this is probably a meaningless point - save that it demonstrates that I am a vain, vain woman.)

    More, more. I want to hear more peoples answers to this

    By Blogger Lex Fori, at 3:16 PM  

  • Love is one of those crazy words that changes all of the time. It has different meanings to different people...all of the time. How often do we say we love someone? In passing, when leaving, when ending a phone call? What was love to you one day, could be something different the next.

    In relationships, love changes constantly. CECA and I occasionally, say twice a year, have a conversation where we describe to each other, what "Love" means to us at that point in our lives. It is never the same conversation. But having that conversation helps each other know where the other one is in reference to "Love!"

    Many guys, I used to include myself in this group, think that if they get married to someone, that that means they love the woman they marry, and that is all that has to be said or done. They don't have to "keep saying it." How wrong that thought process is. Not only do you have to keep saying it, but, you have to keep defining it to your partner, and vise versa, to keep a healthy relationship going!

    As for people I love, if you don't have yourself at the top of your list, you shouldn't even have a list. If you can't love yourself, then, how can you love anyone else? If you do feel this way, then, how you define love becomes a very big question.

    As for loving others, I tend to look at that in different levels. Crazy Aunt kind of hit it on the head when she stated those that you would do anything for them. That would be the top rung on my ladder of loving others. Other rungs on the ladder would include those that you are willing to help to a certain point, those that you just like hanging out with, enemies, and aquaintances just to name a few rungs. They all represent all of the people in my life, and what amount of "love" I am willing to "give" or withhold from them.

    If you are asking how many people I have on the top rung, that changes, but currently, that would be two people, CECA and Son. The next rung down would be family. (Lex, this is where you are on my Love Ladder :) ) Not to make light of the topic, but after that comes best friends, whom I have one.

    I don't plan on giving a number or amount, because, who knows, that could all change tomorrow!


    By Blogger Crazy East Coast Uncle, at 8:25 AM  

  • CECU:

    I read your reply embarassingly quickly, but there are a few things I want to comment on.

    First,I think the closest I can get to clarifying the question is to say that I would equate the emotion I am asking about with what you describe as the "top rung" in your ladder analogy. Another thing I'd like to note was that the question was meant to remain vague, simple and short so that "gut reaction" would kick in and guide one's response (underhanded way of saying that you WAY overanalyzed this exercise =)

    Second, the question specifically excludes relatives (which, for me, would ~probably~ include CECA as she is your wife). I say ~probably~ because I think whether a person considers their spouse a "relative" varies widely depending on the person answering the question.) That said, if CECA and CECC are the only two currently in your "top rung" --- have non-relatives ever fallen into that category? If so, was that during a pre-CECA or pre-parent period of your life? Why do you think that might be (whatever the answer is?) When you say people you would "do anything for" - is that as a matter of ideal or a practical matter based on available resources? Do you harbor a sense that there is only so much room in the top rung because one can only "do anything" for so many people? I don't mean to imply any answers in my questions, because I do not know the answers - let alone how they might apply for you. I'm simply genuinely interested in the responses you might offer.

    Another thing that really struck me about the ladder portion of your response is that family is placed in higher categories... It almost seems like a default. Is this a function of feeling a deeper connection to relatives, or even a sense of "love-obligation" (in the kindest way one can interpret 'obligation' -- seriously, I completely mean obligation without the negative connotations)? In other words, do you "love" family, in a sense, because they ARE family?

    As an unrelated aside -- I LOVE the part about you and CECA's "what love means to me now" conversations. That's a really romantic and thoughtful exercise (aside from my thought that it sounds like an incredibly productive and satisfying interaction). Ahhh... it's sweet. I like it. I'm interested in the sort of things that have come up and how that conversation has evolved (substantively) over time.

    By Blogger Lex Fori, at 11:05 PM  

  • OK, so I OVERANALIZED the exercise. Perhaps your analysis of my overanalysis could fall in the same category.... :)


    The ongoing love conversation between CECA and myself is constantly evolving. Some days we talk about what our love was like when we first met. How it is not the same as those first moments.

    I find those first moments of a relationship extremely hot but shallow. Since then, the relationship has grown and developed. We have learned about each other to the point that we can start to anticipate each other. This can be a downfall for some, as when everything becomes predictable, the relationship can become dull. By constantly talking about what love is to each other, we touch on the dullness factor, and attempt to keep things interesting. We also touch on factors of emotions, happiness, as well as the pains and hurts of our relationship.

    Probably the most important aspect of the conversations is taking our egos out of the equation, and talking frankly about what we are feeling, and then the hardest part, which must occur, is the compromising!

    Nobody is like CECA, and nobody is like me. We agree on this. Therefore, we can't have it all our way! We are not afraid to give in our relationship. We understand that love is not something to horde, but to give.

    Love is free, so give as much as you can.

    Now, you might ask, how does that fit into your original question, since, that would mean that I love everyone. I do! However, depending on the rung on the ladder, depends on the amount of love.

    As for you comment about family, yes, family gets a special place on my ladder. As you know, I have felt as if I didn't have much family at certain points in my life. When you don't have something, is when you miss it the most. So, family is important to me.

    As for friends, I have one that is on the top rung. I mentioned that in my first post. There are others, who are good friends, but, knowing them to the point that I do, I understand that they feel probably the same way about me, as I do about them, in a good way, of course.

    I could go on, but, don't want to be accused of "overanalizing" again! hehehehehehe

    By Blogger Crazy East Coast Uncle, at 7:51 AM  

  • ME? i think i don't know. i haven't really discovered myself yet. fOR sure i do love my sister, mom, and dad but i've never really expressed it to them.

    By Anonymous grants, at 5:31 PM  

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