I Asked Wikipedia What Love Is, This Is What Happened


People seem to have plenty of questions about love. How do we find it? How do we keep it alive? How in the world do we know it when we have it? So many questions on one simple, four letter word. L-O-V-E.

So as a single 22 year-old, who has been single for the majority of her life. No, I cannot say I fully understand the meaning of love, which leaves me in quite the predicament. Luckily, along with every other questionable aspect of my life that needs a solution, there is always the internet. “Google It,” we all have said at least once in our lives to answer any questions our curious brains come up with. So what happens when you Google Love? Wikipedia, of course! So tell me, all mighty Wikipedia, what is love? Here is my take on your attempt to answer my unfeasible question.

Love according to Wikipedia:

Love is a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes that ranges from interpersonal affection (“I love my mother”) to pleasure (“I loved that meal”).
(Oxford Illustrated American Dictionary, 1998)

Well thank you Wikipedia, for validating that I’ve experienced love. I loved the sushi I ate for lunch yesterday, and my mother texted me this morning. That means I had two kinds of love all in one week! Hooray for me.

At the same time Wikipedia, you are putting the love we have for meals in the same sentence as the love we have for our mothers. That’s a little wack, if you ask me.

“It can refer to an emotion of a strong attraction and personal attachment”
(Oxford Illustrated American Dictionary, 1998)

Hmm, well I’ve definitely had my fair share of emotions, and I think every girl has. Crying, laughing, sometimes both at the same time, but an emotion of strong attraction? I’m not sure exactly what that means. I have emotions of strong attraction for Ryan Gosling, and maybe Bradley Cooper…Personal attachment, not so much, but attraction, yes.

So does this mean we love who we are attracted to? Wikipedia, are you trying to tell me and the rest of the world that the one-night-stand we may or may not have had, we were actually in love with? Maybe for the night, yes, but this seems a little off to me. I think there is more to love than a simple strong attraction.

It can also be a virtue representing human kindness, compassion, and affection—”the unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another
(Merriam Webster Dictionary)

Merriam Webster, you are so optimistic. Love is a virtue that represents human kindness. Well, we humans often have a weird way of showing it. At the same time, Merriam (and Wikipedia) is onto something here. Love is definitely kind.

Whatever type of love it is, for your husband, your boyfriend, your brother, your dog, kindness just happens to be a side effect. When you kiss your husband after you come home from work, that’s kind. When you can’t help but hug your brother for just a second longer because you haven’t seen him in months, that’s kind. When your dog’s ears perk up and his tail wags after you come home from running your errands, that’s kind. So Wikipedia, you have me convinced on this one.

Ancient Greeks identified four forms of love: kinship or familiarity (in Greek, storge), friendship (philia), sexual and/or romantic desire (eros), and self-emptying or divine love (agape)
(C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves, 1960)

Ancient Greeks have all the answers, don’t they? There is the love we have for our family, our friends, our lovers, and other existences that we may not have scientific proof of, but the point is, there are all different kinds of love.

That’s what makes love so difficult. Love can be kind but cruel, patient but swift, transparent but obscure. Basically, love is confusing as all hell, even Wikipedia can prove that.

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