What is love.

Seems to be the topic of the day across Journal Land, provoked by Jane and continued by Panther and Lydia and Jade and others.

In much of my English language use the several years of private school Latin classes come back to me and are so helpful. I love ruminating on things like the fact that the roots of the word 'discipline' go back to 'disciplina', the Latin word meaning 'to teach'.

I did an Ask Jeeves search and found a Latin-English-Latin dictionary , and went looking for the Latin words for 'love'. My goodness, but there was so much!

Here are just the A's:

adamo -are [to fall in love with , find pleasure in]. aemulus -a -um [emulous , rivalling]; in bad sense, [jealous]. M. or f. as subst., [a rival], esp. in love.

amabilis -e [amiable , lovely]; adv. amabiliter.

amator -oris m. [a lover , friend, admirer]; esp.[the lover of a woman].

amatorius -a -um [loving , amorous]; n. as subst. [a love philtre]. Adv. amatorie.

amo -are [to love (passionately) , be fond of]; 'amare se', [to be selfish or pleased with oneself]; 'amabo te', or 'amabo', [please, be so good]; with infin., [to like] to do a thing, also [to be wont, be accustomed]. Hence partic. amans -antis, [loving, fond]; as subst., [a lover]. Adv. amanter, [lovingly].

amor -oris m. [love , passion, fondness, desire]; meton., [an object of love, darling]; personified, [love, Cupid].

amplector -plecti -plexus dep. [to embrace , twine round, enclose, surround]. Transf., [to welcome, love, esteem]; in thought or speech, [to take in, consider, deal with; to include, comprise].

amplexor -ari dep. [to embrace; to welcome , love].

ardeo ardere arsi [to burn , glow, be on fire]; of bright objects, [to gleam]; of feeling (esp. of love), [to burn, smart]; of political disorder, [to be ablaze]. Hence partic. ardens -entis, [hot, glowing, burning, fiery, eager]; adv. ardenter.

ardor -oris m. [flame , burning, heat]; of bright objects, [gleam]; of feelings (esp. of love), [heat, eagerness]; meton., [an object of love, loved one].

And so much more. You look over just that much and realize that the diversity of use is incredible. Personally, I think it's a lot like pornography. Everyone describes it differently, but have the conceit that they know it when they see it. And, as well, most everyone finds someone else around them with whom they greatly disagree. Problems arise when those two are partners.

I've often lived by the premise that love means that state where the well being and happiness of another is essential to my own life. I've hit on the rocks where I mismanaged this in myself and in my relationships. The pendulum swing has tended to be that once I find myself in that warm and rosy glow that is mutually recognized as Early In Love, I have acted on the premise that "the well being and happiness of X is __more important__ than my own". This sounds wonderful, until the natural pendulum swing of life returns, to that inevitable point where the imbalance becomes - or appears - malignant. X will end up resenting me for being subservient. Or I resent X for the lacks in my life. Or or or.

Ask around, I am not really what you would call a submissive person, however when In Love, I have placed myself there, and it ends up a poor fit.

In and of itself, this is a recoverable situation, however I've made many mistakes trying to rectify it. The variety of my sins have been expounded upon and detailed at length by my ex's. Much of the ground I've gained in my Ethical Sluthood over the past several years has been as a result of lessons learned the hard way from mistakes of the past.

As it turns out, however, I've found myself for several years now pointedly avoiding what others feel is their Grail, A Primary Relationship. The many months of mutual pain-causing ending the last one was too painful and the scars persist. If I wasn't in a community of sluts, I'd just wear out my VCR, but luckily for me I'm surrounded by friends and lovers of all different degrees who are happy to have part of me, and to share parts of themselves with me. Will I ever allow myself to open to the degree necessary for True Love to brew? Damifino. But I wasn't looking for it the last time it hit - we were both looking for Fuck Buddies and ended up much more.

Right now I know with a certainty that I do love Kevin, I love Omaha, I love Panther, and several others who are close to me. I'm not in that warm fuzzie In Love relationship with anyone. What I have is good enough for now, it's good enough forever if that's all that happens. And if more happens, I'll deal with it then. I'm just not gonna go hunting for it.

What I've got, in all it's shades of grey, is covered somewhere in that Latin above.

And it's good.

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