What is love?

What is love

There’s this strong emotion we feel for people, places, and things. It drives us to do the most heroic acts and occasionally causes us to behave strangely.

But what is it? What is love?

One version of love suggests we should give ourselves to others with total self-sacrifice. You put the wants and needs of another person before and above your own. To do this, you will achieve the highest form of happiness.

That’s a dangerous definition.

Those who attempt to follow this version of love often end up trampled and abused. One side gives. The other side takes. And takes. And takes. Until one gets bored and the other person breaks.

Isn’t love supposed to be a beautiful, joyful phenomenon?

Not long ago, I met a girl who said she doesn’t have the capacity to love. Luckily, I wasn’t in a relationship with her. We simply crossed life paths and shared a few thoughts over some Vietnamese coffee.

“I don’t have the capacity to love anyone,” she said. “I’ll get into a relationship and I am completely detached. Usually, the boy I am with falls in love with me and does everything I say and need.”

I listened to her experiences with love.

“I usually want to break up with the boy. Yet, every time I have the courage to do it, he seems to do the most sweetest, romantic thing. Then I think, Ah! I can stick it out a little longer…

“We’re not programmed to stay with one person forever,” she continued. “I mean, we’re animals with animal tendencies. We want to procreate, yes, but we also have desires that cannot be fulfilled by one person alone.”

Could this be true?

Over the past week, I have been meeting various girls from dating websites. I do this anytime I arrive in a new city. Whenever I’m not writing, I sip on a coffee and swipe right on every picture and see who I match.

This is a “sexual strategy” my brother taught me in my university years. Here’s how it works:

  1. Open any dating app (you know the names).
  2. Start swiping every picture you see (but try to avoid advertisements, new algorithms are likely being used to prevent fuck-boys and fuck-girls from ruining the app’s reputation).
  3. As your matches appear, ignore them for now, and continue swiping until you’ve used up your daily limit.
  4. When you’ve reached your limit, start filtering through your matches. You’ll know immediately who is a 3 and who is a 9. Look through a couple pictures and glance at the profile. You’ll know which ones are DTF while others are hopeless romantics trying to find friends and a real relationship (fools).
  5. Once you’ve categorized your matches by a derogatory numbering system, start chatting the matches you have the most sexual desire for.
  6. Be witty and not creepy. Make an emotional connection. Occasionally, try a “Hello 🌹”, it works too. And, for the love of G-d, don’t send your dick-picks.
  7. Start lining up the 7s, 8s, 9s, and 10s (ha!) who respond for dates ASAP. Meet for coffee. Go somewhere public. Make your match feel safe and secure and in a place to “open up” to you. Ideally, go straight into alcohol at the earliest opportunity.
  8. Before you head out to your first date, be sure to string along 2 to 5 other matches. Make them believe that you are busy with work, fixing your car, family stuff, whatever. If the first date fails (i.e. she doesn’t want to “boom boom” or she’s just a complete nutcase) you’ll have back up.
  9. When you arrive at the first date, use all your seductive powers so you don’t have to rely on your fallbacks.
  10. Use playful touching to initiate physical arousal (i.e. touch her arm, sweep your hand through her hair while complimenting it, use your fucking moves, yo!).
  11. At this point, if you succeed in creating chemistry, your match should be ready to “Netflix and chill”. At that point, skip the rest of these points and enjoy the rest of your day *Winky Face*.
  12. If your match flakes (i.e. asking for another date or claiming they’re not ready), text your backups, ASAP. When you get a response, use the same lies that you used to delay your backup matches to tell your current match you gotta go.
  13. Of course, your match won’t believe your lies and you’ll burn this bridge. Fuck it. There’s plenty of fish in the sea. Get your ass over to the next date. You don’t have time to waste. You’re horny, remember?!
  14. Continue to go through your backup matches until you achieve your goal. If all your matches refuse to fuck, be sure to line up a few 3s, 4s, and 5s for a last-ditch effort. There’s a 3.07% probability of one of them saying yes to a late, late night booty call. These aren’t the best odds, but better than nothing, right? Anyway, if you’re going to take this gamble, remember that these are the lonely, unwanted, bottom of the barrel people who, just like you, are home alone fiddling with their hardened bits and looking to get their sexual fix.
  15. O.K., at this point, if you’re here, you better have a box of tissues next to your bed. Good luck, champ!

I feel a like a monster writing all that. Ew.

But in all seriousness, if you happen to follow that strategy, I am not liable for any STDs, miserable nights, walks of shame, or moral conflicts that may occur. Should you follow those 15 points, you do so at your own risk.

Anyway, I was trying to answer the question, what is love, not teach the world how to act like animals…

Where was I?

Right, I remember, I’ve been meeting some girls from dating apps recently. I personally don’t follow the rules I wrote. It’s too easy to manipulate and seduce the heartbroken, lonely, relationship-seeking girls.

If there’s no connection, I’m not going to “plug-in” — I’m still sidetracking…

Look. I’m genuinely curious about this question. Because I have spent more than 4 years “soul searching” and I have some pretty good answer. However, beyond the love I have for a bearded man in the sky that most of the word doesn’t believe exists, I am completely confused about this animal-to-animal love thing.

Is there such a thing as everlasting love?

I grew up watching my parents yell and scream and tear each other up at the seams. Growing up, I didn’t think they would last and I didn’t think they loved each other. Somehow, for reasons I won’t share here, my parents beat the 50% odds that they would end in divorce. Bravo.

In contrast, I’ve met countless women who have been married, some with kids, others without, and experienced the opposite end of that statistic. They loved their partner, worked hard to build a life together, yet one of them cheats, gives up, or disappears.

One woman recently shared her perspective with me. She was divorced from a man who cheated on her and they now share custody over their two kids.

“I’m here because I’m searching for an answer; a specific answer for my soul,” she said. “My life started to experience life in a way that will teach my soul this answer.”

We were sitting in a bar chatting over a beer for just 31 minutes before it took this dive into the deep. This doesn’t happen often. When I meet girls online, its usually a bunch of superficial nonsense about my favorite color, my home town, why my hair is so sexy and so on.

“I think my soul is trying to learn how to let go of a lover. And, I see my children as two souls who came here to learn an answer to their question. I cannot tell them how to be, or what to do, I can only support them and help them on their journey to find their answer.”

When I heard all this, I was speechless.

We continued to talk into the night. This wise woman mentioned a book called, One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez. I just bought it to give it a read because the title spoke to me.

Between you and I, that title is the story of my life. I think I’m going to live 100 years and never love another soul.

Not because I think we’re animals and programmed to get our fix from other animals. Nor because I am a fuck-boy using that 15-step strategy to sleep my way into and never out of misery.


It’s something else… I just haven’t figure out… What is love?

Honestly, I don’t know…. Do you?

Jef van de Graaf
Canadian Copywriter & World Traveler
Business | Travel Blog | Connect

What is love?

If you have an answer, let me know. You can write an anonymous comment below or add your name if you’re brave enough. Either way, maybe this is the question my soul is trying to answer. Or maybe, simply how to live alone… What do you think?


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