Such a weak word in the English language.
Mushy, soppy writing coming up..get ready with the Kleenex, or click onto another bookmark NOW.
You don't really understand love until you have really experienced it, and I'm not talking about the lustful feeling you may get when looking at that rather sexy shop assistant.
The Greeks have three distinct words for love (although certain expressions convey a lot more than English ever could); eros - passionate love, so love at first sight, the first 6 months or less (or so) of a relationship, but with a proviso that this actually develops into 'proper' love; philia - an enjoyment of companionship; agape - probably the most important of all, this is the "love stops at nothing" love and what Paul was on about when he said that if he didn't have it he was like a sounding bell or a tinkling cymbal. The KJV 1611 translates it as 'charity' - which just proves how weak our language is. The word charity is actually closer to the translation than the word love, which is what most modern translations have it, but even the meaning of the word charity had been watered down over the centuries.
The Bible, Plato and Aristotle aside (the latter two, as far as I'm aware, just spent time thinking about it rather than doing something about it), when you ask people of different ages, at different stages of their lives and at different stages of their relationships with other humans, "What Is Love?", you will get a hundred answers. Much like the Greeks, they don't really have definitive answers either.
What is love to me? I lost the initial eros love for my husband years and years ago. But it has developed into the love that Plato said that it should. Philia - I can't imagine being with anyone else and do not enjoy anyone's company more. Agape - I love him even when he does stuff that annoys me.
When you see an elderly couple walking down the road holding hands, and imagining that they have always been that way since they married in early sixties, you glimpse what love really is, and I still hold my husband's hand after 16 years and hope that I still will be in another 16 years.
One thing you can really be sure of - true love really is eternal, and you don’t need to be Greek to recognise that.