Love. Just saying the word or hearing it spoken can bring a whole plethora of emotions to anyone's mind. For some, it brings good memories and happy thoughts, but for others it could bring pain and misery or just plain confusion. An individual's feelings depend greatly on their experiences and personal thoughts about what love is, in the entire context of the word.

It has been said that you can't know what love is until you experience it for yourself. I believe this statement to be very true because love relies significantly on perception. A young child will see love completely different from a teenager or an adult. A male might also see love differently than a female. This perception is established according to what you put into it and what you take out. Love comes from a relationship. This relationship can be between family members, friends, or significant others. While all these types of love are important, the relationship between significant others, known as romantic or erotic love, is of the greatest interest. The definition for love is not, and cannot be, set in stone. To some it is the greatest feeling and experience in the world, and to others it is the worst. Love is utterly confusing to my mind. One minute it will make me the happiest person alive, the next it could make me the saddest. I am torn between what love is and what it is supposed to be. You should be able to enjoy each and every minute of it, but that hardly ever happens. To truly love someone and care so much about them is what causes the greatest pain. You are terrified to lose them and worry about them every second they are not with you because you miss them so much and you do not want anything bad to happen to them. To be in love is to find your "other half" or soul mate. This person is who you belong with and, once you find them, you think it is impossible to live without them. Love should always be unconditional, but we cannot control it by ourselves. It takes two people to be in love, and both of them have to make it unconditional. It is difficult to be in love because you cannot choose who you fall in love with. When you first fall in love with someone, it is normally for a few different reasons. They make you happy, they are sweet, they have a good personality, and you are fully attracted to them for everything that they are to you, but the problem with love is that the person you fall in love with may not love you back in the same way. Love cannot reach it's full potential until both people feel the same way about each other, which is why loving someone is so difficult.

If love was purely a physical thing, it would not be such a big deal to so many people, but unfortunately for us, our emotions tend to get in the way. People have various feelings about love, which also greatly depends upon what experiences were had. In all the good aspects of love, you will find deep-rooted happiness. This joy is felt when you know that you care about the person and they care about you. Times are good and life could not be better while you are with the one you love. A deep inner-connectedness bonds the two lovers as one with high vulnerability and dependency, yet there is overwhelming knowledge that survival is possible as long as the two lovers are together. There is a darker side to love though because the good always comes along with the bad. Even though you can be still in love with the person, bad feelings do come about. Flaws show and arguments happen, but if the two are truly in love they will work it out and all will be okay. Feelings of worry and doubt may come up. Things will happen that you do not want to happen, but the two lovers get through it together. Most people that would say they have bad feelings about love are like that because of a tragic experience. Some people turn cold and never want to be in love again just because they once had love and it turned out badly. These experiences normally lead to feelings of regret, disappointment, and worthlessness. They can lose trust in everyone and even turn on themselves. From a personal point of view, I am just confused about love. I do not know what to think of it or how it is supposed to be. Feelings come from both ends of the spectrum and I am torn as to what I am supposed to feel. Different emotions come from different experiences, ultimately ending in different beliefs about love overall.

What crosses through everyone's mind is why do we bother loving in the first place when it can lead to so much pain and misery? "Is it better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?" People can have very different views to answering this question, but I believe that it is better to love and lose, than to never have loved. I, personally, have strong views about the fact that loving is an experience, whether good or bad in the end. To love someone in the first place says enough. You would not just love someone for no reason, so no matter how long it lasts you should never regret that initial love because, at one time, it made it you happy. When you lose someone you love, it is very hard to get through it, but once you do the memories of the good times are still there and will always be cherished. If a person never experienced love, they are missing out on one of life's greatest opportunities.

Love is a great mystery to so many scholars because it is impossible to explain. What love is, is based on experience and even then can be quite difficult to describe. The feelings that people have about love are also based on experience, whether they believe that love is good, bad, or just confusing. Even the bad feelings though, once had good qualities in them. That is why it really is "better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." You have to experience it personally before you can judge whether it is necessary, but love should never be regretted. If you loved someone, even if it ended badly, at some point it made you happy, so it was worth it. The good memories will always be there once you get past the loss. So, in the words of country singer Lee Ann Womack, "… when you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance…"