Love symbol, heart, valentine photo


What is love? The Oxford English Dictionary describes it as an intense feeling of deep affection for someone. It can also mean taking pleasure in something such as watching sport or taking part in an activity that one enjoys or deeply liking something.


I am very blessed to be married to a wonderful a man. We have been happily married for 36 years and are blessed with three fantastic children. I love them all beyond measure, and cannot imagine life without them. The connection between a husband and wife should be about emotional bonding, deep respect for one another and being respectful to one another. One should feel comfortable with each other like an old pair of slippers. The devotion one has for one’s spouse should be based on a deep trust of one another, as without trust, how can there be love? Caring for the other is important always, not just in times of sickness and injury. A loving marriage is also about compromise, as without give and take on both sides, resentment is sure to seep in.

As parents we should love our children dearly and care for all their needs, certainly as growing children. We should accept them for who they are. We should not try to force them into the mold of who we want them to be. Rather let them be free to be themselves. Let them fix their own mistakes too. Not easy as a parent, as one wants to help them as much as we can.

We also love our parents deeply. This is a different to what we have for our spouses and children, but it is unique. Our parents love us, guide us and nurture us into hopefully, loving, responsible and respectful human beings. As our parents age, we find ourselves becoming their caretakers, whereas when we were young, they were our caretakers. We come full circle.

Not all of us are blessed with siblings. Those of us with siblings know that siblings provide something distinctive and protective. They offer support, care, a bond and camaraderie different to parents or friends.


We all have friends. Some of us have lots of friends, and others, just a handful of close friends. We all need that special friend to confide in, complain to or just enjoy a jolly good laugh with. The love we feel for our friends is different to the love we feel for our spouses, children and families. Nevertheless, it is a special love. One only has to lose a friend to know how strong that bond is. Imagine how lonely we would be without friends, even if it is just one friend that we have.


Lots of people around the world have pets. Pets give us true agape that one cannot get from a human. They make us happy, less lonely, lower our stress and anxiety levels, make us active especially dogs who require walking and just give us a sense of contentment and comfort. The loss of a pet shows us just how strong our love is for them. The love of our pets fills our hearts completely.


You will hear people say that they love the beach or the mountains or a particular city. Why do they love these places? Beloved places give people a feeling of contentment, familiarity, fondness and a longing just to be there. The mountains or the beach make them happy and they have a desire to return to such places. Topophilia is the word for the love of a particular place. I, for myself, adore the Cederberg mountains in the Western Cape. Looking upon their fiery glaze at sunset makes me feel happy, and content.

People cherish plants and objects for the joy they can bring. Caring for a plant brings out a nurturing side and the enjoyment one derives from plants and flowers can make a person feel in good spirits. One can be fond of a painting, a house or even a television programme for the joy a person derives from looking at them. They feel for these things deeply to their core.

People fall in love with people, places and things every day, for different reasons. It may be someone’s smile, their kindness, their striking looks or it could be the beauty of a place that makes us fall in love. Whatever it is, there is a saying that love makes the world go around.

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