Whenever I hear this question, some quotes from one of my favorite movies of all times come to mind. In Moulin Rouge, a poor poet is in love with a cynical courtesan, and when she says she couldn't fall in love, he tells her, "a life without love, that's... terrible...Love is like oxygen! Love is a many splendored thing. Love lifts us up where we belong. All you need is love!"
I watched that movie a long time ago, when I too was beginning to ponder the meaning of love, and I'll like remember those words forever. Another quote that has stuck too is when one of the characters says of love, "The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return." I totally agree. It takes courage to love, and when your love is returned, it can be beautiful.
The other exposition about love which I hold close to my heart is the one by Paul in ICorinthians 13: 4-8a
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
As a growing young woman with toasters and suitors regularly vying for my attention, and my emotions, I had to come up with my own understanding on love. This was what I came up with using my "romance meets life" practical mindset...
the connection of two hearts
When two people touch each other’s soul
honesty and trust
With patience and understanding
helping one another
When there is mutual respect
walking hand in hand
To reach your dreams together
forgiving the others wrongs
That differences may be worked out
the absolute belief
That there is a happily ever after
In the video below, several celebrities describe what the think or feel love is. I liked Chigurl responses the best, they are the most mature and sound like she's speaking from experience. She says it's when someone makes you a mumu, a magnificent but a ba*tard feeling, when that somebody says jump and you say - to where, and how high? Being in love myself, I can definitely relate :)
So what is the b*stard feeling about love? It is when you love someone who doesn't love you and you begin to accept and excuse their mistreatment of you and your individuality.
And the mumu-mumu thing about love? It is the ability to compromise. Compromise is a good thing because it allows you to accept people as they are, not as saints or as devils. If the person loves you back, they usually don't mean harm for you and are simply showing they are unique individuals, just as you are. Compromise makes you try to see where your lover is coming from, and to find a middle ground that works for both of you.