What I’ve learned from literature – Part 1

All the different kinds of love 

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  1. The dominant vs. the obsessive 

This one sounds authoritative and cruel – but it’s actually very common nowadays, and usually, it doesn’t appear damaged at all from a distance. The dominant one tends to show off a lot of pride and confidence in social settings. They often have a joke lined up and their social intelligence is at the top of the latter. 

The obsessive one in this situation is most likely very young and completely new to relationships and flirting – therefor, hugely fragile. Like a thin glass, he/she can break into little pieces just by thinking about the relationship ending. They hold onto a toxic love like a beggar holds on to their jar of money, just because it’s the first time for them, and the good moments (which are very few) feels so awfully good. When in reality, the weight-scale is way off balance – the bad moments come often, whereas the good moments, only once in a while.cdf63e5e003ea1e5ef61ba03354ed080

A good example of this relationship would be Mr. Willoughby and Marianne from “Sense and Sensibility” by Jane Austen. To start with, Willoughby (the dominant) praises Marianne, shows her his best acts of chivalry and promises her the world and more … in the next, he doesn’t care more for her than the next person on the street, leaving Marianne in complete misery, with her heart broken and her pride shattered. This love is tormenting and the memory of it usually lasts a lifetime. But hey! Who says heartbreak is merely bad? Lots of good content for writing can come out of it! Trust me! 

 

2. The mother love  

This love is as unconditional as any love can be, and in my opinion, the strongest love. The relationship a mother has to – for example, her daughter, will always, no matter what, stay there, and there’s nothing anyone can do to damage it. The bond was already created by birth. It’s a spiritual bond, one that will never break, never tangle, never not find its way to the other person again. Also, when something goes wrong on the romantic love-front, you’ll always have your mother. 

A good example on this would be Marilla and Anne from “Anne of Green Gables” by Lucy Maud Montgomery. (I know Marilla isn’t her real mother, but I never said it had to be blood-related. Remember, everyone can be family, even the perfect strangers. It’s a matter of what goes on in one’s hearts, not how they’re related to one another.)

Anyhow, their relationship starts off with a little bit of turbulence, however – throughout the story, their love develops more and more, growing into a beautiful blossom of shared confidence, loyalty, and pride in each other’s endeavors. I learned a lot from this story; That nothing and no one is perfect. We will have our flaws. We will have difficulties showing our love and affection sometimes. But, when it’s there and it’s real, then you know. You don’t need to say “I love you” to your mother every day, because she knows, as well as you, how utterly devoted to each other you are …

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3. The vain vs the weak 

This is a typical one. It normally happens when people are seeking a rebound and/or just wants to be with someone, anyone. The vain is the one who’s already hurt and/or is looking for someone who can soothe the pain of loneliness. The weak one is the person who gets chosen by the vain. (The weak usually gets chosen by everyone, because they’re usually very indecisive and conflict-shy). And so you have a relationship which starts off completely wrong. The vain is constantly feeding their ego through another person’s love. Then, the weak starts caring more and more for the vain – because of the lack of interest. In the end, the vain will get too bored of the weak and will want to move onto the next one. (Presumably, they’ve already found another one to be with.) The weak then experiences a devastating heartbreak, when in reality – it was obvious from the start, that this person was not the right one for them. 

A perfect example of this is the relationship between Ruth and Tommy in “Never Let Me Go” by Kazuo Ishiguro. (A book I will talk more about in later blog-posts…) Ruth (the vain) just wants to be with someone, because she thinks it will give her an admirable status. Tommy (the weak) gets chosen by Ruth when actually, he’s always been in love with the main character; Kathy. But, because of Tommy’s highly agreeable nature and his low self-esteem, he’s convinced that Ruth is the best offer he can get. Therefore, he ends up spending many years in a toxic relationship with someone who doesn’t love him for who he is. Sad, I know. But in reality, this sort of thing happens quite often … 

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4. The platonic friend-to-friend love 

This is a classic one: The person you’re attracted to mentally, but not physically. Your intellectual self is practically aching for their company. However, your emotional self is repulsed by the idea of kissing them. You enjoy having deep, midnight-conversations with them. You care for their well-being, their health, and their relatives. You wish you were attracted to them, but you’re not. Still, it’s fine. In fact, it’s better! Because you know that no matter what, they’ll always be there to support you, praise you, and love you unconditionally. There will be no hardship because there’s no physical intimacy involved, and …. to be quite frank, it’s better this way! 

A good example for this would be Jo March and Laurie Laurence from Louisa May Alcott’s novel, “Little Women”. In this story, Jo finds Laurie because she’s curious to be his friend. She wants to know all about the world outside and how Europe and college are like. She also sees qualities in Laurie that matches her own; He’s equally rebellious, tomboyish and he’s also a sucker for adventure – all of the things that characterize Jo, also characterizes Laurie. So what is there to lose? one might ask. What’s holding her back? Why only a friendship, when it could be the greatest beginning of a lifelong romance? Well … It’s quite simple actually: Love is not finding someone who wants you, just as you are. True love is admiration. In other words; the one you get together with should have very good qualities, which you lack. So that both parties can educate the other and create the perfect match.

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Jo didn’t see how Laurie could educate her in any way, therefore, in her eyes – he was less interesting as a potential partner. But she still loved him = a perfect platonic love.

 

4. The soulmate-love 

Now, this is the true, heart-to-heart, I-choose-you-you-choose-me – kind of love. It’s a simple love, which doesn’t require much fixing and mending and breaking of hearts and getting back together again and all those unnecessary things we usually put up with before we eventually find the one. But it’s very hard to find. And many people tend to completely disregard this soulmate-love because they don’t know what it’s all about. Well, this is what I’ve discovered: 

Your person is usually hard to find because, most likely, they won’t be that guy/girl in the bar who approaches you with a cute smile. They won’t come over and flirt with you in a club or at a friend’s dinner party. Why? Because they’ll be too busy working on their life-goal. Yup. I said it. 

They’ll probably be spending most of their time in the library, their studio, their workplace or in a coffee shop reading up on some philosophy. 

Another thing to look out for (if you’re on the hunt for the one)-  he/she is all about action. Not words. The person doesn’t have to say “I love you”. They’ll show it. They’ll put you first. They’ll always come home from their trip with a gift. They’ll know your favorite food and they’ll make it for you. They’ll be the first one to show up on your doorstep when something goes wrong, and they’ll be the last one to leave when you need them the most. You don’t like their ugly vices. In fact, you hate them. But you love the person so much that you want them to notice what they’re doing wrong. They’ll have qualities you lack and you’ll have qualities which they lack. Eventually, you’ll become each other’s teachers. You’ll stumble through life together, learn from each other’s mistakes and grow stronger and taller, together. You’ll be confronted with your biggest weaknesses. It’s going to be horrible. It’s going to hurt. But it will be worth it – because the person you love is willing to help you fix them. 

A perfect example of this is, of course, Elisabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy from “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen (what else? …) 

In the beginning, Elisabeth thinks Mr. Darcy is arrogant and self-conceited. She keeps reminding herself how strange and aloof he is, and the lack of respect and manner has her almost resenting him. Mr. Darcy is extremely intimated by Elisabeth’s strong, extroverted character and he doesn’t know whether or not he’ll come to hate her or love her. In other words; they’re the perfect match. Here’s the reason why: Elisabeth is blessed with her good manners, her extroverted persona, and her quick, intellectual reflexes. But she lacks the humble, tolerant, open-minded action-driven qualities, which Mr. Darcy possesses in all his endeavors; Yes, he is proud. Yes, he is awfully arrogant and awkward in public, but he’s also profoundly kind, generous and selfless in his actions. Something Elisabeth fails to notice in the beginning but grows to love towards the end of the story. 

Equally, Mr. Darcy grows to love Elisabeth’s extroverted character, seeing how he doesn’t have one himself. They both end up inspiring each other to become better versions of themselves – therefore, they have something to peruse in each others company – therefore, the perfect match = The soulmate-love. 

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Alright, that’s it for now. My plan is to make a whole series of “what I’ve learned from literature” and divide them into many parts. Tell me if you liked this one and I’ll be sure to continue this little project. I would love to know! Either way, take care and have a great week♥

Love, 

Aftur S. Nerdrum 

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