Opinion Column

Love is what two people make it

AMY CHAN, amyfabulous.com

What is love?

When I was a little girl, I believed love would look like how it did in fairytales. So I desperately sought out my own prince, and was only left with disappointment each time the storyline in my head didn't match my reality.

Here are some of the experiences that have shaped my new, modern-day understanding of what love is.

Love takes many different shapes and forms. Sometimes it feels more passionate than other times. Sometimes it feels intense and strong, and sometimes it feels safe and steady. But regardless of the form, love is the root - and it's always there, just dressed up differently. I have learned that love is not just about a feeling or chasing the high of being "in love." Love is about commitment, respect and dedication. Love is about honouring that commitment both to your partner and to yourself. Love is a verb, not a destination or pit stop.

If someone hurts you, it does not automatically mean he/she does not love you. I fell in love with a man who I know loved and adored me with everything he had. Little did I know that the same man who loved me so dearly would be the same man that would hurt me beyond belief. I have realized that even if you love someone, you can still be at battle with your own issues, complexities and demons. As a result, you can make decisions that have unintended, hurtful consequences on others.

While I will probably be an eternal student in the subject of love, this is what it means to me today:

Love is commitment. Love is a verb, not a noun. True, authentic love can only be shared when the two people in the relationship love themselves first. And while love does not look like how it was portrayed in fairytales, it is magical. For love you will make sacrifices and for love, you will be selfless. And even when the odds seem stacked against the survival of your relationship, you will fight for it with everything you've got because love is worth it. And sometimes you will do things for love without rhyme or reason. And sometimes love is the only reason you need.