Love is a four-letter word
Sorry for borrowing lines from Jason Mraz, he is my latest jam and I cannot stop obsessing. Okay, so let us throw some light on the big question. What feels better: to love someone or be loved? Well, I am sorry to take the route of the romantic and say, loving is the better experience if at all there can be a comparison. Yes, there will be loud shouts of agreements and curses at once but hear me out before you choose a side. Here are a couple of reasons why loving someone is so much more fulfilling than being loved.
Most of us who are privileged to be brought up by parents have been born with a silver spoon with regard to love. Parents treat us with an evergreen spring of unconditional love where being loved is one of the most natural feeling to have. As we grow up, we realise the importance of parental love, but we spend most of our youth not finding an exceptional need to show love or be aware of loving them, because no matter what the conditions are, being loved is taken for granted. So when we get introduced to the experience of loving someone, taking care of another person’s needs, likes and dislikes alongside our own, it is a much more enriching feeling that cuts new facets on our emotional self.
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2. It is yours
Loving, when understood in theory, feels like a lot of giving and very little receiving. But over time, as we tread life and undergo emotional maturity, we come to terms with the reality of love: it is an emotion that grows in solitude. Love grows and gives, irrespective of reciprocation. We often feel frustrated with ourselves when after a relationship ends we successfully get used to everything else but loving. Loving is a feeling of liberation and a catharsis of the soul that is dragged through the grime of life. In being loved back, we find a response to loving, but the act of loving in itself is a gratification. You have the entire agency in the act of loving, where you call the shots and you enjoy the elation of it.
3. Stalkers suck
In many of our life experiences, we have realised loving is in your control, while being loved is a beast in the dark, it can be a shy one that tends to itself or it can be a raging maniac. Yes, I mean being loved when not loving back. The many myths of the horrors of stalking are mostly all true. Often, the experience of being loved can vault into an experience of trauma and surely none of us are in the need of that.
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In being loved and not loving back, there are buckets of guilt that are misplaced but very much present. For the child in us who likes to be pampered is overwhelmed by the adult who is burdened by the guilt of taking too much. Feeling loved is more overwhelming than fulfilling. The peace in loving someone and finding out the human capability of connecting to someone to that extent is a celebration of the self. But in being loved comes the responsibility of another’s relationship, which becomes a spot of remorse when the emotion is not shared. Even when the emotion is reciprocated, there is an anxiety of doing justice to another’s emotion which is an experience everyone must undergo in a relationship, still I would pick loving over loved. So, more than validation, there is fulfilment in the open-handed act of loving another person.