The question “What form does love take?” is one of the ageless philosophical pursuits of the human kind. We have a species have an intimate (pun intended) interest in what drives us to find mates, act in the capacity of a couple (or triple, or group, etc.), and often times procreate. It has been approached from a social, mental, spiritual, and physical point of view. It has been examined as love for mankind, love for deity, intimate love, and dozens others. Many times, the form it takes is driven by sociocultural norms and values.
Even within these sociocultural groups though, the diversity of expression is immense. For each person, there is a definition of love. These definitions are as unique and special as the people who have them. What one person sees as an all-encompassing love others see simply as friendship or companionship (degree). Some may choose to love one, two, or many people (form). Some give gifts while others do acts of service (form/language). Variations exist. Combinations exist. Mutations exist. In the end, the best we can do is finding someone(s) who is(are) compatible with our views on love and who are willing to mesh or join their ideas to our own.
Unfortunately, when these practices and expressions are outside of the social norm, it is often the person who feels the emotions who suffers. Whether it is gender identity, sexual expression, monogamy/polyamory/single, any expression that is not within the cultural norm for the population group is often seen as being detrimental to both the person and the community. Granted, this is not as common today as it was 30 years ago but as with all social movements, there is the possibility of shift and the pendulum swinging the other way.
The unique nature of how people express their love, like their own unique nature, should be supported and encouraged. There is of course talk of social and cultural ramifications, a degradation of moral order. Over the course of history in the United States, this has been presented several times including the late 1800’s, the 1920’s, 1960’s, and even the current century. So far, the country has survived, al be it a bit more enlightened and diverse.
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