Thursday, April 23, 2015

Caring: (Love and Affection) or (Love or Affection)

(Begin Tangent)

In my chosen solitary life, I have spent many a minute watching the behavior of different people. And sadly, I have watched a relationship turn from passion to simple affection, to nothing. So today I want to tell you how I feel about love and affection.

If I were to Venn Diagram it, the result would have to be two different graphs. The simple rule is: you can show love for someone without being affectionate about them. Likewise, you can show affection without true love. In other words, 'never the twain shall meet.'

Examples of that might be a fangirl or fanboi at a convention, showing their affection through cosplaying their favorite character. But can you really love a fictional character?

As a writer and a reader, I do find myself infatuated by well-written and developed characters in a book, a TV show or a movie. I can say: 'Ooh, I love so and so in that movie,' but am I referring to the actress, or the role she's playing? Is it lust I feel or something else?

But lust and affection are really on opposite ends of the scale. According to Wikipedia, that scale is love, where affection and lust are considered different types of love.

But I disagree with that distinction. I believe it's possible to have affectionate feelings for someone and not love them. Likewise you can feel love for someone and care about them deeply, but not be affectionate with them. Maybe it's an abusive situation, maybe 'the thrill is gone' from a relationship that used to be about love and affection, but now is just about the love. Maybe even the love is gone, and what are you left with then? Memories.

So what's the difference between love and affection? I think love is an overall feeling for a person, usually a relative, that may or may not be affectionate. Love can be shown by using affectionate methods, like touching, talking, interacting in some way that is pleasant for both parties, because unlike lust, true affection needs to go both ways.

And there's the difference. Love, in the form of infatuation, can be a one-way street, but for affection to work, it has to be mutual. You can show affection for someone or something, but if it's not reciprocated, it loses its meaning. That's called unrequited love.

In the long run, Love, Affection, Lust and Infatuation may increase and decrease, so how does one maintain an emotional balance?

You can't. Not and remain human. If your life is not in constant emotional turmoil for one reason or another, you're no better than a robot. In fact, I've seen some robots that can show more emotion that Mr. Spock. But we're not Vulcans. We're human, and we have to live with it.

(End Tangent)