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Commentary: What is love really?

I love spaghetti, I love dancing and I love Christmas. I love my friends, Ohio State and football. But that’s not what love really means.

So what is this four-letter word that we overuse everyday, and what does it mean?

When you were young, love used to mean your love for parents and other family members. “I love you Mom,” would follow after she put a bandage on your knee.

You grew up, high school came around and you dated the captain of the football team and you thought you know what love is. Maybe you finally got the courage to ask your high school crush to prom, that girl you’ve been “in love” with since seventh grade.

Then college came; the ultimate mix of hormones, alcohol and the opposite sex. What is your perception of love? If it’s the guy or girl at the bar who smoothly buys you a cocktail and then takes you home for a great night and awkward morning, is that love? What about the first person in college you meet and think it could be the one so you even make it Facebook official?

Love is thought of as a fairy tale. Prince Charming will come and sweep you off your feet, write a song for you and then you’ll live happily ever after.

Take a step back. The meaning of this four-letter word has changed and grown with us since we were very young. It has shaped what we feel is important, what we most value and most importantly, who we are. So is the word still developing and has it hit a standstill in our life because the thought of real love scares us?

I have been in love one time in my life and funny enough, he was from Michigan. But what I learned not only from that experience is the meaning of selfless love, to love someone, to desire what is best for them and to push yourself to be a better person for them.

So many people love to be loved. So many just give a part of them so they can take an even bigger part of the person they are with.

Selfless love begins by loving someone unconditionally and knowing that you might never be loved back in that way and to care more for the well-being of someone other than yourself.

So now, I can say I like Ohio State, I like spaghetti and I like dancing. I love Jesus Christ, I love serving the homeless, I love helping my best friends and I love the man who taught me that love is much more than the fairy tale we imagine ­— It is much greater.

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