It’s been more than full a year but I finally rounded up the guys for another round of And So Men Think. This time I picked the men’s brain on their idea of love! Check it out!
Do you believe men and women love differently?
Eric: Yes, I’d suggest that women are much more naturally inclined to love purely, with their emotions. Not to say that men aren’t capable of a similar execution, but it’s definitely more natural to a woman, from what I observe.
Wale: I do feel like men love differently. They definitely show it in different ways. I feel like women some times care more about verbal confirmation when it comes to whether their significant other “loves” them. There are plenty of occasions where a dude treats a female like trash but tells her he loves her. The actions and the words don’t reconcile with one another yet the woman “believes” the man truly loves her. I’ve seen women take a man at his word as long as he shows even a glimpse of him caring. Whereas with men, it’s more of a show me thing. A dude doesn’t need to hear it. He could go without saying it as well. But he somewhat knows when a female loves him based on her actions. Men and women just view what love is and how it’s shown differently. I’m not saying in every instance but it does apply. There are always exceptions to rules though.
Greg: I’ve actually been going back and forth with this, it’s a challenging question. I’d agree that men and women express love differently and it affects them differently. If you want to argue that this is evidence for love being inherently different between the genders, then I wouldn’t argue against you. If you want to argue the concept of one love, all love is the same, etc, then I’d be more aligned with you.
Shimmy: I do not believe that men and women love differently. I believe that society makes it seem like men are more “careless” in the relationships and don’t appreciate the situation. This also can be said for women as well, there are exceptions to everything.
Often men and women seem to get caught up within the initial infatuation stage of a relationship, or the “honey-moon stage” as some may call it. This makes it quite difficult to label what they are feeling as lust or love. How do you differentiate between love and lust?
Eric: My version of Lust is when I’m when I’m not concerned about anything that makes you who or why you are, only physical presence. It’s as simple as that for me.
Wale: Lust and love can easily be differentiated honestly. I’ll do my best to not be vulgar in answering this question. I found that how you feel after sexual relations is a great test for whether it’s love or lust. There were females that I wanted to get up and leave right after or shortly after we were done having sex. I never once felt like that about the woman that I’m currently married to. Once that primal urge was gone, a man comes back to his senses. Some females didn’t even seem as attractive after the deed was done. I felt annoyed that she was still around. I definitely didn’t want her spending the night. That’s how I knew it was lust. When I was sitting there in my mind thinking, “Alright, you’ve served your purpose. Can you leave so I can get to sleep?” It’s the cold, hard truth. But it’s still the truth. You know which females you want something with and which ones are just a free thrill.
Greg: Short answer: masturbation. If I can get these rocks off and still think about you afterward then that’s one way I can tell if it’s real. That post-ejaculation state of clarity always allows for un-sexually-biased reflection on women.
Shimmy: Lust is your sexual attraction and fantasies you have toward someone. Love is when the sex doesn’t even matter. You genuinely hold that person close to your heart.
It’s so easy to allow that four letter word to escape one’s lips. When is it too early to say “I love you”? Are you willing to say it first, or do you wait for your partner is express it first?
Eric: I think it’s less about when you say it and more about what the word means to you. I use the word “love” very vicariously. I’ll say something like “I love 2pac’s music”, or “I love my iPhone”, or “I love Ellen DeGeneres” but I’m clearly not infatuated with these things (actually, I am infatuated with Ellen DeGeneres).When it comes to people I use the word very cautiously and with specific intent, because it takes me a really long time to love someone. I have a threshold of information and experience I need to be consciously aware of. With that said, everyone’s threshold is different. I would say you should say it exactly when you feel it is genuine, otherwise you’ll end up tarnishing the interaction.
Wale: It’s too early to say “love” when you don’t truly know the person. You can’t love someone until you truly know them. Know their strengths, weaknesses, flaws and faults. It’s easy to look at the bright spots of someone and say you love them. Will you still love her when you realize her farts smell like a landfill? Will you love her when you realize that she not willing to do that thing you like in bed? Will you love her when you find out that she caught an assault charge for beating up her ex-boyfriend’s classmate for sending an email about what the assignment was for class? It’s easy to throw the word out but you can’t truly love someone without knowing them.
I’ve only dropped the L word on two females and I did say it first both times. I meant it with both but in hindsight I didn’t honestly love the first girl I said it to. I thought I did but I didn’t. I was young and I wanted to love her but I couldn’t accept her flaws. They were too insurmountable. I realized I cared for her but I didn’t love her. I honestly do love my wife though. I think about her and she brightens my day up. She makes me happy. She makes me want to be and do better. I don’t ever think, “Damn, I’ve got to go look at her for the rest of the day.” I know her and how she’s going to react to things well before they even happen. It is easy to let the L word fly. It needs to be used carefully before. I’ve had friends let it fly and seen them end up in a Thin Line Between Love and Hate situation. No bueno.
Greg: I think saying it while infatuated is dangerous, but if that’s the way you feel and you want to express it then let it fly. But the risks are peaked in the early stages. You face rejection, possibly scaring the person off if they don’t feel the same, or even worse, some time later realizing you don’t actually love the person. These risks are minimized the longer the duration of the relationship. I’ll say it when the risks are low enough. And yes, I’m willing to say it first.
Shimmy: I don’t think there is a time table necessarily to say “I love you”. However, we should be real with ourselves before telling someone that. I have both expressed and been told “I love you” first. I believe it depends on the relationship at that point.
Do you think it is possible to be in love with more than one person in a lifetime? Do you think it is possible to be in love with two people at the same time?
Eric: I sincerely believe you meet exactly 2 people you are meant to fall in love with in your life. No more, no less. I could go deeper into what that means to me, but that may be beyond the question. Nature is very forgiving, so two chances in a lifetime is plenty. However, I am not convinced that you can love two people at the same time. From wnat I understand about love, I have a pretty convincing argument that it’s actually impossible to instantaneously love two things at once in the same manner. That’s for another day. If you feel you are in that position, I would argue that you simply do not know what you want, and love neither person, or yourself.
Wale: I definitely think it’s possible to be in love with more than one person in a lifetime. Love is a funny and somewhat fickle thing. Just like it’s possible to fall in love with someone, it’s possible to fall out of love with someone. People grow. People change. Outside factors begin to play a role. Everyone hopes they love someone for life. It doesn’t always happen like that though. Some times life just has a different plan than you want. You’re forced to move on. You loved that person, it just didn’t work out. You can’t give up on love though and you’ll likely find someone else that you love. So it’s very possible.
It’s extremely difficult but definitely possible to be in love with two people at once. The reason I say it’s difficult is because in order to truly love a second person you’ll have to completely give yourself to them. In order to that, you can’t hold anything back for the first person you were in love with. If you still love someone, you’re probably going to hold out hope for them or not give your all to someone else because you’re reserving something for them in hopes of things working out. That’s why rebound chicks usually end up just being a quick thrill. You’re not over the last person. You’re just filling the void and physical needs of that person. Once they realize that you’re not that person and can’t be that person, you’re out the door. You never really stood a chance. You were just the bridge to greener pastures sadly… So if a person can not have any reservations for the first person they loved, they can be in love with two people at once. I don’t see how it would be easy though if you truly loved a person.
Greg: It is absolutely possible to be in love more than once in a lifetime. I don’t believe in the concept of “the one” or a “soulmate”; more so in “right person, right time, that ass fine”. I don’t mean to trivialize being in love, but it’s all up to randomness and chance in my eyes, or God if you so believe.
I think the distinction between being in love and to love needs to be made. Being in love is a state of mind, to love is a verb. Being in love insinuates euphoric-esque, positive feelings about a person that may occupy your thoughts so much so that you can’t think about anyone else romantically. So to answer the question, no, you can’t be in love with more than one person at a time. To love means willing to sacrifice your own happiness or comfort for a thing or person. You can love your family, your friends, or your significant other equally and simultaneously. Ergo, I do believe it’s very easy to love two different people at the same time. Whether you act on your feelings is another story.
Shimmy: ABSOLUTELY! There are ALOT of people in the world. People come and go, relationships change everyday.
And it had to be asked, can one really love his significant other if he cheats on her?
Eric: Nope. Cheating is the absence of love.
Wale: A person can love someone despite indiscretions. Monogamy isn’t natural. We’re humans. We have urges. Love isn’t natural. It goes against nature and logic. Someone might make you feel good physically but that can be the end of the attraction. You can’t continually go out of your way to cheat on someone you claim to love though. After a certain point it’s apparent that you don’t. You do want to be a better person for someone you love. Being a better person means doing right by them. Thus that means not sticking your thing in everything moving. However, we all make mistakes. We have moments of weakness. It’s 100% possible to slip and fall in another woman’s panties. Just because you stroked her doesn’t mean that’s where your heart it. It’s all about not repeating the same mistakes. Everyone deserves a mulligan.
Greg: Of course he can still love her. Women have to understand that men don’t cheat [or generally have sex, one could argue] for the same reasons that women do. When a woman cheats, the top reason is because she’s not getting attention. When a man cheats, at least in my demographic (black, age 25-34), the top reason is because it’s easy. There are instinctual urges that drive men to cheat. It’s natural, it’s science. But obviously that’s not an excuse. We do things that overcome our biology via humanity all the time.
Shimmy: Personally, I do not see how I could have the same love toward you after I find out something like that.