Love is ...The magic love equation
Love is a funny old concept. What is love exactly? Most of us are unsure what precisely it is, though if pressed to answer that question we could be cornered into saying things like...
“Love is when you feel like you’ve found someone who always has your back.”
“Love is when you feel that spark, that certain something.”
“Love is when you know you’ve found your soulmate.”
But what is love really? The problem with the above answers is, though all of them touch on love, none of can really explain for everyone, and in understandable terms, what love actually is.
So I’m going to try.
A lofty goal you might say but the question of what love is exactly played on my mind a lot while I was writing my paranormal romantic suspense Blood Hunger. My main protagonist Lola is super scared of opening up because she’s been hurt before. She’s so scared in fact, she keeps the fact she’s a vampire secret from the man she’s falling in love with.
Why is love so powerful?
Why does it have the capability to hold us all in its thrall? Why would someone be so scared of being hurt by someone they love, that they might keep a really big secret from that person, all to avoid being rejected by that person?
Love is so elusive scientists haven’t even been able to define what love is yet. But I think love is a combination of several things.
I call this the magic love equation.
One of the components of this equation is values. It’s when you meet a person who embodies everything that is most important to you. And embodies all those things much more strongly than anyone else you’ve ever met. They don’t have to possess the same qualities as you yourself. They just have to possess qualities you feel are important, your highest values if you will.
What do I mean by that exactly?
Well say principled, intelligent, eco warriors with impressive physiques are the values you most admire. Imagine one night you’re sitting in a bar, drinking, and along comes this guy.
He’s good looking, and well muscled ( sounds good right?) but even better, when you get talking to him you find out that he’s got a Master’s in Marine Biology and he’s currently working on a way to reduce global warming by inventing eco-friendly washing machines.
Impressive right? You’d probably at least find him attractive?
But you likely wouldn’t fall in love with him right away.
Because another important part of the magic love equation is familiarity. Even in fiction, it’s rarely a good story if the two main characters fall for one another right off the bat. Sure the potential is there, there’s that “spark” I mentioned earlier but the love process still takes time.
In my book, Lola doesn’t fall for Dillon, the object of her affections overnight. She meets him and finds him highly attractive but she doesn’t love him straight away.
He embodies the values she holds in highest esteem; chivalry, braveness, and a kind heart. He’s charming and adorable and there’s definitely intrigue and attraction between the two of them, but still, she doesn’t know him. She can’t feel bonded to him, not just yet.
What does make her begin to fall for him is intimacy. Proximity. And closeness. Lots and lots of yummy closeness.
This is another vitally important part of the love equation. When we first meet someone, it can be hard to feel truly close to them right away. Certain things speed up the process considerably though.
Like having shared interests to talk about, or bonding over laughter. Oh and of course, sex. Never underestimate the power of bedroom bonding. But sex is not as important for the reasons you might at first think.
You don’t fall for someone because they’re great in the sack, unless being stellar in bed is one of your highest values. After all you can find someone attractive, sleep with them, but still not fall madly in love.
What kickstarts the love process, is when you find someone who embodies your highest values, and then, through a process of intimacy (talking, laughing, bumping naughty bits) you bond with them. This is what makes you feel uniquely connected to them, and what makes you crave more of them.
As Lola spends more time with Dillon, as he slowly seduces her with his protective dominance, she feels more connected to him. She craves him more and more, and some of her hard, spiny, outer shell starts to fall away. She becomes vulnerable.
Which brings me to the final part of the love formula. Vulnerability.
To truly love someone, you have to be willing to be vulnerable. But being vulnerable is a terrifying prospect to many of us, especially if we’ve been hurt before.
To peel back the many layers of protection we construct to guard our fragile little hearts, someone, the right someone needs to make us feel safe. Once you meet someone you find attractive, someone who embodies your highest values, a person you have bonded with and who makes you feel safe, the deal is sealed and the magic love formula is complete!
As Dillon shows Lola he will protect her, demonstrates that he will be the one who will never let her down, gradually all her walls come crashing down. Lola may be a vampire but fiction often mirrors truth, no matter how fantastical the story setting.
Need a new read? If you love steamy, dark paranormal romance, with lashings of vampire lore and the vicarious thrills of a forbidden romance, you might want to get Blood Hunger for your Kindle.
You can find it for sale on Amazon here at: https://www.amazon.com/Blood-Hunger-Beck-Robertson-ebook/dp/B019FW7BP0/
To Enter Beck Robertson's contest if you were a dragon what kind would you want to be?