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"What is love, anyway?"

So goes an old 80`s song. Countless people have written, cried, sung about it, even died for it. Its meaning escapes many, yet at the same time easily understood with nary a word from one`s lips. A sublime paradox, so subtle, so mysterious that one`s will tugs away at the heart without reluctance...and we wonder why.

For many of us twentysomething people, relationships can be at times a real pain. However, we should not easily forget how it amusing and silly it can also be at other times. Valentine`s is past, and no doubt all those wilted roses and empty truffle boxes have long been dumped in the trash. Yet, it never fails to elicit a chuckle when people stop to consider how they themselves view affairs of the heart.

Ah, so what romantic notions do we keep deep inside? Hmmm? Is it a half-dozen long stemmed roses and a box of Godiva? Is it a long, silent walk by the beach at dusk, catching a glimpse of the sun setting in her eyes? Is it a bright, Spring day, running carefree in a field of flowers, laughter heard echoing in the distance? Is it standing out in the rain, drenched and soaked, waiting for her to let you in? Or could it be bumping into someone at the hallway, your eyes locking as you help her pick up the books? Ahh... such warm, fuzzy feelings. *shiver*

On a more serious note, perhaps it should be firmly stated that relationships should take on a more mature, more rational and intellectual nature than simply that of being led by emotions and passing feelings. Primarily, they are an opportunity to know the other person, his/her character, principles, morals, and beliefs. On the same token, it gives one the ideal chance to present one`s true colors to the other. From here either may decide whether compatibility exists after acquainting enough with the other as good friends. The difficulty arises when facades and fronts are put up, becoming a smokescreen. It ends up as a hindrance to finding a true, caring friend and possibly, a future soulmate.

Hence, what then should be one`s guide for determining whomever that special someone should be? Let good judgement, common sense, as well as sagacious advice from elders aid one in choosing. Values and morals should not be compromised, and once one feels discomfort and unease it is a good sign that this special friendship is going astray. And it`s even a stronger sign that there is somebody out there with more noble convictions.

It would be unwise to unduly prolong a relationship, or to start at such a tender age. This tends to become a prickly issue. Many forget that at a young age passions tend to dominate over reason, and also that given man and woman`s fallen nature sustained relationships easily trigger the concupiscence. How often are the stories of anguish, heartbreak, and even of ruined futures we hear. Such losses are beyond words.

A good conscience resides in the virtuous soul. Many seem to feel a pressing need to be in a relationship, yet perhaps it`s more propitious to hold out for that gem. Patience is such a wondrous virtue to possess, and true love entails nothing less than sacrifice. What could be more angelic than to safeguard one`s integrity until its lawful consummation in the bliss of the marital bond? Truly and unequivocally, in this day and age one has to search high and low for such a virtuous person. Their scarcity does not indicate, however, their non-existence.

In the final analysis, we carve our lives through the choices we make by our free will. Yet, we must also resign those things beyond our control to God. We are mere mortals, with a beginning and an end.

I thank you for bearing with me and my philosophical ramblings. By having read this far, you`ve already demonstrated incredible patience. :)