How much do you love me? (Round to whole numbers)

I have a problem that my friends often make fun of me for, and that is praising the girls I date. That was confusing; let me start over. I have a problem, which is that when I start dating a girl, and people ask me about her, I tend to speak of said girl of the moment (we’ll think of her as Girl A) in rather, well, flattering terms. If someone asks, “How’s the girlfriend?” I say, “She’s awesome.” The problem arises when things go south with Girl A, we break up, an appropriate amount of time of being single passes, and I move on to the next girl (Girl B). This is where the so called issue arises, because it is at this point that my friends do things like ask, “How’s the girlfriend?” but now “the girlfriend” is Girl B, so when I respond, “She’s awesome,” they start to say things like, “You say that every time you start dating someone.”

Well sorry if I only date awesome girls. Next time I’m in the market for a girlfriend, you know what I’ll do? I’ll go find someone who’s just plain average, and when people ask, “How’s the girlfriend?” I’ll say, “Oh, not bad, not bad, could be better, but you know.”

Admittedly when this was first pointed out to me I thought maybe there was a problem with the way I spoke about the girls in my life. I mean, my friends were right, I did praise each new girlfriend so much that it was sometimes hard for them to tell how serious each relationship was in relation to one another. What I later realized was that it wasn’t my fault for being excited about each new girlfriend; that’s natural. The issue was that there simply isn’t any way to easily compare how you felt about Girl A to how you feel about Girl B.

The way I see it, in general I’ve used a set (and many other people I know have used a pretty similar set) of about five possible catagories for girls I’m interested in. These roughly come out to look like this:

Level 1: “She’s cute” – I find her somehow physically and/or mentally attractive, and other than that don’t think too much about it. She might have potential to move up on the scale but that’s yet to be seen.

Level 2: “I have a crush on her” – She’s proven that there are merits to her besides simple attractiveness and I’m ready to start making some small advances and seeing how it goes.

Level 3: “I like her” – The more I get to know this girl the more I’m sure she’s relationship material. At this point I’m probably ready to make a serious move.

Level 4: “I like her…A LOT” – If we’re not already dating something must be wrong, because I can’t get this girl out of my mind!

Level 5: “I love her” – Enough said.

Or is it enough said? Because I think this is where the problem lies. Love is a tricky word, because it really conveys a much wider range of emotion than one word can handle. I love my family, I love my girlfriend, I love music, I love shoes, I love sushi and I love lamp; all of these statements are true, none of them mean the same thing. People get that, though. If I tell you, “I love my mom,” and “I love my cat,” you (hopefully) realize that the word love has a different meaning in each of those two sentences. The problem arises when I say, “I love (Girl A),” and “I love (Girl B),” because you’ve mentally equated them as being equivilent. I might love Girl B two or three times as much as I love Girl A, but there’s no easy way to convey that.

It was in discussing this issue that I realized there was a simple solution to this problem: a unit, or units of measurement to measure love. Sure, you could argue all day about how love is an emotion and cannot be quantified, just like how you can’t measure happiness or sorrow, or whatever, and while technically that’s true, a unit of measurement for love could at least give us something to work with, so that when I say, “I love you,” and, “I love lamp,” I can at least give you an estimation of how much I love you compared to lamp (very little, lamp is amazing).

In thinking of how to measure love many ideas came to mind. Dandelions, starlit drives, roses: any number of things could be a unit of love. My mind being what it is, I thought of things like love songs and symphonies (and even more specifically, Death Cab for Cutie albums as a possible unit), but none of those things pleased me. As I thought on this, it was my girlfriend (Girl B…no wait, now I’m just being confusing) who came up with the answer: love should be measured in kittens!

And it makes sense. While kittens don’t have the same effect on everyone, most people go ga-ga for kittens. You put a kitten in a room full of surly lumberjacks and suddenly everyone is arguing over who gets to brush “princess muffins’s” fur. If you need proof of how awesome kittens are, look at the popularity of lolcats and tell me kittens aren’t a pretty much universal symbol for love already.

So the next time you go from Girl A to Girl B (or Guy A to Guy B for all you lady readers), you can tell your friends, “Oh, I love (Girl B) a thousand kittens! I only loved (Girl A) a couple hundred. See?”

HelloLion is a contributing writer for projectgroupthink. Follow us on twitter @pgtblog, for great justice!

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “How much do you love me? (Round to whole numbers)

  1. Shouldn’t a lion be measuring in cubs?

    Seriously, though, if we’re going to address the quantitative differences between love relations (say, xLa = 2(xLb)), I think it’s just as important (if not more) to address the qualitative differences. For example, I may love A more than B, but if A is prone to drama, I will be more inclined to deal with disputes I perceive as “pettty” from B, because I do not feel that they exacerbate a problem area in the realtionship.

    Even if I love both equally, I might be more inclined to express my love for A in gifts or dinners because I know B is loaded while A is destitute, or in sexual expression because A is aggressive and physically voracious whereas B is sated after the first shag of the night.

    These are the intricacies that truly determine the nature of one love over or against another, and I conclude by acknowledging that qualitative evaluation may be the less abstract route of comparing love relationships.

    (I need to stop reading PGT and meta-ethical treatises at the same time, I realize.)

  2. I like the measurements of love. Neat idea. Let me try.

    I love the republican party as much as I love Nickelback. So, in kitten measurements we’re looking at maybe 1 or 2 kittens. Kittens that are missing extremities due to poor genetics. Kittens born with leukemia. Kittens that even an old lady couldn’t love.

    I guess a problem with the measurement would be that love varies on the moment. measurements are definite. An inch is and inch, a foot is a foot. So these kitten measurements would have to be “universal?”

    let’s say i had one kitten of love to an apple, wouldn’t someone else have to have one kitten of love as well? They couldn’t have two kittens of love, or even 100.

    I’m I making any sense. I am trying to rationalize measurements of love in kitten amounts. ha ha I have drank too much.

    • hellolion

      As I mentioned, this isn’t really good as anything other than to give perspective between two different quantities of love for one person, and is therefore not a true unit of measurement, such as an inch, but is rather, just a silly solution to a silly problem.

  3. jade

    so… this was an interesting read and perspective. i have a dilemma that perhaps you could shed some light on. a guy tells me (after we’ve been hooking up for some time), “you know i love you jade,” as he shyly directs his eyes downwards and back up.

    3 weeks after leaving him, we are flirting one night and have cyber sex together. during this time, he brought up the issue of “marriage.” he said something along the lines of, “unless we got married.” i said, “to me?” he says, “no no i’m just saying.”

    anyway. things were fine until he and i decided a couple of nights ago (well, more so, i decided) that we’d stop hooking up because well, we both want different things in life (we had a conversation about this) and i didn’t think it would be good for me. he said, “idc… that’s no problem.”

    so after a day of thinking, i figured that it was unrealistic of me. if he and i are going to hang out, it would be damn near impossible to avoid any kind of intimacy. we discuss this for an hour, and i say that our sexual needs should be met if the time arose. and that the “door can be open.”

    he responds adamantly and says no, that we should just “stay friends like we decided.” i begin to feel insulted, to which i say more, trying to get my point across. he says he understands, but then starts yelling “NO! I do not want to!”

    we ended on a bad note, both sending angry text messages to the other.

    i am very confused. he says he loves me, talks about marriage, and then gets angry over this?? i feel horrible.

    • hellolion

      Well, it could be the lack of (what he feels like) is proper acknowledgment of his feelings? While he may or may not be head over heels for you, people generally don’t say, “I love you,” without some meaning behind it (at least a kitten!), and your sort of nonchalant attitude has put him off. This is not your fault; you are looking out for your own best interests, and acting on your feelings in a way that makes sense to you, and that is normal and logical. However, no matter how less logical his actions are, you still must be considerate of his feelings (or his perceived feelings), if you have any hope of future hooking up, or even future friendship. Treat his feelings with respect and talk to him earnestly about what he feels, and (to quote a good friend) eventually he’ll come to his senses or you will.

      Did that help?

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