Author Topic: How many people do you love?  (Read 2661 times)

Sailor Sam

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How many people do you love?
« on: December 01, 2018, 09:48:09 PM »
We spend a fair time in these parts talking of tribes and communities and kindred spirits, because community is important to most humans. However, I realized today that I have no idea how many people the average human actually loves. I contemplated, and I came up with five.

1. Wife: she's smart, and wry, and dark humoured. I love her drive, and her accomplishments, and her butt. I crave her attention and affection, and everything savage inside myself is keyed towards ensuring her safety and happiness.

2. Hostile Friend: I love this friend for a lot of the same reasons I love Wife. And same as Wife, I crave Hostile Friends attention, and want to be seen as special in her esteem. She does't like many people, but she likes me, and that is amazing. 

3. Open Friend: On the surface, Open Friend and I don't have much in common. He's brimming with unstructured time and emotions, and I'm deeply regulated and repressed. I can't explain why we clicked, but it's obvious we get along like a house on fire. Unlike my other loves, we complement instead of accentuate, each other.

4. Old Friend: This friend has been in my life for decades, and has endured distance, personality changes, and interest changes. I couldn't shake her, even if I wanted to.

5. Da: he's a good father. I don't examine loving my Da; it's simply that I do love him.

Thats a list of the quick and the good. I've had a few other loves, both platonic and romantic. Some drifted away, and some died. Maybe, someday I'll add another, but I'm content with five. That seems full enough for me.

Greyweld

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Re: How many people do you love?
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2018, 10:17:30 PM »
This is a hard one for me to draw the line at. I'm going to err on the side of if I'm questioning whether or not I love someone, calling it a "no."

1. Partner
2. Mom
3. Dad
4. Bro 1
5. Bro 2
6. Friend-since-high-school
7. Friend-since-college

There are a lot of cases where I feel as though I'm supposed to love someone (often non-nuclear-family relatives) but I don't. And there are many people (including possibly those family members) who I think I would love if I knew them better, if we spent more time together, or if we had more of a history. But even so, it's very hard for me to draw a hard line on who I love and who I don't.

yakamashii

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Re: How many people do you love?
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2018, 12:17:49 AM »
1. Wife. She's the most genuine person I know, and the only person on the planet who's taken the time to learn me and love me.

She's the only one. There's another level of people I wish the best for, namely some trusted colleagues and my wife's extended family, and everyone else is just everyone else.

Dollar Slice

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Re: How many people do you love?
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2018, 12:36:26 AM »
Love is a hard word to define. If I'm keeping it to people I have very strong feelings toward, like I would instantly launch myself in rage at anyone who hurt them, it's probably just a couple of close family members. If we're talking about people I value and respect and care about a lot, who I really enjoy as a person, who I think about and smile and feel a fuzzy warm feeling in my heart and maybe (but not necessarily) want to give them a big hug, then we're looking at dozens.

Dicey

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Re: How many people do you love?
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2018, 12:53:12 AM »
Oh crap, too many to count right now. I love lots of people to varying degrees and I am not shy about telling them so. It's one of the lasting gifts I received when I had cancer. Being from a big family gives me a big head start as well.
Good question, sir.

former player

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Re: How many people do you love?
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2018, 03:52:23 AM »
I have benevolent feelings towards a number of people, but if we are talking "drop everything and go immediately when they need my presence?  Six: three relatives and three friends.  None of whom would abuse that trust.


Edited to add:  And my dog, of course.  Who is not human but is his own person.

Cranky

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Re: How many people do you love?
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2018, 04:51:51 AM »
Spouse + 3 adult children + grandchild + sister = 6 on my “will take a bullet for you list.”

I have a number of friends on a slightly lower list, though

2Birds1Stone

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Re: How many people do you love?
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2018, 09:28:45 AM »
2.5

E.T.

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Re: How many people do you love?
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2018, 03:30:53 PM »
Give anything of myself for them: probably 18 people, 7 of which are friends and the rest are family and my husband.

I fiercely love people and think about them often even if we're apart for a while or out of touch. Several of us have dropped everything to be at each other's sides before when things get tough or to celebrate life's major joys. I'm really lucky that I think for most of those people, the love goes both ways. :)

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Re: How many people do you love?
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2018, 03:49:16 PM »
This is a really interesting question.  I would have to say: 4

My wife and my 3 kids.

I like my Dad, brother and sister, and have a few extended relatives that I like, and a couple of good friends.  But the relationship I have with my immediate family is so much more than those other ones.  I probably would have put Dad on the list 20 years ago, but since he remarried the relationship has drifted.  My brother ans sister were a few years older than me, and I was never very close to them.

Rural

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Re: How many people do you love?
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2018, 06:47:49 PM »
Living people? I get 15 at first consideration; husband and (many of my) family members.
Of that number, I'm sorry to say 11 are over the age of 70.

ElleFiji

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Re: How many people do you love?
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2018, 08:17:47 PM »
My initial response is all of them. But if I think of a more personal type of love... I don't love everyone. I feel much more love for Percy than for niece-dog.

Unconflicted and strong personal love
Percy
Mum
3 friends
2 nieces
1 cousin 1 aunt 2 dead people
-past loves

So... 9-11

Conflicted and strong... Another 3-10

Weaker but unconflicted... Another 10-50

It definitely changes over time, paramours come and go. Friends build and fade.

I still think that my strongest answer is all of them. That's how many I give and receive love from all the time. But thinking about the personal connections might strongly influence my Christmas card list.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: How many people do you love?
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2018, 09:01:19 PM »
-Husband & kids - 3
-Parents, sister, nephews - 5
-Ride or die best friend - 1
-Inlaws - 2

Lots of amazing aunts, uncles & cousins as well

wordnerd

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Re: How many people do you love?
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2018, 09:47:44 PM »
TIER 1
Husband--brilliant, kind, intense with an understated sense of humor
Toddler--inquisitive, funny, stubborn (like me), mischievous
Baby--Adorable, smiling lump of person dough
Mom--Quiet, kind, steady. I remember listening to her heartbeats as a kid, which is how her love feels to me: a steady heartbeat.
Dad--Flawed, but loves me more than anyone in the world. Big-hearted.

TIER 2
Best Friend--Brilliant, bristly, sarcastic
Brothers--We shared history and affection, but we are very different people

Tass

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Re: How many people do you love?
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2018, 10:25:30 PM »
I have seven siblings and two excellent parents, so that's nine right there. Three of my siblings are young adults I have known all my life and love deeply, even though we don't always see eye to eye. Four of my siblings are children and have only been in my life, at a distance, for 2 years, so it is less of a personal connection love (though it has some parts of that), but is based more on the way it is easy to love children* + a strong sense of protection/responsibility for them.

At the most discriminating, there's probably only two other people to include on this tier - my partner and my best friend. There are 5-8 other friends I love fiercely if not daily and a cousin I'm very fond of. Those people it would break me to lose. After that lots of people I really like but don't keep close track of anymore.

*It's also easy to hate children, depending on the child. It helps that my siblings aren't usually brats.

okits

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Re: How many people do you love?
« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2018, 11:23:03 PM »
People that I would volunteer to take a bullet for: spouse, Kid1, Kid2, mom, dad, best friend. 

People for whom I would drop everything to help in a crisis: another 15 or so.

Interestingly, I think having children shoved a whole bunch of people off the first list and onto the second one.  Partially because child rearing is so time consuming it has crowded out much of the time I used to have for friends.  Definitely because many of my friendships couldn't compare in attachment and intensity to the relationships I have with my children.  And possibly somewhat because I feel a responsibility to my sticky boat units to be around to look after them; when I sacrifice something of myself, I do stop to consider if what is sacrificed should be going to my children. 

DS

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Re: How many people do you love?
« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2018, 09:08:48 AM »
Too many to count

mm1970

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Re: How many people do you love?
« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2018, 11:08:29 AM »
Husband, Kid 1, Kid 2, Stepdad, Mother in law, 8 siblings.
A few nieces and nephews that I feel close to.

Probably a handful of close friends in town.

Between 20 and 25.

jeninco

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Re: How many people do you love?
« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2018, 11:50:43 AM »
It's interesting how bimodal the responses are.

I'd say that I "love" a number of people in the community who I think model the kind of person I want to be more, along with the usual folks.

Husband, 2 kids, my aunt, perhaps my mom (although I think that's more obligation at this point). I love my uncle on the other side, but we hardly ever see him, so I'm not sure that counts. Probably my brother.

My best friend and her husband. My other best friend, and another great friend, although I only see the two of them a few times/year. Several ex- (and current) coaches of kids. One former teacher of my kids whom I love and respect.  Thinking more about it, some of these folks just put themselves so out there, especially with teenagers, that it's hard not to love them back.

So maybe 15? I'm weird, though -- there are a bunch of people on the list who I would go out of my way to help and toward whom I feel warm and appreciative but with whom I don't necessarily have a close personal relationship.

I've also been living in the same place for > 20 years, so there are a lot of people with whom I have relationships of various levels of warmth, or with whom the temperature varies depending on what we're all doing. (Not that it ever gets bad, just that there are times when we're working together on projects and times when we're not.)

Dollar Slice

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Re: How many people do you love?
« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2018, 01:18:42 PM »
It's interesting how bimodal the responses are.

Yeah - it makes me wonder if it's a question of definition (what qualifies as "love" to different people) or if it's a question of people just being very different in terms of how they relate to others (being open to deeper relationships or being more guarded, etc.).

madgeylou

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Re: How many people do you love?
« Reply #20 on: December 03, 2018, 01:52:25 PM »
I love TONS of people. I'm a total love slut. :)

How many people do I TELL them I love them on a regular basis? A half a dozen friends, my husband, brother, sister-in-law, niece, nephew. I feel super grateful for this list <3

But I love a lot more people than that. I love my boss and a couple other colleagues. I love lots of my old friends, who I don't see very often because we live in different places, but I still totally love them and always will. I And I love some new friends and some people I mostly know from the internet and some people that I don't know very well but feel an intense affinity towards.

Why are there two lists? Because lots of folks get weird about the L word. When I say I love someone, I mean that I feel deeply and happily connected to them. It means they have claimed a piece of my heart. It doesn't come along with fidelity or forever, but it does come with loyalty and willingness to be there for them and hoping all the best for them.

When I start to love someone I don't tend to ever stop loving them, but sometimes I stop having a relationship with them. I definitely still love lots of people that I no longer have relationships with ...

Sailor Sam

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Re: How many people do you love?
« Reply #21 on: December 03, 2018, 08:27:18 PM »
I forgot to add Sanders. Though, that's more of a possessive love. He's mine, and woe betide anyone who thwarts him in his life journey.

frugaliknowit

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Re: How many people do you love?
« Reply #22 on: December 04, 2018, 04:26:51 AM »
Wrong blog for this...

Sailor Sam

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Re: How many people do you love?
« Reply #23 on: December 04, 2018, 05:58:15 AM »
Wrong blog for this...

Why? Now I'm curious.

jeninco

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Re: How many people do you love?
« Reply #24 on: December 04, 2018, 08:56:54 AM »
Wrong blog for this...

Why? Now I'm curious.

Seems sensible to me -- it struck me as how I felt about my kids when they were smaller (before the obnoxious teenager stage, which is clearly developmental to get you to push them out of the nest...)

simonsez

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Re: How many people do you love?
« Reply #25 on: December 04, 2018, 02:23:25 PM »
I tend to think of it as how many people would I take a bullet for otherwise the number seems too high, or maybe my standards for what I think of for loving a human being are lower than normal.

Bullet sacrifice # ~ 8
Humans that I love # = 30, 50, maybe higher, not sure would take awhile to count.

I love my dog as well, but not a person so did not include.

CNM

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Re: How many people do you love?
« Reply #26 on: December 04, 2018, 02:31:15 PM »
I most closely love my kid and my spouse.  I would put in a very close second tier my mom, my dad, my 2 sisters, and my 2 sisters' kids.  A third tier would be pretty expansive: my MIL, FIL, sisters in law, brothers in law, nieces and nephews on that side, a few very close friends.

GuitarStv

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Re: How many people do you love?
« Reply #27 on: December 04, 2018, 02:57:50 PM »
What a weird question.  I'm not entirely sure how to answer it.

I don't love everyone equally, there's definitely some kind of sliding scale at work.