My beautiful grandparents, Daniel and Florence when they were first married.
What is Love?
Love isn’t just a definition in the dictionary but let’s start with that.
an intense feeling of deep affection.
a deep romantic or sexual attachment to someone.
a great interest and pleasure in something.
feel a deep romantic or sexual attachment to (someone).
like very much; find pleasure in.
These definitions of love may teach you how to use the word love in a sentence, but they certainly don’t encompass the deep meaning behind the word when you say it to someone or when you describe the way you feel about a person you care a lot about.
For example, when I describe how much I love my daughter to someone, I always tear up. In fact, I am tearing up typing this out. The heaviness of the love I carry for her is almost indescribable. Here is a human whom I carried around in my womb for 40 weeks. I pushed her out, with great pain and brought her into this world. Without me she would have died. I fed her my breast milk and held her until she could walk (and for years after). She relied on me and her dad completely. Over the years I watched her personality develop and her strength grow. Being in a divorced family, my daughter has strength even I do not possess. I watch her conquer tasks and succeed at life. I am proud, I am overwhelmed, I am so in awe of my daughter.
But let’s get back to the reason I am writing this, romantic love. What is it to love someone? Do we really love someone if we can leave them? Back to my daughter, I could NEVER leave her. You would have to kill me if you wanted to remove me from her life. So why do we approach romantic love more selfishly?
Honestly, that is a million-dollar question. Should we, or shouldn’t we?
I think we should approach romantic love more selfishly, to a point, and here is why.
We are adults interacting with other adults.
We should have the mental capacity to treat others how we want to be treated. Sometimes your children will treat you terribly and though we should teach them to treat others better than that, we cannot expect them to be perfect or always take our feelings into consideration.
With our romantic partners, we should not have to waiver in our beliefs. Only you can decide if you are being treated badly. You, as an adult, have the right to make those decisions about what you think is ok.
So, what is love? I think love is different for everyone and when you find a partner who sees love the same way, you are golden. Sure, we all feel love from different things, such as physical touch, acts of service etc, but it is fundamental to have the same idea about love as your partner.
These are a few of my fundamental beliefs about love
Love is accepting that we are human.
I have to admit, I get a little frustrated with what I see in reality TV and hear in love songs. I am frustrated to hear the blame game when relationships go sour or end. We are all human, we all have feelings that change, we all mess up…a lot. Instead of all the whining, saying “I would have never.” And “how could you treat me like this.”, remember that you may have done or will do the same thing to someone else. It is a very rare situation where your partner is actually acting out of ill will towards you. Most people are not malicious, they are just selfish, which again I am not sure is actually bad. Sometimes people are just not right for each other.
Love is letting a person leave if they are not in love with you. If your partner falls out of love with you and leaves you, this is also not being treated terribly. They cannot force themselves to love you or want to be with you.
Begging someone to stay with you is selfish. Do you really want to be in a relationship where you know they are not all in? I certainly don’t.
Love is finding your best friend.
Love is wanting your partner to feel loved. Finding what they want from you and trying to provide this for them. You want them to do this for you right?
Love is remaining independent. Don’t lose yourself in another person and don’t let them lose themselves. If you can be happy spending time apart, I believe you have a strong relationship. One of you will likely die before the other person does. What will you do then? What if your partner has an opportunity out of state and you cannot follow them? Long distance can work if you have this strong foundation.
Love is not sweating the small stuff, and sometimes even the big stuff. Seriously, what good will it do to stay mad. It will probably just keep you from being happy. You only have one life to live, you might as well enjoy it.
Love is not just a feeling. If someone asks you why you love your partner and your only answers start with “because they make me feel…”, then you are likely going to fall out of love quickly. Maybe you don’t really love them. Maybe you love the feeling they give you.
This is what I believe about Love, but who am I to know everything? What is love to you?