WHAT IS LOVE, ANYWAY?
I don’t know about you, but whenever I find myself using a word a lot, after a while it becomes less-than-perfectly-clear what, precisely, it means. Especially if the word is one of those “obvious, everyone knows what it means” words. Like love.
We act as if we all agree what love is. And, within bounds, we probably do: It’s that feeling of great affection for another. It’s the attachment that comes with the desire to be with another.
But real love is more than passion. Much more. Because real love is not just a feeling, it’s an action verb. Real love isn’t focused so much about what you feel, want, need, but on what the object of your love feels, wants, needs.
And not in order to win that person’s love; in order to be deserving of it.
You know your partner loves you when they make you a major priority in their lives. It’s as simple as that. If a person truly loves another, they make them the first priority in their lives.
Love is unselfishness, often putting the other person’s needs or wants above your own. It’s the act of giving as well as receiving – because it pleases you to please your partner.
They not only tell you that they love you, they show you by remembering and doing the little things YOU need, even when inconvenient or silly to them, because they know it will make you happy or your life easier.
They really listen to you when you are faced with a dilemma. They dive in to understand, and offer advice or help when asked. They provide comfort, a safe haven mentally and physically during difficult times in your life.
They consider your feelings and input when contemplating a life change. You make life changes together, figuring out the best choice for each person’s happiness, as well as what’s best for both together.
It’s all the things she did that she did not have to do and what she put up with! I knew she was for me that very first night, the blind date gone right. We talked and talked and most importantly listened to one another! And then I knew she really listened when she followed through: she surprised me with the rare book i’d been searching for, she cooked my favorite meal when she was too tired to cook but knew I needed it, she waited for me for far too long.
They don’t make you have to try to figure out whether they love you or not. They are real and upfront demonstrating their love for you, working together on the relationship, always communicating the fears, wishes, disappointments, needs, anger, what works. They assume you can always work it out – together – if only you talk and listen to one another.
They are honest with you, but with kindness, And you with them. You both believe that will get you through. That and patience, and shared laughter and values.
It boils down to a person taking on a certain amount of responsibility in reference to your overall happiness in the same manner you provide for them.
Do they put you first…that’s how you know.
When I need a medical procedure, I don’t have to worry. I can always count on him to take the day off to help me get through it, and take care of me for the remainder of the day. He takes care of me in good humor, without my demanding or even asking – because he wants to, because he prides himself on being able to. And he learns how to: when to make me laugh, when and how to comfort me, when to listen, when to intervene, when to back off.
The person is willing to truly, honestly put you ahead of themselves. Not just letting you decide where to go on a date, but in little things, big things, emotional things, money things, etc. They want to hear, and consider, your opinions, needs and feelings. I get concerned when I see someone who is more worried about what THEY are getting out of the relationship than they are worried about the emotional and physical well being of the other person. If, for example, someone hurt my feelings, either accidentally or intentionally, and then tried to laugh it off or play it down as not really being any big deal – run !!! One of the things that makes for a love that is really great, is two people who are always trying to put the other person first.
Trusting in one another. Always assuming the best of your partner. Sticking thru thick and thin, trusting her to be there, with you, in every decision. And you being there, with her, making sure every decision will be right for you, too.
The test is simple. If he or she can live with the worst thing about you – knowing what that is – then there is a chance for love.
Your heart may almost burst with happiness when your partner is happy. You may so empathize with your partner that sometimes it’s unclear whose pain you are feeling. You want to share the good, the bad and the future – whatever it brings – with your love. You want to get together, be together, be together. But love is more than a “feeling.” Real love demands time, attention and devotion – to your partner and your partner’s happiness as much as your own. LOVE. It develops over time and stands the test of time, rock solid even as the sands of time blow you both about.
You know the feeling, don’t you?
Copyright © 2012 Marlin S. Potash. All rights reserved.