And I could look up dictionary definitions... and I did, but trust me, it was a LONG definition with examples etc. (hm... maybe that's what I am getting at... there are so many ways to love and to not love, so many possible definitions of what love is or isn't) and I wasn't sure you really wanted to read a post from dictionary.com when you could be reading my ramblings instead (so much more the fun!!). I could also look into the Bible for the definition of love (and I have done that too, and whether you are a believer or not, there are some wise words there) but I didn't want to do that either. I wanted to look at my observations of love and I wanted to share them with you. So here is the love that I have seen in my past relationships (oh yea, I forgot to mention that this would be primarily about romantic love, although loads of it could apply to other types of love too), in the relationships of family members, and the relationships of friends.
So long story short (too late), here is the list:
1. Wanting to make things better for the other person. When they are sick or down, you want to do little things to make them feel better. If they are unhappy in their job, you want to listen and then help them find their happy.
2. Not being concerned with the outer as much as the inner (not belly buttons... people). They looked great when you met them and maybe some things have changed a little, but the person on the inside is still the person you love... so you go back to #1 and try to help them find their happy and be themselves.
3. Preserves the core of who they are. You might ask them to do things for you, you might ask them to change how they communicate with you so that you can hear them better etc... but you keep their essence the same and you fight tooth and nail to help them keep the purest part of themselves from being destroyed in any way.
4. Helps them grow. The last person I truly loved, I loved for the man he was, the man he wasn't and the man he WAS GOING TO BE. So, I tried to help him see and achieve his dreams... I think love does that.
5. Communicates in the voice of the other. We all have tendencies to to say things a certain way, to hear things a certain way, to see things a certain way. It's part of our schema. It's part of our make up. But when we really love someone, we try to bend ourselves a little to communicate in their way, and we hope they do the same for us.
6. Meets the person where they are at. In love, people have needs. We all have ways of giving and receiving love and its IMPORTANT. Take time, figure out what matters to you and to your partner and then work on meeting your partner in the way they receive love and then help them meet you in the same way.
7. Forgives and even forgets sometimes. Sometimes the forgetting is worth more than the forgiving. Forgiving your partner of a wrong and then holding on to it in your memory can just create bitterness and distrust... it's not worth it. If you feel like you can forgive it, then forget it.
8. Trusts, but isn't blind. We can trust and have faith in those we love, but we don't have to be blind to their faults or deaf to those things being said.... we should be bold and ask though... that makes sense.
9. Honest. That's it... that's all there is to that. It is what it is... be honest, expect honesty, give honesty.
10. Passionate. And no, not just in the bedroom... love is passionate in and about all the other things in the list and most of all about the other person.
I've been giving this a lot of thought lately as I've tried to figure out what I want in my next relationship. I've thought about those in the past and allowed myself to be vulnerable enough to be completely honest with myself and see my own mistakes and to see the mistakes of the other person too. And I think I'm coming to a clearer understanding of what it is going to take for me to make it work.... and when they say "make it work" that is what they mean... it's WORK. And I accept that, own it and anticipate it!