The Three Components of Love

What is love?

Poets have written impassioned verses about it.

Psychologists have studied its emotional and physiological effects and published countless papers in scientific journals on the topic.

Anthropologists have traced its existence in human cultures over tens of thousands of years.

I should be able to explain it in 600 words or less, right?

Here goes.

Love, as I understand it, must include three components.

To be loved, we must first be known.

A friend of mine, getting ready for her first date with the man who would become her husband, made sure that her makeup and hair were perfect. She selected her outfit with care and slipped on her favorite pair of shoes.

In a phone call just before the big date, her prospective suitor informed her she should wear old clothes that she wouldn’t mind getting dirty.

Her response? No way! She wanted to impress her date. She wore her best sweater and a pair of dress slacks.

Unknown own to her, the destination of their first date was an event called “Mud Trucks Gone Wild“. By the end of the night, she was covered from head to toe with mud, and her good sweater was in the trash can.

Two years later, nevertheless, they were married.

We do try to display our shiniest, most attractive side to a new love. We want to impress.

We can’t be in love, however, without viewing someone from all sides, mud and all.

Only after we see, understand, and accept even the unflattering aspects of a person can we truly say we are in love.

We can only love those whom we know.

To be loved, we must be adored.

I was going to say “appreciated” rather than “adored” but “appreciated” doesn’t have a strong enough connotation.

In old movies, when a husband considered straying, his typical line to a potential partner went something like this: “My wife doesn’t appreciate me.

I think that really meant, “My wife doesn’t adore me.

Adoration has a more intense, reverent connotation than love.

When you adore someone, you respect that person. You trust them completely. You are devoted to them. You would make sacrifices for the person you adore.

To adore someone means you have made yourself vulnerable, which is a pretty scary thing for most of us.

No one ever said love was easy.

Finally, when we love someone, we must be willing to be there for our love until the end of time.

No matter what.

We can count on someone who loves us. Period. No excuses.

When we love someone, we celebrate the good times and forgive the bad times.

Being loved brings us a sense of serenity and connectedness.

Someone who loves you will have seen you at your worst and inspire you to be your best. My most fervent wish is to one day become the person my husband perceives me to be. It is my goal every single day to be the person I am in his eyes.

My words to describe love are anemic compared to those Saint Paul wrote in his letter to the Corinthians 2,000 years ago: “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

585 words.

You can find the places I link up here.


  1. Hi Laurie, I was intrigued by your title and where you would take us on this Love journey. Your friend’s story about her first date made me laugh out loud. Unfortunately, and fortunately, my husband has seen all of my sides, including the mud.🙂 Feeling “adored” is a big deal. I speak from experience. And your last part reminds me of the unconditional part of love. A beautifully written post, Laurie. I know you also speak from experience.❤️

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Can you squeeze in something about respect with your 15 extra words? I actually believe the most important make-or-break component of a loving relationship is mutual respect. When I was the finance director at the Y (11 years) I saw tons of terrible marriages. The thing that was always missing was respect.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. I remember way back in college, a man I was dating said he loved me. I answered, I respected and appreciated him. He got a tear in his eyes and our relationship failed… I was in a different head space… you need to also both be ready at the same time. Many men came and went, some I did love but when I met my now husband, I knew he was the one for me. commitment came easily then.

    Liked by 3 people

    • You are so right – you both need to be at the same place at the same time. I met Bill during the first semester of our freshmen year at college. Wonderful that you could recognize the man who was right for you! Happily ever after!


  4. 585 words – you rock, Laurie!

    With Valentine’s Day coming up, my Marriage Encounter community has been gearing up for the celebration of marriage and your post is timely as I contemplate couplehood.

    The story of the Muddy First Date had me rolling – but seriously, it is a challenge to trust enough to truly be ourselves. Yet at the same time, a truly freeing experience.

    Your thoughts on adoration make me take pause: “When you adore someone, you respect that person. You trust them completely. You are devoted to them. You would make sacrifices for the person you adore.” I reckon I would get less impatient with Loving Husband if I expended more energy adoring him.

    “Someone who loves you will have seen you at your worst and inspire you to be your best.” That’s what Loving Husband does for me as well. You and I are indeed blessed.

    And while St Paul’s treatise on love is powerful, your reflection is far from anemic – I am touched by your honest and open sharing of what couple love is and can be; when we make that decision to love.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. You pulled it off, Laurie! In 585 words. Well done!

    Two sentences jumped out at me: “You trust them completely” and “We can count on someone who loves us.”

    It struck me how love is connected with dependability and constancy. Qualities that are often perceived as boring!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow. I guess love is much more than four letters stamped into a colorful candy heart and then tossed around to anyone who fancies the notion. Good words. Adoration tends to intentionally turn a blind eye to the shortcomings of another.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Laurie, this >>> “Someone who loves you will have seen you at your worst and inspire you to be your best.” May I be this person to my husband every single day. That is my prayer this morning. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Very lovely post. I got a chuckle out of the story about your friend who wanted to look perfect for her first date. I had a roommate in college that all of the boys flirted with. But, she wore so much makeup that she didn’t even look at all like the same person without it. I always wondered what a guy would think if he woke up beside her without makeup on. She also told everyone her name was Cindy Lou from Nashville. I don’t recall what her real name was, but it wasn’t that. She was not my favorite roommate, but now that I write this, I wonder what happened to her. Did she ever feel comfortable enough with herself to be herself and find someone who adored her for her and not the person she pretended to be? I hope so.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I totally agree with you on all three of these and I love that quote at the end. Also this line “To adore someone means you have made yourself vulnerable, which is a pretty scary thing for most of us” really resonates with me. The hardest thing in love for me is to be vulnerable. To let things happen and to open up about it. My biggest fear is that I’ll be disappointed or misunderstood and that will shake my whole relationship foundation. It’s extreme I know, but it’s really where my mind goes.

    Love really does go through its paces and stays for more. It’s funny, my husband and I both came from very difficult examples of marriage. My parents divorced when I was 12 and his parents are still together even though they completely despise each other, and they don’t keep that a secret. So when we get into tough situations, I’m always ready to leave, and Eric will fight for what he thinks is right. Needless to say it has been a rough go. But we always come back to what love really means. We come back to the open communication, the understanding, and the really knowing each other. I’m five months away from 40 and I feel like am just now starting to figure it out.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Being vulnerable is really hard. I had to learn how over decades of being married! I still don’t have it perfected by any means. Good for you and your hubby for breaking the cycle of broken relationships. It is not easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is!


  10. Yeah, you got it in three. Especially in regards to the adoration – that’s something that needs to be worked at, especially in a long term relationship. No one ever said it was easy.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. The word “adore” is what stands out to me here. I do feel “adored” by my husband (most of the time! ha) and it is a gift I never could have dreamed of having. I don’t deserve it; I thank God for it. I adore my husband in return. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This resonated with me, particularly that they need to see you muddy. Within a year of meeting my husband, I was put through one of the most traumatic experiences when my sister died suddenly. I knew that if he could stay committed to me during my period of grieving he was the right man for me. He has seen me at my worst many times because of health issues and further grieving periods. Seeing me at my worst brought us closer together if anything. Regards, Christina

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I am so sorry for the loss of your sister. Good for your hubby for supporting you during your period of grief. I think grief can either be used to bring couples together or pull them apart. I am glad in your case, it brought you together.


  13. This was a lovely read Laurie and you did it in under 600 words! Was that your self imposed limit I wonder? I get the difference between appreciated and adored and having been married for over 40 years I will take either/or!! #weekendcoffeeshare

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Deb. Yes…I typically publish 2 posts per week. I try to keep my Wednesday post under 600 words. I agree with you. We have been married for over 40 years too. BOTH appreciated and adored would be nice! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I could not suppress my laugh for your friend covered in mud on her first date. Sorry 🙂 But it is safe to say, love was still in the air for them. They, despite their muddy date, managed to walk down the aisle after all. And hats off to the guy for coming up with such a creative idea for dating 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am glad you enjoyed my friend’s story. It is hilarious when she tells it! She has a great sense of humor, so the mud was something funny to her, after the fact.


  15. What a beautiful post Laurie. The story about your friend and her first date made me smile. I’m glad it worked out for them both. Those three points you made about love are all very true and someone who loves you seeing you at your worst and inspiring you to be your best is certainly very true when it comes to my husband. I know what you mean about aspiring to become the woman you are in your husband’s eyes. Being willing to be there no matter what is so important. We’ve certainly been through some incredibly tough times but facing them together has helped give us both strength. #WotW

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Louise. I am so glad you and your husband have the kind of relationship where you feel you can see each other at your worst and still lobe each other. You definitely have been through terrible times. Overcoming adversity can either bring couples closer together or drive them apart. Obviously, for you and your hubby, it’s the former.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I may not follow any Christian religion (I did when I was not making my own choices) but that quote, from the Bible, always resonates. I have heard it and read it at many weddings. In fact, I have it as a little quote on a fridge magnet. I like the researcher from the Gottman Institute – Drs Gottman x 2 – and a recent interview of them from Brene Brown was fascinating. I “think” it was a podcast though. One thing in their research about couples who may or many not stay together is to watch them have arguments and see if much contempt/disdain is expressed, because if so it is a leading reason they have found for relationships to end.

    On this Valentine’s Day in Australia to you…have a good one.

    Denyse #weekendcoffeeshare

    Liked by 1 person

    • We had that passage read at our wedding (over 42 years ago!) I am currently reading my second Brene Brown book. It makes me wonder why I waited so long to “find” her. She gives such good, encouraging advice and information. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your Valentine!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Personally, I agree with all and I think mutual respect just naturally comes with the rest. However, I can’t help but remember my eighth grade teacher who told us in no uncertain terms that we can’t “adore” a human being. She said “Only God is to be adored.” …. Yes, it was of course our teacher was Sister Mary Somebody, so she may not have had a complete personal understanding of all of the components )). …. Happy Valentine’s Day!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. That’s a beautiful passage by Saint Paul – thank you for sharing it Laurie. And, because I am behind in Reader, I am reading it today, on Valentine’s Day. I never looked for a mate as I was so disheartened by my father’s actions and before that my grandfather. I decided it stopped there. I should probably been a little more open to a relationship, but the German side of me (which I never acknowledge as it was my father whom I hate) is stubborn.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I agree with all those components. It’s one of the most Christlike features of my husband’s love for me that he he seen me at my worst and still loves me. There’s such security in being fully known and still loved.

    Liked by 1 person

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