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?
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.“
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