Love Is. . .
Last week we spoke about what love is not. This week we are speaking about what love is. With 7 days until Valentine’s Day, I think this topic is just in time. The list below contains 7 characteristics of love. If your love life is lacking any of these characteristics, I challenge you to think critically about whether you are experiencing true love.
When you love, you give someone power over your heart to break it. That’s a scary feeling. Many of us want to be in control of our feelings and emotions. The truth is, when we begin to fall in love, we usually trust that people will not break our heart. Of course, over time that trust could wither, as I mentioned in a previous post (Love Is Not), and that is essentially what makes love so scary; the thought that someone could break your trust and cause you to experience a pain like no other.
When you love someone, you do not give up easy. Love will cause you to stay and try again to make it work. In toxic situations, of course, it is okay to leave, and I encourage walking away. However, when all it takes is some communication and compromise, Love is worth relentless pursuit.
When you love someone, you handle their heart as carefully as you would an item that is impossible to replace. Essentially, their heart is impossible to replace. I personally look at love as a blessing from God. I believe it is given to me by God, so I am careful to take care of it.
Whether you believe in God or not (your choice), I am sure that there is something in your life that you value and that could not be replaced. Treat your partner’s heart the same way as you would this item.
When in love, you will not pressure your partner into things that they are not ready for. You will wait patiently. This may include sex, children, a career change, etc. This is not to say that a gentle nudge of encouragement is wrong, but when it is clear that they are not ready, you will wait patiently.
However, it is also important to set standards for yourself. If you are ready for something that your partner is absolutely not ready for, and may never be ready for, it may be time to reevaluate the relationship. If waiting compromises your long-term happiness, move on. If you do not mind waiting, stay. However, the pressure on your partner will only make them repel against your desires even more. This is especially true if you are dating someone with anxiety. To read more on that topic click the link.
The best part of being in love was the freedom in being my complete self with my partner. I did not have to pretend to be something that I was not in order to fit in. I did not have to filter out my slang or think of the politically correct way to say things. I could be silly, serious, curious, or a total nerd, and that was fine. I could lay next to my partner in silence and that was fine. Everything was fine. I was completely free.
Altruism means doing a good deed without the expectation that you will get something in return. Love is truly altruistic. When in love, you want your partner to be happy and successful. You do things for them because you love them, not because they will pay you back.
I want to clarify that if the relationship is one-sided or toxic, then altruism does not apply here. If you are only giving and never getting anything in return, you may be experiencing some early signs of abuse. Here are 10 Signs of Domestic Abuse if you need it.
7. The Best Feeling in the World
Overall, love is the best feeling in the world. It may be scary, but once you take the chance to fully experience and embrace it, love becomes something you do not ever want to let go.
I often hear "love hurts." I will make the argument that love it the best feeing in the world, and what actually hurts, is the absence of love.
Question of The Week:
How would you define love?
Love (the feeling) can't be explained in [only] a few words. Love for me is when you unconditionally think good about someone. That's love! You keep thinking about them whatever you do, wherever you go. Love is a feeling which will keep you motivated [when you are the most] frustrated and lost, it’s a feeling, which [goes beyond] physical contact.
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Love is beautiful and magical. Though scary, it is not something we should avoid. We should fully embrace it and take every measure to protect it.
Happy Valentine’s Day, My Lovelies.
I pray that it is full of love in the truest and purest sense.
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