Recently I posed a question on Social Media asking what it means to be in love. This is something that has been weighing heavily on my heart. I got many remarkable answers. Following is a compilation of my thoughts as well as thoughts offered by others via email and Social Media. I appreciate all of the input that came my way. So many of you touched my heart with your words. Thank you!
What is REAL love? It’s much more than a declaration. It’s far beyond the public show. It’s love without conditions. It’s a vow that cannot be broken. Unconditional love is love that doesn’t come or go easily. It sticks around when things get tough. Its first instinct is to stay and work through the difficult conversations, feelings and emotions when you hit a rough patch. It doesn’t run away.
Love is an unconditional commitment to an imperfect person… together you are perfect, compliment each other, complete the missing pieces and live without judgment…ending each day with a promise to always laugh and cry together as one in love….
Real love is love that never dies because it is without conditions. Real love isn’t fickle. We don’t fall in and out of unconditional love. Real love endures imperfections. It survives days when we wake up on the wrong side of the bed, days when we are feeling down, sick, or just plain grouchy and negative. In fact, on those days, it’s extra attentive. It understands that love is enough to get you through. It outlasts the struggles.
Being twice divorced…. I find there must be phases of love and comprise. God demonstrated ULTIMATE LOVE in sacrificing his Son for our sins. His love is unconditional and unwavering. For the most part, we are largely undeserving. But He loves us all the same. This is as LOVE should be. It is not a reward. It cannot be removed. It is, as a mother loves her child. It is UNDERSTOOD. It is PURE and instinctual. No thought is given to personal gain. Yet nothing you can do to demonstrate that love ever seems enough or adequate. It is driven unselfish desires to see/and make another happy and successful with (or without us) in their lives.
After 24 years of a very good marriage I know I am still in love because my heart melts a little bit when my husband walks in the door after work, and when someone mentions his name it always makes me smile. I still feel the love in his hugs.
Love doesn’t troll bars, nightclubs, or social media. If you do this, you stand no chance of ever being able to give enough and let go enough to experience true love. Real love isn’t searching for more. Real love is vulnerable. It gives all it has. There is no back up plan. There is no looking into greener pastures. Yes, we can all appreciate a particular attractive person who crosses our paths but we don’t go in search of them trying to get their attention. The attention we get from our true love is all we need.
Real love is not physical – it runs deeper than that. True love is the bond created between two people based on respect, admiration, loyalty, support, and emotional fulfillment. It means caring more about the other person than you do about yourself. Couples in love usually share the same life goals and work together to achieve them. True love overcomes all obstacles and often includes self-sacrifice. Unlike lust, love doesn’t diminish with the passage of time. Instead, it grows stronger and deeper.
Love is attentive. With technology constantly at our fingertips it’s tempting to always have something to do. We can call it work or even say it’s necessary but it shouldn’t come between you and love. You don’t have to be present 100% of the time but when you are spending time together, you must be 100% present. Electronic devices should never come between you and love. Nothing is more important than that true connection.
Love is: An equally shared decision to exist within the skin of one another while remaining completely independent of each other…. A united effort, to shelter one another without a sense of imprisonment….
Love is fun. It’s freeing. When you feel unconditionally loved, you know you can let go of everything. You trust unconditionally when you know your love will never die and that it’s not looking for more. If there is a constant threat of leaving, one can’t ever truly let go and be in the moment. You’ll never experience the freedom and fun if you refuse to let go and give all.
Love is a journey of growing together with someone. It’s knowing and realizing that not one of us is perfect except for Jesus. With that said, loving someone so much to not take advantage of them; to let them be who they need to be; to not smother them. To realize that each of us expresses love in our own unique way is also such an important component. Love also includes trusting someone, being able to forgive, as well as always wanting the best for them.
Love is trustworthy. If you are taking your phone into the bathroom with you while at home, something is wrong. There should be an open door policy when it comes to your communication with others. This doesn’t mean that you should check each other’s texts and emails but you should each be completely okay if your love happens to see one of your texts. That just tells the other person that you are never having inappropriate conversations with another person. Emotional cheating will most assuredly destroy your love.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.