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What is love?
A coaching client of mine recently asked me these questions:
What is love, and how do you know when you feel it?
Can you love many people?
Does love end?
(Something for my Elephant Journal family to ponder…and even share their views and opinions!)
I absolutely love her for being so curious and exploring these questions, which in turn makes me dig deep into my psyche to explore how I view love.
The truth is, those are all such amazing and controversial questions (which is actually how I responded to her).
Love is not a one-size-fits-all feeling.
Love is such a strong and consuming topic for me because I love love. I admire everything about it—the intensity, the passion, the excitement, the hormones, the chemicals, the sex, the feeling of never wanting to be without that person.
It is the most incredible feeling ever. Isn’t it?
However, as we all know, sadly, that undying passion doesn’t last forever. And, it’s a total mindf*ck when it starts to fade away.
You know that feeling; I am sure you have felt it. Desperately wanting the old feelings back, you will do anything to feel it.
Some of us even create push-pull relationships so we can continue to feel it. Oh, the excitement of breaking up and getting back together.
So, for some, love is that feeling—passion, excitement, sex, chemical, intense. Dare I say, mind-blowing?
For others, it is much deeper and much more solid; it actually stands the test of time. It’s a partnership, a support system, a hug, a snuggle at night, someone cleaning your car off for you (think snow), or someone who brings you a cup of coffee each morning.
It is your laundry folded, the kids being taken care of, the house in order, bills paid, and someone who has your back in any situation.
Yep, it might seem boring because it is not be filled with crazy passion (anymore) or unending sexual escapades or goosebumps and butterflies when they call you or enter the room. Still, it is much more; it’s safety, lasting, comfortable, warm like a cozy blanket on a cold night.
This love lasts through financial woes, near-divorce moments, death, weight gain, hormonal changes, kids, empty nest, mortgages, bills, and complacency.
It is a commitment.
Love is something that is specific to an individual and what they need to feel loved. Some people need and actually require affection; others want gifts; some want words of affirmation, hand holding, a text in the morning, someone to do the housework with them, good parenting, financial security, date nights, common interests; it’s all individualistic.
Whatever makes you feel whole and safe—that is love.
So as you can see, there is no real answer to that complicated question because it is really up to each person—how they view love.
The things I listed above are what I absorbed from the seemingly-successful couples I know. The ones who may not be chomping at the bit to get naked and spend the day in bed with their spouses, but they know they never want to be without them, and they don’t have to.
I am still exploring what love means to me and questioning if I have felt it.
I am sure I have, in many people, in many ways, but I certainly haven’t found the one who will last the test of time (if there is such a thing)!
Tell me: what is love for you?