How Your View Of Love Changes As You Grow Up

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How The Definition of Love Changes While You Grow Up


If there is one thing I know for sure, it is that the definition of "love" has gotten a totally different dimension at this stage of my life than when I grew up. We all experience love differently throughout our lives and it teaches us a lot about who we really are.

Of course, there are millions of articles, books, and movies on this passionate subject, but only you can tell for yourself what love means to you. And your definition of love most likely changes as you grow up.

That makes it an interesting exercise to go within and ask yourself that question:   

Doing this exercise for myself, this is what I found out about my own experiences:

Love as a child

Under 10 years old, I remember needing the love of my parents as a confirmation and recognition of who I was as a sensitive child. I unconsciously tried to do the best I could to please them and make them proud.

I also felt a deep "connection" at the regular family parties and holidays where we bonded with the large extended family of grandparents, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews. Feeling that "togetherness", almost as a tribe, was a deep meaning of love to me.

Love as a teenager and young adult.

Later, up to my 20's, love got a totally different meaning. It became more "individual" to me.

As a teenager, I looked for love in intense friendships with a few girlfriends who could truly understand my feelings and needs, because it seemed that my parents and siblings could not. And of course, I also discovered the chemical meaning of love with a few "romantic" relationships that threw me off my feet.

With that romance, it became clear that love could also hurt a lot. I was a "giver" and often lost myself in love because I gave too much of myself, not getting the same in return. Never did realize that not everybody feels "love" in the same way.

But I did find a partner who understood my being and gave me the divine gift of long lasting love that matures every day.

The power of unconditional love and the danger of sacrifice as a parent

Later, the definition of love changed again as I got three children, who taught me the power of "unconditional love". Why is it that we do not know what true love without conditions really means until we have a child? Again, I gave all that I had.

As a physiotherapist, I even loved my patients — again, another definition of love but I truly cared and did more than was asked of me, every single day.

Only when I got seriously ill at 38 years old did I discover that I had sacrificed myself in these many different love relationships in my life.

My body was telling me that I needed to start investing in the most important love relationship in my life, which I had completely neglected till then: self-love.

The necessity of conscious self-love

Since then, I have permitted myself to find out what loving myself means to me. It is clear that I needed to discover this unique love to become the best version of myself to love and serve others better.

The definition of love does not include sacrifice to me anymore. I used to love from an empty vessel. Now, I love from a place of love and care for myself, which is the best place to be to live one’s purpose and passion.

More miracles of love still to come

Today, I am blessed to feel also the love for my first grandchild, which has another dimension once again.

Yes, the more experience one has in different kinds of love, the more we find out who we truly are ourselves…because love teaches us everything about ourselves if we let it!

Danielle Sax is a coach, mentor, speaker, and author. To discover more simple-but-powerful steps to activate more conscious self-care and stress-free living and set healthy boundaries for yourself, visit her website and download the free e-book and checklist on "How To Say NO To Others And YES To Yourself". You get more tips on how to live in balance and boost your confidence.

See a boy and a man with 57-year age difference talk about life and love.


This article was originally published at Danielle Sax. Reprinted with permission from the author.