What Is Love - For You?


Is Love important to you? Are you willing to sacrifice for Love? Can Love make you happy long-term?

What is love? Or more correctly, what is love for you?

 Love, famously, is different things for different people. The common factor is this: most people aren’t very clear about what Love is — for them.  Everyone knows that they want it. Everyone knows love is essential, it brings all manner of good things into their lives, and it is blind.  But what Love is, for them personally, they don’t seem to know, at all.

It’s that warm fuzzy feeling that lets you know that all is right with your world. But they lack a clear idea of how Love will play out in their world. They accept the romantic myths dished up by Hollywood, and they believe, or hope, that they can make Love the pilot of their life.  Once Love sits takes the controls everything will… well, fly high.

Often those who are wedded to this fantasy are the same women who speak of a partner who is sorely trying their faith in Love. He may be rude and insensitive. He may be inconsiderate and selfish.  He may be critical, and dismissive. He may be changeable, and rejecting. Judging by their description, he lacks that Loving Factor (even the Lovable Factor) yet, they round off their account of him with the words: “But I love him.”

What they don’t say is that sometimes they love him in spite of, rather than because of who he is.

Would you want to be loved in spite of, rather than because of who you are?

You probably wouldn’t, would you? While being loved is, as I see it, always better than a poke in the eye with a burnt stick, being loved in spite of yourself is a very long way from unconditional love. It’s a very long way from the real thing.

In fact, this kind of ‘In-Spite-of-Love’ seems to be the Get Out of Jail Free card for many people. It explains why we put up with far more than we should.  It justifies repeating the same mistake over and over again. It means we don’t have to give up on our emotional investment.

When we don’t know what Love is for us, we can use ‘In-spite-of-Love’ to prove to ourselves and the World that we have a generous, loving, forgiving heart. The real reason why we are prepared to put ourselves through that kind of pain is because we have a secret fantasy: one day, as our reward for being very good and long-suffering, ‘In-spite-of-Love’ will turn into the real thing: ‘Two-way-street-Love’, reciprocated Love, ‘Happy-together-Love’.

One thing we know about what Love is, is that Love is very powerful indeed. That is one of the things that misleads people into thinking that ‘In-spite-of-Love’ is the real deal.  (In fact, I would argue that it’s that cuckoo in the nest, Co-dependency, but that’s another article.)

Genuine Love is, in my book, ‘Happy-together-Love’.  Yes, it goes by the posher name of ‘Unconditional Love’ but, for a lot of people, Unconditional Love sounds like a Holy Grail, or a Unicorn: exotic and unattainable. ‘Happy-together-Love’ is more relatable.

 You could argue that infatuation is a ‘Happy-together’ emotion, and so it is. However, infatuation is also a tip of the iceberg emotion: you know something about the other person, and from that you extrapolate that what you don’t know is okay, and everything’s going to be okay.  Infatuation, sometimes known as Love’s Young Dream is when you’re in love with the dream – your fantasy of the other person – rather than who they truly are.

But isn’t that enough?  Do we really need to know what Love is? After all, Love is all you need, right?

If you needed a car, you probably wouldn’t say, “A car is all I need”.You’d think about the model, age, cost, miles on the clock, running costs, maintenance,  previous owners if applicable, etc. etc.  In short, you’d be fairly clear what you wanted that car for, and what features you needed for it to fit your purpose.

Too many people don’t do that when it comes to relationships.

Among the relationship criteria that women cite, being with someone with whom they can share ‘Happy-together-Love’ doesn’t seem to rank terribly high. Mostly, it doesn’t figure, at all. If anything, it seems to be relegated to luck-of-the-drawer status.  It’s what they hope Love – and the relationship – will deliver, rather than what they intend to experience day on day with the person they love.

Maybe they’re buying into the myth that ‘Happy-together-Love’ has a short shelf-life. 

It doesn’t have to be that way – provided you think carefully about what you are buying into

Nobody could accuse me of being the world’s greatest gardener – either indoor or out. But one thing I do know: there are annuals and perennials. Some plants are for the long-term; others are not.The same is true of relationships.

Infatuation is for the short term,‘Happy-together-Love’ is for the long-term.

Can you share ‘Happy-together-Love’ even when times are tough?

Yes, absolutely. Provided you have chosen a ‘Happy-together-Love’ in the first place.

That brings us full circle to the opening question: What is Love?

How do you want to experience Love in your own life? What feelings do you want to be part of it, and what feelings do you NOT want to be part and parcel of the experience?

The clearer you get about what is love — for you — the greater your chance of having it.

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This article was originally published at http://ChooseYourMan.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.