When you think of love, do you imagine that moment where Cupid hits two people in the heart? They then look at each other and fall instantly, forever, in deep, true love. Then they ride off together into the sunset to live happily ever after.
If so, you are falling for a myth. It’s one that is perpetuated by the books, TV, and movies we consume.
It’s not that this type of love doesn’t exist. You likely experienced this type of intense connection with your partner at the beginning of your relationship. You both fell for one another, and everything seemed perfect for a while.
But this isn’t “true love.” Don’t believe me? Consider that you can encounter this type of love on any middle school campus. That’s because it is driven by hormones. These love chemicals help us feel a connection to one another, and they are powerful… until they fade away.
And when that happens, you may feel like the love is slipping away. The relationship becomes stuck. Each person thinks the other needs to change to improve the relationship. When that person doesn’t, many couples think this is a sign that they haven’t found “the one.” And they split up. Then they repeat the pattern with someone new – and end up in the same place.
Love isn’t mean to be easy. It takes work. Even when you are with the “right” person.
It’s okay to mourn the loss of that beautiful infatuation stage, but if you want to discover love, you need to let go of the myth and break that pattern.
How to Embrace the Real Meaning of Love
Here are a few tips for doing that:
Think of love as an action, not a feeling.
You don’t feel love; you do it. Commit to demonstrating your love to your partner each and every day. Don’t wait for love to happen. Bring it into being.
Be intentional with your behaviors and expressions of love for your partner.
Shift your thinking.
Do you find yourself thinking, “What has my partner done for me lately?” But what if you changed that mindset to, “How can I demonstrate my love for my partner today?”
And don’t be afraid to ask exactly that question. Make it your mission to discover what behaviors and expressions make your partner feel the most loved by you.
Then put that knowledge into action. Give those “gifts” freely. For some, it may be literal gifts, but there are so many ways to express your love.
Remind yourself what love really does mean.
It’s about so much more than that infatuation you experienced at the beginning of your relationship. And it is so much more meaningful and profound.
- Love is about gratitude. You are so grateful that this other person wants to join you on this journey. This person wants you in their life, even on your worst days.
- Love is intentional. It’s not something that just happens. You choose to give it. And you intentionally go out of your way to share it and show it.
- Love is action-oriented. You don’t just sit bit and wait for it. You don’t just assume your partner “knows.” You take actions every day to express your love.
- Love is unconditional. Your partner may have seemed so perfect at the start of your relationship, but over time, you uncovered flaws. And you are choosing to love your partner despite those flaws – because of them.
And let’s be honest: you, too, are a human being. Your partner is choosing to love you – flaws and all – as well.
That is something to be deeply grateful for. It’s something worth working on and fighting for. So, embrace the true definition of love. And make love an action – each and every day.
If you need help making love an action, seek the help of a marriage therapist in Houston.