Is the quest for a long lasting, loving relationship filled with magic or hard work? The answer is both, but neither holds the key to true love.
It's true. Magic is created when an amazing connection is made, and relationships do require effort. No relationship is a smooth ride free of bumps and potholes. Still, it isn't hard work or magic that underscores lasting relationships. It's the answer to the question: what is love?
Find Love From the Inside Out
The word love is bandied about so freely that it now covers the relationship one human has with his favorite sneakers. We love baseball or the latest hilarious sitcom. The word love is evoked to describe how we feel about everything from delectable foods to this year's trendy fashions. And what woman hasn't known a man in love with his car?
There is an abundance of things to love in this world, but because love is so randomly assigned to just about everything, we may lose sight of the special characteristics of true human-to-human love. Without awareness, we run the risk of not recognizing an everlasting bond when it's right before our eyes. That's why defining love internally, alone, is the first step to finding the kind of relationship that will celebrate many anniversaries.
What is a Love Match?
Discovering what love is begins with identifying what it isn't. True love is not simply:
- the tingle you feel when you lay eyes on a handsome or beautiful face
- the heat that spikes through your veins when your date brushes up against you
- being showered with gifts
- giving more of yourself than you receive in return
While all of the above contribute to a loving relationship, none of them stand alone, and none of them matters most. Physical attraction is a part of human relationships, but it won't sustain true love for a lifetime. Infatuation and giddy excitement from the dating adventure won't guarantee longevity. One-sided generosity will not sustain a couple over time, and intimacy without heart won't go the distance.
When all is said and done, it's the minutia of love that truly matters. Learning to recognize the littlest expressions of love can lead to the greatest love of all.
My Perfect Match and Love Connection
The subject of love came to mind a few days ago as I watched my husband of 28 years chase the sun.
I enjoy sun tea. Unfortunately, I'd forgotten to prepare the tea jug
until late in the day. The sun was near to setting, and its earlier golden
blanket had become no more than tiny bright patches that speckled the
yard and house. I found a small sunny spot and set my jug there to warm,
but the shadows quickly reached out to swallow up what little rays my tea had
claimed. I silently chastised myself for not remembering to make the tea
earlier, not realizing that the waning sun would be no match for my husband.
Without saying a word, he moved that jug from here to there for
the next half hour, each time capturing another few moments of flickering
sunlight where it landed in some out-of-the-way location. And as I watched
him disappear around the side of the house and return with a ladder in hand,
I smiled from somewhere so deep inside that I'm certain the sun itself could feel
My husband used the ladder to hoist my tea to the roof of the lanai where
the sun lingered for its final hurrah of the day. That, I thought, as he gently
and carefully positioned the glass jug, is what love is. It's an unselfish
caring, a no-thought-required, automatic desire to make something better
for those who matter most in your life.
Both men and women long to say the words, "I've found my perfect match". Everyone has an ideal counterpart, but humans get so hung up on issues like, "When was the last time you said you loved me?" or "Why didn't you do this or that?" that we fail to recognize the tiny acts of love that need no words and no prompting. It is the presence of those caring gestures that nurtures the kind of true love and healthy relationships that fuel a happy marriage.
Where to Find Romance
Looking for love shouldn't be hard. In truth, love is often found where
least expected. It has a way of finding us if our hearts are open. Many make
the mistake of not being true to themselves when looking for love. But if love is
based on pretense, it will likely fail from inevitable exposure.
Find romance where it already exists in your life. If you're not a bar-hopping,
nightlife kind of person, don't try to be one to search for love. If your faith is important
in your life, engage in activities that others of your faith would enjoy.
Whoever you are, whatever you value in life, be true to yourself.
Love can spring from the wildest places and surprise you when you
least expect it. Recognizing it is the tricky part, for not everyone expresses love in
the same way. If every human is different enough to claim his or her own
undeniable DNA, then each is unique enough to embrace love differently.
To find the kind of love that sees us through a lifetime together, we need more than magic and hard work. We need the ability to recognize love in all its incarnations.
We need to capture our own sunlight, in our own unique way.