What’s Your Definition Of Love?
Editor’s Note: About two years ago, I started a photo project where I took portraits of strangers in the street and asked for their definition of love. Not a single one of them knew right off the bat, and only after 5 or 10 minutes of hard thinking could they come up with a strained definition. So today, after you read Natalie‘s post, won’t you leave your definition of love in the comments? Everyone needs a definition of love. Let’s share ours with one another. – Lauren
Love? Are you sure?
I love being in love. It’s probably the one feeling I love the most. I’m addicted to it. If you ask any of my friends or family, they’ll tell you – that girl loves being in love more than anyone we know.
The butterflies in the stomach, the warm embraces, the crazy passion, my heart always racing.
And I’m good at it, too. I put my boyfriend on a pedestal, I’m a huge romantic – affectionate, supportive, faithful, I get along with all his friends, like his taste in music, do all the things he loves to do, basically treat him like he’s the last man on earth.
My last boyfriend said I treated him like a prince, and whenever he was with me he felt surrounded by love and safe. Yet if that was the case – why didn’t it work out? Where did it go wrong?
I know this is going to sound really funny – but I’m an awesome girlfriend. Not because I think I’m some kind of great person – I just LOVE being in love, and it shows. I live for it!
And it’s all real, in my mind. When I hear “I love you” and say “I love you!”, I never give it a second thought. I never think that it might not be love. In my mind, I’ve decided I’m going to love them with all my heart, always be there for them, to encourage them and do life with them… and I believe that they’ll do the same.
Naive? Maybe. But I’ve loved it too much to check myself.
The problem is, I never stop to see if our definitions of love are even the same.
My idea of love, like many women who grew up on Disney fairy tales, is that my prince charming, my knight in shining armor will slay a dragon just to be with me. You know, that he would rather die first before ever dishonoring me.
I can’t help but think, if I had just taken the time to find out what the word love meant to my past boyfriends – maybe I could have spared myself and them a lot of tears and frustration.
God’s love is unyielding and ours is so fleeting. Yet we use the same word to describe two very different kinds of love.
I’ve been spending a lot of time lately, reflecting on God’s love for me. What it’s looked like over the past 10 years. What it’s looked like over my entire life. And I think, “I’m going to have a hard time accepting the word ‘love’ so easily from now on, from someone I’m dating.”
In the past, I never used to question it. I was just glad to hear it. Relieved, and excited by it. But thinking it means the same thing to them as it does to me has resulted in a lot of heartbreak.
The next time a man says “I love you”, I will ask him: “Are you sure? Because God’s shown me what love means to Him and I have a hunch his version is a little different than yours.”
Next time, I’m going to make sure we both understand which definition we’re referring to.
We need men who try to love us the way God does. Because we’ve walked away from, ignored, abandoned, betrayed, lied to, and hurt God in incredible ways. Yet God never left us or loved us any less.
I need to know that a man will stay and love me through all of my mistakes and offenses. That he will be willing to work with me. That he will wait for me.
Because God is willing to wait for me no matter how long it takes. His love never ceases, changes or grows weaker.
Anyway, I’m just thinking that a lot of hurt and suffering might be prevented if couples start take a good hard look at what their definition of love is.
My prayer is that we all find our true love. But in the meantime, we don’t have to look very far to find it – it comes from our heavenly Father above us.
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