People have different definitions of love. Some people think love equates sex and some people think love means showering them with gifts or exorbitant amounts of money.
I think a mistake that often happens in the dating world is that we assume that our definition of love is equal to our partners. A lot of you are familiar with the book “Five Love Languages“, in which the author outlines five ways to express and experience love; through acts of service, physical touch, quality time, etc. I think this is helpful but I also think searching your own heart and practicing self-awareness about how you perceive love is most helpful. Think of it this way, if you feel loved by spending an abundant amount of quality time with someone but your partner feels loved by receiving gifts even though you’re doing your best at what you think is loving them, they won’t feel loved. This is why communication is so important.
When it comes to our modern dating culture there are more people seeking to get love instead of give love. People are just selfish; they think that they should have their way a 100% percent of the time and their partner should sacrifice 100% percent of the time. And that’s just not logical. And this is coming from an only child. So that means I’m preaching to the choir here. 🙂
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Love is sacrifice. Those of us that look to the Bible as a source of inspiration and guidance in our life should know that. As Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice. None of us are being called to hang on a cross for the most part, thank God, but at times we are called to sacrifice in different ways. And somehow I think Hollywood has brainwashed so many people into thinking that love is just happy feelings all the time, romance and just tons of great sex.
To me love is an action, meaning you follow your words up with actions, not perfectly but consistently. There are times you will have to sacrifice your feelings or something that you would prefer for the service and the happiness of the other person. My dad says that loving someone means that you seek to make them better. And that doesn’t mean that you just upgrade their lifestyle or something, but it means you look to pour into that person and help them to grow as an individual.
Now not everyone is capable of doing that or thinks of it from that perspective. But to me love is being a giver and this does not mean giving away something that is necessarily tangible. You can give your time or support. I think there are too many takers out in the dating game and not enough givers. And a lot of the time the givers get so hurt they become scarred and they’re just afraid to give anymore. And that’s understandable.
So if you are out in the dating field and you’re looking for love I would say the first thing that you should do is check your heart. See how much love you even have inside of yourself to offer to someone else. A lot of us are looking for love but it’s like we’re a dry well because of childhood issues or previous baggage from other relationships we don’t even have any love to give. We’re just looking for somebody to fill us up. It’s like we’re empty vessels just walking around looking to be filled up by others. And that just leads to disaster. In my first post titled “Why do you want to get married?” I listed some questions to ask yourself about why you want to get married in the first place. And I think that anyone looking for love should address those questions.
So many people believe that love means I get all of my needs met 100% percent of the time with the exact person that I want who looks the way I want and says all the things that I want at the right time and they’re just perfect and they’re going to love me even though I’m not perfect. Well that is just unrealistic. Men and women both struggle with this viewpoint.
I’m going to leave you with three things that love is not:
- Love is not perfect: your partner is going to have their bad days, their issues, their background and their baggage. You have to choose to love them anyway and decide whether they are worth it during the season of dating.
- Love is not sex: even though sex is a part of a relationship it is not the thing that’s going to make or break it in the long run. I cringe when I hear people say that the solution to relationship problems is to have more sex. I don’t agree with that because you have certain relationships where men are getting all the sex in the world and the relationship still falls apart. Or heaven forbid something happens to your spouse and they can’t have sex anymore so where’s the love then?
- Love is not easy: I feel when you pledge to love somebody you have to be ready to fight for that person, the relationship and yourself. Life is full of bumps and bruises. This is not the movies; circumstances don’t always just line up. You have to have a warrior mentality if you want to thrive in love, life and relationships. The foundation for that mentality is best built while single, in my opinion.
So I hope this helps somebody and good luck on your love journey loves. I’ll be praying for you!
Further Reading on my thoughts on love: