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People always talk about what it means to love and who they love, and why they love and how they just don't really love this or that anymore. Today, you can fall in love, you can hop into love, you can force love and you can fake love (we are looking at you, LA). Now that we are talking about it, there is no limit to the things or expressions of love that are possible for the average American in 2018. But for our purposes here today, let's talk about relational love. Not necessarily "Eros" or as the Greeks would define it, physical and erotic love, but love in the sense of relationship and everything that embodies a romantic involvement with someone.
Now in my life, I realize I have only ever loved one girl. This one girl, I fell in love with Freshman year of high school, and even though we didn't really end up together until the summer before senior year, we always had feelings for each other since the age of nine. This same woman I am now engaged to, she is the love of my life, my forever and someone I am so excited about spending the rest of my life with. So what I want to address largely, is how on earth did I end up with the girl I met at age nine for the rest of my life? Which, in maybe my really unpopular opinion is a good thing and saves everyone a lot of heartbreak and "baggage."
This girl is the only girl I have ever kissed. She is the only girl I have truly thought to be right for me. But, did has it always been something easy and seemingly fit? Of course not. I fear that our society has taken the path of least resistance to such an extreme that we miss out on some of the most beautiful opportunities because they appear difficult or require work in some cases. People don't do things with their hands anymore. Nothing about our lives resembles what it did 100 or even 10 years ago.
We have become so dissociated with working directly and purposefully with a goal, that we have lost this aspect in our relationships. Not necessarily saying this is a bad thing in action, I am overjoyed at the freedoms, rights, and expressions gained by marginalized groups in recent history, just pointing out a frightening bastardization of love might be present in your "deepest" relationships. To be more clear and succinct, I am afraid that people settle because they do not want to work for, or think they deserve or are ready for their very own Cinderella story.
To expand, the love that I am talking about, the glue that really concretes love and brings prosperity and long-term fulfillment is three fold. First, there is love. This love is the love that we are all familiar with. The going is good, the money is flowing in, flowers, date nights and emotional intimacy are all part of the daily routine. However, as of late, when things take a turn, instead of playing support team, members of relationships will turn to friends to vent, or gloss over the issue or implement the classic "shoving under the rug." I don't believe this is something that is healthy or successful long-term for relationships.
I think aspects that led to so much success for my fiancé and I is that I made sure to always, even if I wasn't in love with her at that moment, acted as if I was and cultivated a heart of wanting to be there. I'm not saying that in any way I faked my feelings for her, I am simply relating that on a bad day I wouldn't completely flip my role on her and treat her differently or poorly. So the first two levels to re-cap are loving and wanting to love. The last one is a bit of a stretch, but I feel is really the secret sauce of relationships. This is the stuff you talk to grandparents about who have 50+ years of marriage under their belt. I call it the "want to want." We delve into this realm when life is throwing you into all the ship-storms (if you know what I mean) and you have no desire to act out of love to your significant other or even be happy for that matter. It is here that it is vital that you still act out of love and like that person is the best thing in the room and your heart has a posture of wanting to want to love that ultimately evolves into a true and easy love again.
Now, all of this is clearly opinion. I understand I am a 22 year old whose life has been rainbows and butterflies thus far. I just don't want society to sleep on their best future relationships because they wanted the easy way out or were not sure what to do. And I can tell you from my personal experience loving someone sacrificially and serving first, as well as embodying these three modes of love will put you ahead in cultivating a healthy environment for relationships.
If you read this far I truly appreciate you and know that just by caring this much about your current or future relationships enough to read and learn to get better, puts you ahead of 80% of people out there.