Love has been on my mind a lot lately while working on My Body-Mine, the third book in the My Body Trilogy but also from a real life perspective. In the last two weeks, I have found myself in three different conversations regarding love that I did not initiate. It’s really interesting to hear other people’s perspectives of what love is for them and how it works.
For me, love is an action.
Behavior is more trustworthy than words and words mean nothing when the behavior doesn’t match the affirmation, “I love you!”. I’m sure everyone has heard of or seen a situation where a couple is supposed to be “in love” but one member of the couple is very abusive to the other like with Luke and Jane in My Body-His. To me, words are easy to throw around but it’s what you do that really shows whether or not you love someone.
So, my first conversation was with an old friend from childhood and he stated rather empathically that love is fleeting. I quickly countered that from my experience that is not the case. My husband and I have been together almost 18 years now and for us, our love has grown and evolved over the years. Even when we experienced growing pains, individually or collectively, we have always ended up better and closer on the other side of it. It would be silly for me to dismiss his assumption out of hand because many love relationships are fleeting in our culture. I just know that love doesn’t have to be an ever waning experience. A few of our close friends also have wonderful love relationships, longer than ours, that are totally inspirational. So from our experience, love is alive and well and something that can keep blossoming.
The second conversation had to do with loving and liking someone. My contention is that you can love someone and not like them much at all. A relatively new friend of mine was adamant that if you love someone, you have to like them too. There have been times with my parents, my husband and even with my daughter where I didn’t particularly like them in a given moment or longer but I always loved them. For me you can feel both or either at a given time.
In the third conversation, at a get together this past weekend, one man ask another to share his definition of love. He said that the best definition of love he had heard was that love is an emotion that focuses on the good parts of someone while having blinders to the bad stuff. That was the general gist anyway. I would argue that real love sees all the parts of the person and loves them despite their flaws or even because of them. I shared with them that to me love is a verb, the behaviors that show how you feel about another. Does Luke love Jane? Does he even like her? I would have to say that based on his behavior he has no clue what loving someone really looks like.
So what are the behaviors of love? I’m sitting here and wondering if this is a universal answer or just a Blakely answer. I hope you, my readers, will chime in on this one. For me love is about time, attention, support, and having a positive regard for your partner. Whether it’s a touch on the shoulder in passing, a kiss just before you leave for work, cleaning up the kitchen even though it’s “their” job that night, spooning in bed, making love, working on yourself to be a better partner or parent, offering support when needed…the list really is endless. Those are the actions of love and the real definition to me.
Another facet of romantic love for me is the want to satisfy my partner. I understand that relationships are complicated and that not everyone prioritizes intimacy like we do but I also don’t understand how you can love someone and not care at all if they are satisfied sexually. Many people I know have stopped having sex with their partners or have far less sex than they would like. Just last night we watched the movie called Hope Springs and in that film the couple hadn’t had sex in four years. That is unfathomable to me because making love is the very best part of being in love!
The people I love in my life, friends and family, are people I invest my time and energy in. Love is definitely more than a feeling for me.
Do you see love as an action or an emotion? What do you do to show your love to another?
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