In honor of Valentine's Day, lets talk about love.
Google will tell you this about love:
Noun: An intense feeling of deep affection: "their love for their country".
Verb: Feel a deep romantic or sexual attachment to (someone): "do you love me?".
Synonyms: noun. affection - fondness - darling - passion
verb. like - be fond of - fancy - adore
But what is love to you?
I grew up with great role models for love. My grandparents, Bob and Irene Kaufman were married for over 69 years. They adored each other and they were each others best friend. They had each others backs no matter what. If they did have a difference of opinion on something major, that was handled when no one else was around. They could laugh with each other even when old age robbed them of physical things they had no desire to part with. They were my families rock and they are sadly missed but they gave us lots of intangible gifts, the number one gift being love and what it looked like over decades and decades.
I try to model my grandparents in my relationship now entering its 29th year. My grandparents had much more grace but as I stumble through and acknowledge all the hard work my grandparents put into their relationship, I realize my definition of love changes and evolves. What I think was proof positive of love before, is now just a relic. There are some givens, but the rest of the love in my life is fluid.
Here is how I define love, both in a traditional sense and actions, because actions speak much louder than words most of the time. This list is in no particular order, my mind does not work like that!
1. Love is shown by "time of service". If you have been with your partner / spouse / "whatever you call it" over 11 years, you love them. Anyone can get thru the first 5-10 years, to make it through decades together, there must be some love.
2. Love is opening the door for the person you care about, even if they can open the door themselves.
3. Love is a good meal, prepared for (takeout included), or consumed together outside the home.
4. Love is telling someone you love them when you leave the house and when you hang up the phone. The more the merrier.
5. Love is supporting your partner in their dreams, even if you do not share the same dreams.
6. Love is sharing money, you can still ask questions about where it all went, but this is the "what is mine, is yours" category.
7. Love is making someone laugh. Call me whacked out but if you can't make your partner laugh, its going to be a longggg relationship (and that is not good).
8. Love is not letting your children play you against each other. Even when they really test you and try really hard to divide and conquer.
9. Love is holding hands or sitting next to each other on the couch, just being close and together.
10. Love is acceptance not agreeing. Don't say you agree if you don't, but the non-agreeance does not mean the end of the world either.
11. Love is standing behind your partner, if you don't agree, save it for home.
12. Love is not sweating the small stuff (just for you Barb).
13. Love is not holding a grudge and getting that we are all humans and are trying.
14. Love is understanding that love is work, that the divorce rate is 50% because lots of folks do not or do not know how to do the work.
15. Love is talking and talking because that the only way you are going to get through it...together!
What is your definition of love? Leave it in the comments, we all have tons to learn from each other.
Happy Valentine's Day, I miss you Mama and Papa (Bob and Irene to you). Your love was one for the ages, and I am so proud to have been around you for so long. xoxo.