The Urban Dictionary describes it as this: “The most spectacular,indescribable, deep euphoric feeling for someone”. That is a pretty tall order! I don’t believe there is one definition for love. I think it means something different to different people. Media portrays love as this burning, passionate desire. Unfortunately many people believe that if they are not having wild, passionate sex then they must not be in love. Others believe that if you don’t spend every possible waking minute with the other person then they are not in love. I think that love is about respect, treating someone in a good way, laughing together, being together yet apart (meaning you have separate activities as well as joint ones), being able to sit in a comfortable silence, honesty, faithfulness, tenderness.
I thought about how people are with their dogs. If you treat your dog well they will be the most faithful companion. It is the same for humans. You have to stroke your partner, walk with them, cuddle them, teach and learn from them, protect them, be their friend, play with them. If you do those things then it will come back to you the same.
It is okay to have a gentle, kind, slow type of relationship. The swinging passion is just that; passion! Eventually the libido slows down, but the tenderness, caring, friendship, and wanting your partner to be happy remains. That, to me, is the essence of love.
There is a book that I recommend to clients who are trying to find their way back to intimacy, “Sex begins in the kitchen”. Intimacy leaves when we forget to be tender and attentive to our partner. Watching the news or TV of any kind while having your meal together is start down the slippery slope to losing intimacy. Use the time at dinner to talk about your day, your dreams (not the bad things in your relationship), reach across the table and take your partners hand. Use five (5) touches everyday. A kiss, a pat, rub on the shoulders, hug, hold hands, etc.
I don’t have the answer to what love is, I understand lust very well. As stated when lust leaves what is left. Hopefully the tenderness, care, concern, intimacy, honesty, faithfulness, laughter and sometimes silence. Robin Williams said, “I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone, it’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel all alone.”