Love… probably one of the most overused words in the english language. Think about it. How many times have you used that word this week.
Ask a group of your friends what love is and you’re guaranteed to get a variety of different answers. Some of those opinions are influenced by what we’ve seen from our parents (and other couples around us) and from media (books, TV, film etc.) that we’ve been exposed to. All of these experiences shape our ideas about what love is and what it’s supposed to look like.
While there’s nothing wrong with people having different definitions of what love is, we do run into problems when our expectations about what it should look like are not communicated clearly or do not align. Imagine one partner having what I like to call the ‘Disney’ idea of love where people meet and everything just falls together perfectly and the other believing that things take hard work and time. In the end both will be frustrated if those expectations are not understood and communicated.
So here’s what you can do:
1. Starting with yourself, be sure that we stop cheapening love. It’s that premium, top shelf word that should be reserved for the appropriate time. Encourage those around you to do the same. Make love special again.
2. In your relationship, make sure that you and your partner take time to understand each other’s view on what love is and what it looks like. Make sure that both of you are listening to understand. Who knows, maybe both of you will be able to merge your ideas into a singular understanding of love. Worst case you’ll both have a better understanding of how the other processes the idea of love.
3. Finally, ensure that you children have a realistic idea of what love is and what to expect from romantic relationships (when they’re ready of course). Going through life with an underdeveloped idea of love will cause them more pain than anything else and I know you don’t want that for them.