I absolutely adore love, I’m not even joking. Love is something I spend a fair amount of time thinking about. So when I was trying to decide if there was another TED Talk I wanted to touch on this month I had to listen to and write about “Falling in Love is the Easy Part”. Mandy Len Catron spends roughly 13 minutes making the case that falling in love is easy.
This is a statement I generally agree with. As a teenager I was sometimes mocked, least of all by myself, for thinking that each and every person I fell for was “the one.” As an adult with the benefit of a little maturity and hindsight, I continue to say that I did love each and every one of those people. But clearly those romantic relationships didn’t really pan out. A lack of maturity was one piece (my maturity and theirs). What love means to each person is another piece.
So many of us, and why falling in love is super easy, think of love as a thing that happens to us. We “fall” into love. But that’s not really true. Love is absolutely a verb. We show people that we love them, and when we continue to show that we love them (that’s the hard part!) we continue to be in love.
If you’re following me so far, this action then means that love is not limited to our spouse. Love is not limited to romantic relationships. Thank goodness! Romantic love is. . . I would say romantic love is a flash in the pan. It’s not sustainable. Small romantic gestures are – sending flowers or giving a delightful card – but doing those things all the time is exhausting. Turning love into a verb, rather than a noun, means that we can then show others that we love and value them.
The other hard part about this sustainability is that we have to learn the love language of those we love. It also means recognizing that our love language might change. For example, my love language used to be getting things. I loved to get unique trinkets that show the people I love are thinking about me, or getting a flower delivery, or a card in the mail. As I get older, my love language is still getting something, but that something is time. I want to be shown that the amount of time my intellect takes to cultivate is valuable to someone else. Keeping up with the changes in what makes others feel loved is a challenge. But if you engage in the challenge, and are on the receiving end of the challenge for others, this challenge is well worth it.
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