Friday, January 6, 2012

Is this love?

At best, the dreaded "L" word musters a deep well of emotion dating back to our early teen years.

Everyone can remember their first love. Maybe you were in first grade, chasing one another on the playground. Maybe you were in middle school, leaving notes in her locker. Or maybe you made it to high school and you both thought you would be together forever.

For those of you that made it, congrats! But for most of us, we went through "love" and loss.

And that part is what makes love so hard. The loss is why so many of us are afraid to open up or admit that we may love another. It is why we shy away from the word altogether.

But how do you know if you are in love?

Well, I don't have that answer, but I have some anecdotes that may help.

1. Someone once told me that falling in love is a fleeting emotion, but being in love is a conscious decision. I don't know if this is true but it has worked through the ages.

Men and women would marry as complete strangers generations ago, and they would make the decision to learn to love the other.

Of course, divorce wasn't an option either. So let's move ahead.

2. I have found that being in love is different than loving someone.

I love my mother, best friend, and neighbor, but I am not in love with any of them. Being in love is different. It creates an unexplainable bond. It is the very nature of this bond that makes love so hard to define.

3. Love comes in kinds.

And no two are the same. If it works for you, don't be ashamed of what you and your partner have. While you are busy thinking your relationship isn't as good as so-and-so's, they are probably thinking the same about you.

4. It is hard to walk away from.

No matter how hard you may try, real love doesn't ever end. So it stands to reason that the real thing is hard to walk away from. Even when doing so may put you in a better situation.

Regardless of your particular love beliefs, one thing is for certain; love is powerful and encompassing. Be open but be cautious. The loss is the enemy not the love.

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