What Is The Meaning Of Love? Find The Perfect Relationship

What is the meaning of love and the perfect relationship

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It’s the question I’ve been trying to answer since I can remember. “What Is The Meaning Of Love.” I’m kinda drawn to these kind thoughts, to explore a concept as complex as love and understand it at its core. What I really wanted to know is if the perfect relationship existed?

Merriam-Webster defines love as: strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties.

But the meaning of love, especially true romantic love is hard to grasp or even conceptualize. Is it like Jesus or a belief that comes from faith. How do we know love is real? How can we show our loved ones that we really DO love them?

I’m not just talking about romantic love, love can be experienced in a multitude of relationships including friendship and family relationships.

So to help me understand this “emotion” and feeling, I’ve grouped love into 3 distinct categories that I’ve noticed in my life and in the lives of friends and family of how we experience the idea of “Love.”

False love

I had a friend that had a boyfriend every three months. Her relationships tended to be intense, full of hand holding, kissing, snuggling, and gifts.  I admit, younger me was very jealous. If only someone can love me like that.

But the thing was, that the love never lasted. Eventually there would be some irreconcilable flaw that caused her to break up with her boyfriends. Infatuation tends to look like this, that’s why it’s a false love. You’re kind of chasing an ideal. The person you’re dating initially seems to fit the ideal, they seem to fit what your ego says is a good partner. But people rarely are so two-dimensional. Eventually a persons flaws and shortcomings come together and cause the infatuation to end. And that’s when this type tends to “fall out of love.”

Then there are the people who are missing something desperately in their lives. Sometimes, they just didn’t get the kind of love they wanted from their parents or went through a breakup that broke them. There’s a lot of self-love that’s still needed for these people. As a result, their relationships are kind of on autopilot, without much thought. These people generally don’t think too hard about the meaning of love.

We all know that one person that dates people to fill up their time. One date leads to another, then another. Suddenly, they’re boyfriend and girlfriend. Months pass, even years but this couple has fallen into a routine of just filling each-others voids without really knowing or loving each other. Brunch on Sundays, Friday dinner dates with their phones, and silence in between.  Love is almost assumed and expected to be part of these relationships but whether love is truly felt is a different story.

You’d be surprised at how long these types of relationships can last. Relationships that are, in essence, toxic and mediocre. Comfort can be a strong substitute for love.

Conditional love, flawed love, broken love

Sometimes two people really love each other. It’s not just infatuation. They get to know each other and appreciate each other. They sacrifice and give for each other and appreciate the time they spend together. This is love! But how is this not perfect pure love?

The issue is, despite all that, there are strings attached to that love, there are roadblocks and obstacles, and there are indiscretions.

So it can’t be a perfect relationship.

A LOT of relationships fall in this category. Over time, life tends to bang us up, we get hurt and we start to put up walls that keep us from truly loving our partners.

I would describe my marriage as one of those conditional relationships. I absolutely adore K, for everything that he does for us and for his strengths. But would I still love him the same if for whatever reason, he couldn’t provide for our family? If he wasn’t able to be the person he’s always been?

If I had to be honest with myself, probably not. It would be a challenge.

At least I recognize this in myself and I’m working on trying to be more understanding, giving and flexible. I’m working on my meaning of what love is.

Sometimes two people get together and they are SO different from each other. It’s amazing at first but it also causes misunderstandings and difficulties. Maybe they love spending time together and love each other for who the other person is but its hard to communicate. The constant fighting in between due to differences can take its toll. This love is flawed because the communication isn’t there. These types of relationships need constant work.

Imagine two people. Aaron and Kim. Aaron’s love language is physical touch. He likes to cuddle, kiss and all that. That’s how he expresses his love and how he expects love in return. Kim, likes acts of love. She thinks it’s amazing when Aaron gets her soup when she’s sick, or when he helps her around the house when she’s overwhelmed. They might love each other but if they can’t express that love in a way that works for the other partner, there will always be discord and difficulty, keeping this from being the perfect relationship.

Your relationship can be perfect. You can be happy and truly appreciate your partner and what they bring to the table. You can communicate perfectly and understand each other. Life is good. But then someone makes a mistake. They cheat either emotionally or physically. Skeletons might reveal themselves from the closets. Financial indiscretions. What do you do? You love this person, they’re perfect for you and you can’t imagine life without them. But these problems are breaking the love you have for them and it’s becoming clear that these hurdles and trust issues will ALWAYS need to be worked on.

Broken love is the hardest, because it really requires you to look beyond the obstacle and forgive/accept your partner.  Not everyone can do that.  Not everyone can forgive their partner if they cheat or reveal they have a shopping addiction they’ve hid for 3 years that’s causing debt.  It’s hard.

All of these types of relationships aren’t perfect but they’re not 100% bad either. I do believe that these problems can be fixed with time, honesty, and commitment towards a better and more perfect relationship.

It takes so much personal growth to be able to accomplish a relationship based on pure true love, to really understand the meaning of love. So in a way, these relationships are good since they can help us grow in that direction by forcing us to overcome difficulty.

True pure love

Is the hardest to attain and maintain. The best way to describe it is love without boundaries. Like the paternal or maternal love for a child. You accept the person 100% for who they are and care for them without expectation.

Very few relationships, be it friendships, partners or even family, can reach this level of love.

It requires that you put your ego aside, at times get less than you give, and be selfless, honest and genuine.

I think it’s the type of love I feel for my daughter, and my parents for me. Unconditional, unwavering and free: the perfect relationship.

The truth is, not all relationships can maintain this type of love nor should they.

We should aspire for it though, as hard as it is to attain, because this kind of love makes us better.

I wish I had more to say about true pure love other than it’s special and work pursuing.  Unfortunately, the world doesn’t make that easy for anyone to pursue or achieve.  I’ve seen false love ad broken love break people’s trust so that their no longer open to a REAL relationship.

I wish you all the best in love.  In love we want to win but only when we’re willing to lose can we truly attain the type of love we desire.

If you like, “What Is The Meaning Of Love” check out my other posts:

How To Get A Guy To Commit Without Pressure And Fall In Love With You

What Makes A Good Marriage A Happy Marriage?

What It’s Like to Marry Your Soulmate

On Anthony Bourdain & Kate Spade: The Face Of The Suicide Epidemic

Anthony Bourdain Kate Spade Suicide Epidemic
Anthony Bourdain Kate Spade Suicide Epidemic

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When I heard about Anthony Bourdain, the famous chef and entrepreneur’s death, I felt my heart sink. My husband and I would watch “No Reservations” and now “Parts Unknown” religiously. My husband really found a part of himself in Anthony Bourdain. He loved how he would go to these remote places, get to know the locals and focus on the meaning that the food had on the community. I think that’s what made Anthony so special and why he was so loved by the public, it was his way of connecting people from around the world. Kate Spade was a surprise too.

I didn’t really follow her celebrity but I’m very aware of her brand. It’s hard to go anywhere in the city without seeing one of her bags or her jewelry. She has a very clean cut and innocent vibe to her brand, so when I heard about Kate Spade and her suicide, it was just as much of a surprised.

The news of the two suicides came less than 24 hours of each other and, somehow, it felt like a pop culture loss.

It had me thinking a lot about happiness and what that means for us as humans. It begs the question, how do you find true happiness?   I mean Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain were the epitome of success and yet now they’re the face of the suicide epidemic. There are very few people who can top their success in their industry. They had strangers that looked up to them and they inspired so much in others. Yet…in a moment they could not find the will to live nor find any happiness to be found. What hope is there for the rest of us?

One thing we can be sure of is that happiness is not found at the bottom of a well funded bank account. Money is not the formula for happiness and yet so many of us chase it as way to get us to the next place. “If only I got a better job…,” “if only we could get ahead of these bills,” and “if only we could get our debt down,” but what happens after you meet those kind of goals? What happens after we reach for the next step and the next step, only to realize there no prize for reaching the top? The suicide epidemic spares no one.

I read an article about people’s different responses, it surprised everyone. Neither family could suspect this as a possibility for their loved ones. Val Kilmer, gave his perspective that he thought it was a selfish decision to leave family behind. I can respect that point of view since he had battled throat cancer and literally had to fight off death. My parents always told me that suicide was a selfish and cowardly choice to make. It only caused pain and stigma to their loved ones.

But still, it’s hard for me to say that people who commit suicide are terrible people who are throwing their lives away. We can never truly know someone’s pain and suffering.

The CDC says it’s an epidemic now for mental health since, overall, suicide deaths are up 30% in the country. And that depression and anxiety are not necessarily an underlying cause for the increase. Many people who attempted or committed suicide have not been diagnosed for any mental illnesses nor were they suspected of any issues from their family. This statistic might be caused by the stigma surrounding mental illness and the fact that many people still don’t get the help they need from therapists and psychologists. This point is something to consider. However, CDC says that majority suicide attempts are correlated to a sudden negative change in life, like a family death, end of a relationship, or a financial hardship. They also say that guns are the most frequent and most successful means to commit suicide and suggest that some gun control would make it harder for people to make life ending decisions in a moment of desperation or sadness.

I wish I knew all the answers to what is a complicated and complex issue. My only advice to those battling suicidal thoughts is to focus on being happy with the life you have now and tell somebody about your struggles and get help.  Talk to a therapist about your symptoms for anxiety and depression before it gets out of control. Seek help.

My husband had a cousin that came out of the closet. He told his friend and then his friend told everyone else at school and said to his cousin that he wouldn’t have been his friend if he knew he was gay. This kid battled depression and suicidal thoughts because of that but he told someone about them. And that someone got him help.

One thing we do need to do is end mental illness stigma and discrimination.  This will make communication about problems and illness easier. Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade are just the start of the conversation. The suicide epidemic is unfortunately not going anywhere.

[If you are having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for a list of additional resources.]

Check Out My Other Posts On Mental Health
What It’s Like To Disassociate

How To Deal With Crushing Disappointment & Other Negative Emotions

Signs Of Social Anxiety And How To Get Over It

How To Be Charismatic & How To Be More Likable

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Ever Wanted To Learn How To Be Charismatic Or How To Be More Likable?

I had a request about how to be more confident and I thought why not, let’s talk confidence, charisma and magnetism. And it’s honestly a hard topic to write about or even grasp. Confidence is such an intangible quality that is so allusive to most people. But we are all drawn to it. You might even ask yourself, “Am I Charismatic?,”How to be more likable” and “How to be Charismatic?”

I’m a natural introvert. In high school I was like a wallflower; I was quiet, soft spoken, trying to fall under the wings of my more extroverted friends and did not possess ANY natural charisma. I always associated confidence with being outgoing, popular, attractive, friendly and extroverted.

I painfully tried to fit in with my friends by displaying these characteristics. And at the end of it all, I still wasn’t confident. I was negative and jealous with a victim mentality. I had social anxiety; I would scroll through my newsfeed with a feeling of missing out… I was unhappy during high school and college because I was constantly comparing myself to everyone around me.

Fast forward to 2018 I’m now the most confident version of myself. I’m magnetic, and charismatic. I learned how to be more likable. I can talk to pretty much anybody and have accomplished most of my life goals. Last year I went to my 10 year high school reunion. I was hoping to see some friends I fell out of touch with. I wasn’t afraid to go up to people and mingle, I also wasn’t second guessing myself when I felt like sitting on my own and observing. I was happy and content to just be there, unapologetically.

I’m going on a tangent about my own self growth but the point of the topic is that self growth and confidence doesn’t come to everyone overnight. For some people it comes easier, but everyone is capable of being confident, charismatic and magnetic.

Work on the life you want for yourself.

I want you to close your eyes and envision the confident image you’ve always had for yourself. I want you to really think about that person. What they look like and what they are doing with their life. Are they with a career and family? Is that person traveling? Are they living in the big city? Are they the rock for their immediate family? Then I want you to think about why you came up with that image. What are your values that are creating that image? These are your core desires and not fulfilling them are what is causing that feeling of dissatisfaction/ lack of confidence.

Core desires are things you want for yourself that are integral to you self image. For some people a core desire is to be truly loved, to make a lot of money, or to look beautiful. There are a million different things that we can desire from the core of our being.

On a side note: these values might change over time. You might get to where you were going and realize, “hey, this isn’t really where I wanted to be. Let me tweak this a little.” That’s ok too.

Once you realize what your core values are and what you want from your life, you’ll be able to set real goals or accomplish them. I’m not talking about “oh, I want to be a entrepreneur and be my own boss in a few years or I’m going to be dating the love of my life soon” type goals.

I’m talking concrete goals with a tentative completion date. Actual steps to make that a reality.

Confidence, Charisma and Magnetism is hard work. People who know how to be more likable and who display these kind of characteristics tend to invest A LOT into themselves. They get these qualities from genuinely loving and appreciating the life they worked hard to achieve. There’s no shortcut for building a great self-esteem and sense of self.

I know for the past 10 years I’ve been pushing this image of myself. Little ole’ 19 year old me wanted to be a career woman, a reliable outgoing personable personality and be with my man of my dreams who truly loved and cared for me. For the past 10 years every choice and decision I made has been to grow in those areas. And now I’m finally comfortable in my own skin knowing that the person I always knew I was capable of being is truly who I am now. I have a great career that pays the bills, I have family that loves me and who I can be 100% myself around and with the love of my life who (surprise!) was there from the start!

Confidence also comes from changing perspectives and looking at things from a brighter perspective. Sometimes we can’t always change our situations right away but a good perspective can help us gain the confidence and charisma to change them.

I’m still a work in progress, but I’ve definitely come a long way in terms of being more likable and attracting what I want out of life. That includes love, friendship, and money.

This post is just an introduction on what changes you’ll need to take to get there but feel free to read my other post on personal growth, The Power Of Positivity and The Power Of Change.

Also check out these posts on CHARISMA

Be Charismatic By Mastering Small Talk

What Does Your Body Language Say About You?

How To Interview Well: Tips & Tricks For The Perfect Interview

Dear Single Friends, This Is Why You’re Still Single. Love, Your Married Friend.


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“Why am I still single?” I’m A Married Friend That’s Heard That Over And Over Again

This post is not meant to be a personal attack on single people or say marriage is better than being single. This post is for people who are wondering why they’re still single and want advice from a married friend.

I’ve noticed a few things that people keep doing that prevent them from having healthy and growing relationships. Self-sabatoge, if you may. You may not even notice that this behavior is occurring but trust and believe that these habits will keep ANYONE from finding a fulfilling relationship. It may have been a habit you kind of fell into or something you grew up around but we’re here today because those habits are just not working and need to be changed.

Here are some of those toxic relationship habits:

1. You are unrealistic: I hate to put it this way but the dating scene is a market like any other. We all come with strengths and weaknesses. Pluses and minuses. We can’t all get prince charming or the hottest babe at the beach. You really get what you bring to the table. And you need to be honest with yourself with what it is and manage your expectations. Declaring yourself a “bad bitch” and “all that” is great talk. But are you independent? Are you compassionate? A good cook? Caring? Genuine? Breakups usually happen when one or two people in a relationship realize that there was a misrepresentation somewhere and there isn’t any true compatibility.

FeedMe

2. You’re selfish: I have single friends who are this type. Demand, demand, demand. As their married friend, I just shake my head. They make their partners jump through hoops, complain about everything their partner does wrong. Does not share time with their partner but expects their partners to drop everything for them. These selfish types are usually lots of fun but leave a string of heartbreak and disappointment behind them. It really doesn’t work to be in a relationship with this type of person, you’ll always feel like you’re bending backwards to please them. If this is you in a relationship, you’ll need to work hard and start making small gestures of selfless acts and love to repair the damage you’ve done to your relationships

3. White nights/Florence Nightingales: they love to make people people better, even at their own expense. They are the opposite of the selfish type. They enable but eventually resentment slips in for all the “sacrifices” they made in the relationship. Most of all they need to be with partners they can accept, not change. I am the worst offender for this type of habit. I loved the idea of changing someone, if they could change for me then that meant they really loved me. But that was the worst type of thinking. It was that type of thinking that eventually resulted in my heart being broken many times.

4. Peter Pans: they are never going to grow up. Time is not on their mind and they think they have all the time in the world to find a partner. They are not mature enough and they know it. Peter Pans are afraid of making the wrong decision so they avoid making decisions in their life that have long term meaning. This usually manifests itself in a relationship with one partner relying on the other to make day to day decisions. They’re really looking for someone to fill the role of Mom or Dad.

5. No self love: This is probably the most important and underlying problem. This probably underlies problems 1-4. Self love is so important. Not loving yourself, understanding yourself, accepting yourself and working on yourself can cause a whole set of behavioral problems. Accept your own faults and then work on them. We aren’t perfect but we need to accept ourselves and grow. People who don’t self-love are usually bitter, angry, depressed, and a whole range of negative emotions and vibes overall. It’s really hard to be in a relationship like this with someone who has insecurity and confidence issues. Don’t wait for a partner to boost your confidence because all that is is a bandaid over your lack of self-love. Work on it now while you can so you can enter a new relationship with the best possible mindset.

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I think the key to a life partner is self love, genuine love and care for your partner and the right expectations. Before you can even begin to have a healthy and nurturing relationship, you need to work on yourself and get your own mental blocks out of the way. It’s easier said than done but relationships are a lot of work. It can be easy to some and harder to others. Long term relationships can be so rewarding, but they often don’t come easy. So as your married friend, I’ll tell you to take your time and start loving yourself first. That’s what’s most important.

Which bad habit are you most guilty of? Feel free to comment below!

Check out my other relationships posts:

Why Dating Culture Doesn’t Work Towards Marriage

The Biggest Red Flags In A Relationship

How To Get A Guy To Commit Without Pressure And Fall In Love With You

Get Over Your Ex Now! With These Easy Tips

The Power Of Positivity: Live The Good Life

Positivity

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I like to consider positivity one of those things you just exude. The power of positivity hold so much weight in our society nowadays.  We all know that person who caries a cloud over their head, raining on everything and everyone around them and then there’s that person who brings light into every room they enter. You know this person is living the good life.  They greet everyone, laugh, remember your name and generally just have a good disposition.  When talking about the future or their current state, it’s all good!  And it’s not an act, these are people who generally believe it.  We also remember what it’s like to be around someone who is depressed and an all around Negative Nelly.  But being positive can make you stand out.

There was this girl from law school that I knew.  She was very well liked, smart and…positive!  I never remember her complaining about the workload, the classes or really anything in general.  She worked hard, studied, networked through extracurricular activities. She had that confidence and believed in her work and her reason for being there.  That girl ended up winning.  She graduated among the top of her class and ended up in a great associates position at a major law firm.  I on the other hand was very negative at the time and ended up dropping out later that year. (More on that in another post)

I really didn’t learn the power of positivity until later in life. And it honestly makes a difference!  It changes your life! And best of all it makes you happy!

  1. Gratitude: At any given time we all have problems in our life.  A flat tire, a bad hair day, a lost loved one, a hard day at work.  And it’s so easy to focus on these issues but what about the good things in your life?  What about your family or great partner? What about the fact that you’ve made it to X years in your life? You’re still here enjoying what it means to be human! What about the food on the table, your job, the clothes on your back the God-given gifts life has presented you?  Now imagine you spent as much time feeling this positive about what you have in life vs what’s wrong.
  2. Affirmation: Even if it’s not true say it and make it true.  Last night I was working out with my Husband, he was helping me out with weight training.  He likes to push me.  Meanwhile, I haven’t done a single push up in, like, 8 years.  The phrases I said were, “I can’t,” “it’s too much,” “you’ve lifted more weight than me.”  when is was his turn to work out, he kept pushing himself, “come on!” “Let’s go!” After he was done with his set, he’d push himself further, “two more!” Again and again. My point is, believe in the goal and the goal will come true.  Reality starts with thought, positive or negative, and that is what the outcome will be.  My husband really believed he could lift the weight and even when he was tired and pushing himself, he could.  Write down your goals. Say them aloud every day, affirm them.  You’ll be surprised at how easily the ideas come  to you, as well as the willpower to make them happen .
  3. Action: Because positivity is nothing but hope without action, you can keep saying your mantras, keep having positive thoughts but if you’re not willing to put in the work to make it happen…  I’m sorry to have to be the one to break it to you, it ain’t falling out of the sky and happening for you. You need to ask yourself the hard questions.  What are you willing to do to make this happen? What are you willing to sacrifice? Because all gains in life start with sacrifice and work.

What I’m really saying is that changing your attitude and your perception coupled with action can bring blessings and “luck” into your life.  This isn’t just another motivational blog post.  Give it a try, seriously.   Positive thinking is everything.  Maybe positively can’t change all the problems in the world, but it will definitely change how you feel about them. 🙂  Stay Positive!

I hope you liked “The Power Of Positivity”
Check out my other articles!

The Power Of Change 
On Gratitude…
Playing The Game Of Life And Winning: 5 Approaches To Success

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