to be deeply loved
by someone gives you
but to love someone
deeply gives you
Because of my own relationship, I have been thinking a lot about love. Years ago, as I was exploring why I kept having failed relationships and doing the internal work to love myself first, I wrote myself a guide on how I wanted to be love. I also wrote how I think I wanted someone I was loving to feel. Now this is only related to eros love. Here is a quick primer on the different types of love.
Love is impossible to define. So I use the inverse to define what it is not.
Love is not fear. Love doesn’t mean taking an easier option because you are too scared to fail/be rejected/prove you don’t have the capacity
Love is not coercion. If you have to ask your partner to do something that s/he has already stated they don’t want to do, then that’s not love. That’s selfishness.
Love is not gaslighting. If you repeatedly tell your partner they aren’t enough in any capacity then why would you expect your partner to not believe you?
Love is not letting your partner drown because you don’t believe they are “worth it”
Love is not demanding all of your partners attention and then wondering why you aren’t close when they have shut down
Love is not attraction. Just because you are attracted to someone, doesn’t mean you love them. It doesn’t mean that they also are required to be attracted to you. If you constantly put your needs over someone else’s, why should they be in any way sexually attracted to you?
Most importantly, love is not a noun. Love is verb. It requires intention, action, engagement and payment of your time. If you don’t put in the work, love will die.