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What Does Love Mean To You?

Love is what we make it!

My first real question about love was asked of my mother, when I was around the age of six. For some reason I can remember it very well. My mother was ironing with the radio on, and I had been listening to the music.

"How come all those songs are about love?" I asked her. "Because it's the most wonderful thing in the world," she answered.

It seems like we're always trying to define this concept of "love." It is the most wonderful thing in the world, and we always want more of it, so we study it. In fact a new study was reported just the other day. The researchers had decided that the more time the parent spend with the child, the more the child feels loved.

That's what the study about children and parents discovered, but I think it's true of all love relationships, don't you? Love may start as a feeling, but it is manifest through action. Love in the real world, that is, after the honeymoon, is an act, not a feeling.

What does love feel like? It's only a word - a concept - until we bring it alive by actions, and remember that words are behaviors too. You can think of it like the wind. I like to illustrate my ezines and articles, and I went looking for a photo of the wind. And what would that be? It would have to be something like I have here, something that shows the effect of the wind. 

Love is known to us by its effect - how it makes us feel and yes, even how it makes us a look. A young lady who works at an office I'm currently consulting at, is falling in love and you should see her! It's the reason why we all say "all the world loves a lover." She is vibrant, joyous, full of smiles and contented sighs. "Love" shows all over her.

How do you know you've got the right partner? By how you feel when you are with them. They make you feel good. You want to be as close to them as you can. Your biorhythms even start to respond - you start sleeping and waking in the same cycle, and feel distress when separated.

As Lewis, Amini and Lannon write in their landmark and under-appreciated book, "A General Theory of Love," we never become the truly closed-loop that scientists would have us believe we are as adults. We continue to need others to regulate us, and the worst thing we can suffer is isolation.

Isolation can occur in a roomful of people when there's no emotional connection. In fact it's debatable whether true isolation (being alone-alone) is worse than experiencing isolation in the presence of someone else, especially with someone from whom you expect, or once had an emotional connection.

It's like trying to get blood from a stone ... added to the mix is frustration, anger, resentment, and grief ... grief for what was, or might be. This is why those who remain married in name only, but divorced or separated emotionally, experience such stress and poor health.

Learn the face of love so you can present it to those you are about. Mother's Day is a perfect example. One mother wants to have everyone over to her house and to cook for them. Another wants to be taken out to a 5-star restaurant and be waited on. Another wants a little touching gift, like a poem or a meaningful book. Another wants a diamond necklace, and yet another wants "just your presence, not your presents."

Speaking the language of your loved one's love and spending time with them make love manifest in our daily lives. Learn to express your love in ways that are meaningful to the loved one - by words, deeds, time, and thoughtfulness. And let others know what love means to you.

About the Author:

Susan Dunn, MA, is the EQ Coach and the owner of www.susandunn.cc. She offers individual coaching, Internet courses and ebooks around emotional intelligence for your success in relationships and career. Susan trains and certifies EQ coaches. Email for information on this affordable, fast, comprehensive, no-residency program.

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