Perhaps some of you are familiar with the song, Hello, I Love You by the Doors. Though the song was well before my time, I remember hearing it on oldies stations. Even as a kid, it seemed silly to me to tell someone you loved them before knowing their name.
The Ecstasy of “Love”
Most of us over the age of twelve can relate to the feeling of love. The deep, passionate, daydream-inspiring love that makes everything else in the world seem okay. It’s a feeling that’s hard to explain, but when it’s upon you, you know it.
The first time I felt it, I was twelve – twelve going on twenty-one. I really thought I could marry this guy! He seemed perfect. And when I was with him, I was on cloud nine. I knew about love and I could write the book on it! He was my first “love” and… the subject of my worst broken heart. I fell hard, fully trusting the feelings I was experiencing; but, then I hurt all the harder when it was over. I don’t scoff when young people hurt, because I know that heartache was worse than any heartache I’ve experienced as an adult.
Feeling versus Doing
It’s normal and expected to view love through feelings at a young age. It is particularly frustrating for young people who truly believe they’re in love to hear snide remarks from older generations. Once people get married and experience day-in, day-out love and companionship, they often lose respect for those initial feelings of being in love. I admit; I’m guilty as well. When young couples are googly-eyed for each other, I tend to think, “Oh, they’ll learn.” ~smile~ But, sometimes I forget that when Eric and I were also starting out, we felt that way as well. Other people rolled their eyes at us too (I’m sure); but, our love still grew from a place of feeling to a place of companionship.
Those of us who have been married a while know that the giddy feelings of love wear off over time (sometimes it takes a while, but often it wears off faster than we had hoped). We get disappointed, life becomes burdensome, and that man or woman who used to fill us with crazy butterflies no longer makes our heart skip a beat. Thankfully, love (true love) is not based on those feelings. They are often present in the beginning to help the process along, but they are not required for a long and satisfying love story.
Lasting love is far less about how we feel and far more about what we do. For example, Eric likes me to make the bed before he comes home from work. He enjoys walking in the door and plopping on it after a hard day’s work. Even though I’m extremely happy when Eric comes home at night, I don’t squeal in delight when I hear his car drive up. I don’t make the bed out of a rush of gleeful emotion; rather, I make the bed because I choose to do loving tasks for Eric. Cupid doesn’t shoot him each morning either. He faithfully gets up, goes to work, and provides for me because he chooses to do so.
When the initial feelings of love disappear (and they will), we must continue doing loving acts. When we actively show love for our sweethearts, our feelings catch up.
Do What You Want to Feel
Instead of simply doing what you feel, choose to do what you want to feel.
After having a rough day myself, I often feel like ignoring Eric’s needs and focusing on pampering myself. However, such selfishness will only cause my heart to grow even farther from his. If I choose to act the way I want to feel – that is, treat Eric as I would if I felt completely head over heels in love – I can expect those loving feelings to follow.
Instead of being slaves to our fleeting emotions, we can choose to love without any emotional inspiration. Doing loving acts of service for each other will inspire loving feelings – and loving feelings will inspire more acts of service.
Choose to actively love your sweetie and you’ll begin a beautiful cycle. ~smile~
When you don’t feel loving towards your sweetie, do you choose to behave lovingly anyway?