True Love – Does it Exist?

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I doubt any of us adults have gone through life without thinking, at some point, that we are madly in love. All you have to do is to think about the loving words that were exchanged between you and your partner. I bet you heard the calming sound of ocean waves and the birds chirping in an angelic tone as you thought about how deeply you were in love.

Fast forward to the day you started getting frustrated with your partner – the classic toothpaste cap not being put back on, the empty carton of milk in the refrigerator, the wet bathroom floor after the shower – and, who can forget, the toilet seat being left up!!!! That last one could be cause for World War III.

What happened to the love then? Remember the birds and the ocean waves? The Cupid’s arrow must have missed its target. Now you are irritated by the sound of his breathing. If he coughs you imagine his germs traveling towards you, instantaneously making you sick. Perhaps you have forgotten how you made love to him when you were in bed with a 100 degree fever when you lovebirds were inseparable.

Every once in a while, when you are both too exhausted to look for reasons to dislike each other, you lock eyes and recall the good ol’ days. Yet, as if hit by a hammer on your head, you get out of your daydream and notice he took of his shoes in the living room and resume digging the hole in which you will eventually bury your relationship.

Have you ever thought about all this? Ever wonder if you were truly in love or not? What is your definition of “love?” Of course you know there are a number of “types” of love – you have the love a parent has towards a child – even then, the love of a mother towards the child is thought to be different than that of the father – then there is the love children feel towards their parents. People “love” their pets. Yet, I doubt it is the same kind of a love that couples feel for each other. How about for the few of us who “love” our jobs or “love” driving, drawing, playing golf, reading a book or their favorite band. And, of course, we have the ultimate love: “Love of God!”

Even the Bible has references to various kinds of love: “You shall love the Lord God with all your heart, soul and mind” (Matthew 22:36ff; Deuteronomy 6:5). “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:40). Along with other references, this same exact sentence appears in the Torah as well (Leviticus 19:18). In Islam the love for God is the priority. Yet, Islam directs its followers to even love their enemies.

There are many theories that may explain why people fall out of love. The basis of most is “reality!” The picture we paint for ourselves when we fall in love is al positive. We imagine the best scenarios and possibilities, disregarding the variety of differences between us and the ones we love. The strength of love, at the onset, seems to be blinding and may make us more forgiving. Through time, reality starts seeping into the relationship, tarnishing the shine that came with the overwhelming emotions that love had brought to us. One by one, we begin to see the imperfections of our loved ones – even God!

These sightings become more prevalent as enablers for us to find more faults, allowing the loss of love to begin. It is amazing that the snowball effect of this path becomes fatal to the closest relationships and marriages. The midst of these events is when you begin noticing others to like, and, eventually, love! And that is one of the major reasons why couples start cheating on their partners. They are exploring the opportunity to attain that clean, innocent, perfect love affair in someone else’s arms. The cycle will, however, repeat itself.

What should we do then, stop loving? Run the other way when we notice someone’s piercing eye contacts? Stay home and avoid running into the potentials of meeting new people? Or should we simply stop feeling?

No one knows what the correct steps are to ensure your love will last long! What is impossible is to avoid falling in love. It will happen more often than you can imagine. The one cardinal rule to follow is to be “honest!” The hurt that an honest comment or conversation will bring will last a much less significant than if your loved one discovers you were dishonest, cheated or were not loyal.

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