I Didn’t Love My Wife When We Got Married

I’m a ridiculous, emotional, over-sentimental sap.  I guess that’s why I told my wife I loved her on our second date.

I had tried really hard up to that point to hold it back, honestly.  I wanted to tell her on the first date, but I knew that would probably be weird.

I still remember her reaction.  She kind of gave me this half-shy, half-amused smile.  Then she nodded and looked off into the sky.

I wasn’t heartbroken by the response.  I think part of me recognized that she was much smarter and more modest than me.

But as time has gone on, I also realized that she knew something that I didn’t.

Like most Hasidic Jews (we both became religious later in life), our dating period lasted a very short time.  After two months of dating, we were engaged.  Three months after that, we were married.

And that whole time I was swooning.  This fire was burning in me, a fire that burned just like that second date: I was in love.

But then we got married, and everything changed.

Marriage, quicker than I was ready for, did this thing: it started sucking away that emotion.

I tried so hard to keep that fire going, to keep that emotion alight, but it got harder and harder.

I mean, how you can feel that burning love when you’re sitting at the table discussing how to use the last twenty dollars in your bank account?

How can you feel it when you get into an argument?

How can you feel it when you think it makes perfect sense to put your socks on the floor after you’re done with them, and she has this crazy idea that they need to go in the laundry basket?

There was no way I could keep that dating fire burning as practicality invaded our lives.

And at first, it drove me nuts.  That emotion meant love!  That excitement was how I knew I cared for her!  But suddenly, life was this grind.  Even when I was with her.  Especially when I was with her.

And even worse, it seemed that the harder I tried to be sentimental and lovey-dovey, the less it was reciprocated.

But it wasn’t that she wasn’t giving me love, it just seemed to come at different times.

Like, when I offered to do the dishes.  Or make dinner after she had a hard day.  Or, once we had a daughter, when I shared the responsibility of watching over her.

I don’t think I noticed this consciously for a while.  It just kept happening.

But I think it had an effect on me.  Because as our marriage progressed, I found myself offering to help out around the house more and more.

And after each time, there would be this look she would give me.  This look of absolute love.  One that was soft and so beautiful.

It took me longer than I care to admit to understand what was happening.

But eventually it became clear.  Through giving, through doing things for my wife, the emotion that I had been so desperately seeking naturally came about.  It wasn’t something I could force, just something that would come about as a result of my giving.

In other words, it was in the practicality that I found the love I was looking for.

And what was even more interesting was that once I realized this on a conscious level, and started trying to find more opportunities to give, the more we both, almost intuitively, became lovey-dovey.

And now, as I’m a bit older and a bit more experienced with this relationship, I’ve finally come to realize something. Something I haven’t wanted to admit for a long time, but is undeniable.

I didn’t love my wife on that second date.

I didn’t love her when we got engaged.

I didn’t even love her when we got married.

Because love isn’t an emotion.  That fire I felt, it was simply that: emotional fire.  From the excitement of dating a woman I felt like I could marry.  But it wasn’t love.

No, love isn’t an emotion or even a noun.  It’s a verb.  Better defined as giving.  As putting someone else’s needs above your own.

Why wasn’t I getting reciprocal lovey-doveyness when we were first married?  Because it wasn’t for her.  It was for me.  An emotion I had in my chest.

And even when I let it out of my chest, it wasn’t love.

Being sappy isn’t love.  Telling someone you love them doesn’t mean that you do.

And that’s why my wife just gave me that half-smile.  She knew, even if I didn’t, what love really is.

And now that I’ve tried to change the way I look at love, the more I become shocked at the messages of love I had gotten when I was younger.

From Disney movies to my favorite shows like “The Office” to practically every pop song released, love is constantly sold as an emotion we have before we’re married.  An emotion that, once had, somehow magically stays within a marriage forever.

I can’t imagine a bigger lie.  And I’m saddened to think about how much those messages bounced around in my head for so long.  And how much I’m sure those messages are bouncing around in other people’s heads as well.

I think that might be a big part of the reason the divorce rate is so high in this country.  Imagine a whole nation of people constantly chasing the emotions they had when they were dating.  A country of people trying to live a Disney movie.

That’s a recipe for disastrous marriages; for a country with a 50% divorce rate;  for adultery (the classic attempt to turn the fire back on); for people who do stay together to simply live functional, loveless marriages.

It’s sad to see just how common all the above is.  How many people are in pain simply because they’ve been lied to.

Those people deserve better.  We all deserve better.

It’s time that we changed the conversation about love.  It’s time that we redefine it.

Because until we do, adultery will continue to be common.  Loveless marriages.  Divorce.

Living Disney movies in our minds, and tragedies in our lives.

An Update About This Post:

 

Update 2:

 

  • Joe Goldman

    Well written and articulated. I wouldn’t necessarily correlate proper love equals less adultery… Besides for that, the idea that love is developed and is not the initial fire that people have the first few months of dating is a solid premise.

  • Katherine Lipkin

    Brilliant.

  • Albina Tzipporah Sukhodolsky

    Love this!!!!! Mazel tov on your new addition.

  • Eliyahu Otis

    I just had this conversation last night. . . Good on ya!

  • Rebecca K.

    This is what you would have heard in my home as I read today’s essay:

    Yup.

    Uh-huh.

    (vigorous head nodding)

    Yes.

    I think our culture’s obsession with infatuation is the biggest factor the sad state marriage holds in the Western world today. The only way to combat it is banning Disney movies, huge chunks of secular literature (Down with Wuthering Heights! Down with Romeo and Juliet!), and Cosmo from our homes, and creating art that contradicts this crazy idea.

    • We’re infatuated with infatuation 😉

      Just wanted to make one small point, though: Romeo and Juliet could totally be interpreted as being about this topic. There’s this crazy couple in love (well, infatuated) with each other, and they cause all this horribleness because of it. And they’re so dumb that they end up killing themselves at the end.

      I actually saw a great performance of it in Chicago where they interpreted it as a comedy. Everyone acted very over-emotionally and over the top, especially the couple. It really showed the genius of Shakespeare. I think he got love more than he gets credit for.

      • Rebecca K.

        If only more high school English teachers would point out that Romeo and Juliet are being foolish…and that’s why they die, not because their families won’t accept their “love.”

        • Lisa

          Why would we ban movies and , books. That sounds really stupid. Just because kids are dumb to believe in love at first sight it doesn’t mean we should ban forms of entertainment.

        • Hannah Dougherty

          My high school English teacher did. He told us that it was a tragedy because they should have just told their parents and not killed themselves because that hurt their parents more (the suicide).

      • vbscript2

        Agreed. What we should banish is misinterpretations of Romeo and Juliet. See also: Taylor Swift.

        • Idon’t Know

          We should not “banish” anything.

          • Except Shakespeare. 😛

          • shart

            Good grief…he didn’t say banish the book he says banish the MISinterpretations!!

      • Jamie Wahl
    • Jenna

      Disagree. After years of living in Asia, it’s become quite obvious that marriage failure is not just a “Western” thing brought on by romantic comedies, old books and Cosmo. It was quite clear after some time in India that arranged marriages (the ideal in the philosophy of ‘love comes later, love is something you build’) fail just as much as Western-style love marriages. The only difference is that in those failed marriages, they often don’t divorce. But not everybody can will themselves to ‘build’ love with someone. Sometimes this results in a loveless shell of a marriage, sometimes it does real physical harm to the wife (the stigmatization of divorce means that a lot of women live in abusive situations rather than leave their abusers).

      In China and somewhat in Taiwan (although in Taiwan it’s changing more rapidly), there aren’t so many straight-up arranged marriages, but there are a lot of family friend/good business partner marriages and a lot of “he has a house and a car, my parents like him and our horoscopes line up and he seems nice, I can learn to love him” marriages. Not every one is like this, but it’s quite common. And while the divorce rate is lower everywhere except Taipei City (where it’s just as high as in the West), a lot of those men take it as their right to have a mistress or two, and a lot of those women hire private detectives to spy on their wayward husbands (it’s not socially acceptable for a woman to cheat). The marriages, however, stay together. I’d still call them failed marriages.

      In China one woman I know married because her boyfriend threatened her – “if you leave me, I’ll kill you”. Her father said “then you should marry him, that shows he really loves you”. Well, she did, and he abused her, and she left him. A brave thing to do in a small town. Now the entire town blames her for the divorce (“a man doesn’t beat a good wife”) and she can’t get a job.

      So I’m not on board at all with “the sad state marriage holds in the Western world today”. Not at all. Sorry.

      • Tracy Michelle Hargett

        Abusive marriages suck ass. I was in one. But in the end I think it’s just the luck of the draw. A woman is unlucky enough to get with an abusive or adulterous husband then what you describe is the result. At that point there is nothing left to do but trust in God’s justice. In other words, they will HOPEFULLY get THEIRS. On the other hand, and I hate to admit it, just because one man abuses does not mean they all do. I don’t know where the ones who DON’T abuse are because I would probably be with one but they are out there. (Hell, they are probably with all the Elle McPhersons of the world. Nice guys like that have their pick.)

        • Jenna

          Well, I’m an atheist (I’m reading this because it was linked to by a Facebook friend) so “God’s justice” isn’t a convincing ‘he’ll get his’ to me, but more importantly, I do think there is more to do than wait for that: you can leave (seems that you did: good!).

          I don’t think all men are abusers – my wonderful husband certainly is not (and I’m no great beauty) – not even the majority. In fact, I’d say truly great guys aren’t hooked on getting the ‘best of the best’ when it comes to women they have relationships with. They want someone they can bond with, talk to, enjoy the company of, and love, whose general outlook and values they share, and whom they are attracted to. Nothing else matters. A lot of the best guys are dating or married to very average women like me. If a guy does act like he can ‘have his pick’, then he’s not a nice guy.

          But it’s more than luck of the draw: when you marry for societal rather than personal reasons, you are just as likely to get trapped in a bad marriage as marrying for the wrong personal reasons, the difference being that in cultures with strong traditional roots, society won’t let you get out of it. And if society still holds certain beliefs about men and women, or power in a marriage, or men being ‘heads’ or ‘masters’ of a household, or that it’s a woman’s job to make a man happy and not anger him (“and if you anger him, then you must have done something wrong…and you can’t leave”), then you will get more abusers: it may not be openly condoned by society but endorsing those “men make the decisions, women keep them happy” roles quietly condones abuse.

          But I’m not even just talking about abusive situations: a lot of bad marriages here in Asia aren’t abusive, they’re just failed. Alienating. Unhappy. Some of them can be rehabilitated (it is possible, in some cases, to wind your way back from alienation, and every couple should try), but some of them really would be better off if they ended.

          My point is more that I’ve seen just as many failed marriages in traditional cultures as in the West, and so I don’t agree that those elements of our culture – which not everyone puts stock in, I might add, I sure don’t – are what contributes to our failed marriages. The only real difference is that in traditional cultures it’s not as acceptable to divorce. That doesn’t mean the marriages all succeed.

          • Rebecca K.

            Marrying for a “family friend/good business partner marriages and a lot of ‘he has a house and a car, my parents like him and our horoscopes line up and he seems nice, I can learn to love him’…” is not what Elad (PopChassid) is talking about. That’s not a good choice, either.

            A proper “match” is chosen because you have shared beliefs, life goals, mutual respect. Then, in order to make it work, both partners must make a concerted effort to give to one another, to play on the same team in the game called “life.” A partner who abuses their spouse, threatens them, or consistently makes self-centered choices is not working towards the kind of love that this post is talking about.

          • Jenna

            Yes, I know that’s not what he was talking about, I was replying strictly to the “in the Western world today” comment, not the original blog post. I do not agree that marriage failure is a “Western” thing. Not at all.

            The “he has a house and a car, and my parents like him” was an example from China (certainly that is not the only kind of marriage that exists in China, though. Usually it’s a combination of love marriage and family approval, but matches are only arranged, if they are, in the loosest sense).

            In India lots of people believe that “A proper “match” is chosen because you have shared beliefs, life goals, mutual respect. Then, in order to make it work, both partners must make a concerted effort to give to one another, to play on the same team in the game called “life.”” That’s a commendable goal, but my point is that even those marriages fail. I’d say at about the same rate as Western ones, in my observation, if you count failed marriages that don’t end in divorce (including ones that are not abusive – a marriage can fail absent abuse or divorce). You are not guaranteed success just because you look away from the Western ‘love marriage’ model. Just that neither model produces consistently good marriages at a higher rate.

            I’m not totally disagreeing with PopChassid. I think he makes some good points about what love really is. I’m not in a community that does dating/marriage/matchmaking quite like that, but that’s OK, we all have our cultures and our ways of doing things and that’s fine. My husband and I were best friends for 8 years but had always liked each other, dated for two, were engaged for one, and have been married for three. We married “for love” and were “in love” when we married, but our version of love is more like what he describes as happening later in his marriage. We just happened to have it before marriage, too (we did live together before marriage…I know that’ll sound horrifying to a lot of people here, but it’s not horrifying to me at all. I actually do think it helped us form the kind of bond that has created a stable and successful marriage).

            So I don’t disagree with him.

            My only beef is with the idea that Western-style love marriage is inherently worse than a more traditional model. It isn’t.

          • Dann

            Interesting that you would say ‘, in order to make it work, both partners must make a concerted effort
            to give to one another, to play on the same team in the game called
            “life.’

            I read an article once. It said that marriage (and God) does not guarantee great sex in a relationship. Some people just do not work well that way, but that is no excuse for divorce. There will always be portions of either side that “do not work” well together (different likes, dislikes, activities, preferences, personalities) and it’s unfair to put burdens like that on the other person. You can have a great, satisfying marriage without that emphasis on mind-blowing sex; In fact, if the other person is incapable of receiving or giving pleasure in a way that brings the couple together, wouldn’t it be discrimination to reject them based on that?
            The article said it better, but your post reminded me of that. Some people are unwilling to give up sex for love, or have unrealistic expectations. I don’t like how cold your post sounds — as if it was a business relationship or simply the act of putting up with one another instead of delving into each others’ very soul and knowing them on a level unbeknownst to anyone else — because that doesn’t sound like a marriage I’d want to be in. There needs to be passion, curiosity, mutual insanity, and an unquenchable love, even if it’s not burning intensely.

          • Jenna

            I also feel that when matches are chosen, one issue is that if the parents choose, they will choose based on *their* values, beliefs, life goals and idea of respect in a marriage. That’s great if you and your parents agree and are in concord, but often that’s not the case (I love my parents and they love me, but their wishes, goals and beliefs for me are not the ones I’ve chosen for myself).

        • Dann

          It’s not luck of the draw unless a woman is given out like a lottery. You need to know the person before you make such a HUGE commitment. That’s not to blame the victim, but a lot of these huge decisions are made without the proper foreknowledge and skepticism that should be applied. I understand it’s hard in those decisions, and I have made bad decisions in the past, but don’t try to pass off responsibility. Both parties are to blame unless it’s a forced marriage.

          • Tracy Michelle Hargett

            What YOU don’t understand is that abusive MEN oftentimes paint too good a picture of themselves BEFORE he wedding. And then when the couple is married and maybe has kids, THEN he shows his true colors. Sit there and tell me that is ANYONE’S fault but the ABUSIVE MAN.

          • Dann

            Uh, that’s not exclusive to just men. A lot of people do not reveal their true selves out of fear, or whatever reason. Not all people that paint good pictures of themselves are abusive either. It seems you are making sweeping generalizations, but agreed that this is an awful situation for everyone involved. When kids are involved, it’s especially a tragedy. Ways to help negate this situation is to talk about intimate things and taking time before getting married. I’ve known my fiance for almost 9 years and we’ve had various discussions about the world, religion, sex, politics, interests, etc.

            But to address your frustration, I do understand and I am offended you would attack me when you obviously do not know me on a level to make such a judgement. I assume that your reaction is from a bad experience, so I’m not taking it personally.
            I would never wish an abusive partner on anybody.

        • mjayace

          Its not just women on the victim side. There plenty of men who may not suffer physical abuse but suffer for decades in bad marriages as victims of verbal derogatory abuse.

          • Tracy Michelle Hargett

            Far and away it is the women that are abused, though. 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes compared to 1 in 14 men. That’s over a 3:1 ratio.

          • Ericka Kimball

            I’ve heard this statistic before, but I’m really curious how that number was determined and when. I’m curious if research has been done that clearly defines each form of abuse for the participants: emotional/verbal/mental, physical, and sexual, and then asks an equal, random, anonymous sampling of men and women if they have experienced a pattern of ANY of these behaviors in any of their romantic relationships. My theory, based on the relationships and marriages I’ve seen, is that men are MUCH more verbally and emotionally abused than women are; and that women get the brunt of physical and sexual abuse. Neither one is justified or okay. Women, and I am speaking as one, can be expert manipulators and use our words as weapons. As I have heard it put before, we “have the ability to verbally rip apart someone’s soul.” Men, obviously, tend to be stronger physically. But we each have equal capacity to misuse our natural strengths (communication and physical power). Going along with this, although there is some fear and stigma of abuse altogether – women receive much more societal support for dealing with it and reporting it. So, my other question on this if it’s based on public numbers such as actual reports made to police officers or courts or something. If that’s the case, I don’t trust it to be truly representative of either the count of women being abused (it’s probably higher than the given number) and especially not of the men who would, based on what I know and have seen, be more likely to “take it” than look “weak” or be mocked for reporting it (it’s probably MUCH higher for them). Also, I think the way society views abuse is skewed. Women think they’re independent and “tough” when they slap, push, kick, pinch etc. a man to show that they won’t be mistreated, insulted, offended, etc. Society even portrays this idea sometimes in T.V. shows and whatnot. Guess what…THAT is physical abuse. Not a “you go girl” scene. Not a comedic moment. It’s abuse. Is the guy going to report it? Probably not. He might yell at her, fight back, or just dump her, but he probably won’t go file a report. However, if a man slaps a women, even if it’s for the same reason such as an offensive comment, he’s an abusive jerk. No questions asked. Will a report be filed? Oh, it’s MUCH more likely. Either the girl would do it or her family and friends would encourage her to. See how the numbers can be skewed? And again, most importantly, I think both genders contribute more to different types of abuse. We need to change the entire mindset and make sure that both genders are held to the same standards of acceptable, decent, respectful language and behavior towards each other. Saying, “Well yeah, you might suffer, but I’m MORE of a victim.” does absolutely nothing to convey and make society aware of it’s seriousness regardless of who’s perpetrating it, and therefore, is doing nothing to really change it as a whole.

      • Shreya

        All of my family members (uncles, aunts, parents, on both maternal and paternal sides) had arranged marriages and you can see the love in both partners especially today. My mother did not want to marry my father when she was told to; but she is head over heels in love today, always saying how lucky she is to have my father. In arranged marriages your parents choose the match for you based on family background and upbringing to guess whether your future would be secure. If your parents love you; their choice is likely to work out for you. I think checking an individual’s family is a lot more reasonable term to enter upon a relationship meant for marriage, than lust. I’m told my parents had it easy–

        • Jenna

          Of course plenty of arranged marriages are successful. It is possible to build love. I’m not anti-arranged marriage. I’ve seen some happy, loving, wonderful ones.

          But those anecdotes are not data: I can name just as many arranged marriages in which the love needed was not built, couldn’t be built. Basically, knowing that some arranged marriages succeed doesn’t mean they all do or even mostly do. Plenty fail, too. It is not guaranteed that you’ll be able to build the love you want and need from the seed of an arranged match. You may…but sometimes, it doesn’t happen.

          “If your parents love you; their choice is likely to work out for you.” – there is some wisdom in this, certainly my parents were right that I should be with the man I eventually married (they were quite clear that they hoped we’d get together when we were still just best friends). They saw what I couldn’t see yet.

          However, “loving” your kid and finding the right match for your kid are not always synonymous. There are critical ways in which my parents do not understand me – they love me, but there are things they just don’t “get”. The same is true for a lot of people. In my case they don’t get why I am an atheist, why I prefer the city to the country, why I don’t want a traditional corporate career (they never expected that I’d stay home, so at least we agree there), why I prefer living abroad or why I am an ardent feminist. I’m an adult now – when younger they might have said “you’ll understand when you’re older, you’ll see that we’re right and wiser than you”. Well, now I’m older, and I see that my beliefs, values and preferences are just as valid. My choice based on my beliefs and values, I believe, is better for me than the choice they might have made for me based on their different beliefs and values. And yet I do not doubt that they love me – just that ‘love’ doesn’t mean the same thing as ‘understanding’.

          I’m also basing this on love marriages I know that have succeeded (I can name more successes than failures). My parents (happily married 34 years), my in-laws (happily married 40+ years), my grandparents (happily married 60 years) and more. My own marriage (only 3 years but we started from a strong base of the right kind of compassionate, generous love).

          • Shreya

            I am really happy to read about successful love marriages– gives me hope.

            I’m also lucky to say I believe my parents understand me; although, they disagree with many of the choices I make and and do their best to influence my decision making in the opposite direction. The logic that “when your older, you’ll see that we’re right and wiser than you” has never worked on me– I need to fully understand ‘why’ always. And Thank God I fight my parents and still do what I think is right.

            My family’s arranged marriages almost come from another era– one where you are discouraged from dating entirely unless you have the end goal of finding your spouse.

            I attribute the arranged marriage failures you describe in India and China to the low status of women in those countries. The men in my family respect their wives– which seems to be missing from the Taiwan cases where the men find mistresses. The last anecdote isn’t even related to an arranged marriage. Saying this in retrospect has no value, but the woman should have been careful in first dating that boyfriend, but more importantly her society failed in lacking a social structure to protect her from the consequences.

            I think the difference between my parents generation and now is a loss of innocence and faith that you will be taken care of. The emphasis is that you need practice in dating because you can’t guarantee the one you end up with will be right for you. You need to build yourself to be able to walk away. This rationale has led many of my peers to let persons into their lives who they know are wrong for them, and even be raped, all in the mindset of getting practice dating. While they have all risen from these situations, music such as ‘Blurred Lines’ by Thicke advocate a culture of short term satisfaction– which is entirely western. I call it western because mainstream Asian culture used to be to stay away from the opposite sex until it is time for your engagement.

            How about leading life with the faith that the right person for you will come along? And for this person temporary physicality will not come close to the value of intimacy and unconditional love?

            The ideal is a unision of what is good in Western culture (a society that protects females as equals) with what is good in Eastern (faith in the universe that you will be cared for, and being locked in a community that chooses for you).

          • Jenna

            “Thicke advocate a culture of short term satisfaction– which is entirely western. I call it western because mainstream Asian culture used to be to stay away from the opposite sex until it is time for your engagement.”

            That’s proven to be false. Pre-marital relations happened in Asia, even before Western influence. Rape happened, “illegitimate” children (I don’t think any child should evern be called ‘illegitimate”, I’m just saying it so you know what I mean) happened, mistresses definitely happened, concubines happened, cheating happened, love happened.

            I don’t see how your two definitions of “faith” have to be separate – how about women are equals (because they just are), AND all will be cared for? I don’t think anyone should feel locked (i.e. trapped) in a community though (which is entirely different from being born into a community and choosing to stay in it, which is fantastic).

            I also don’t think that parents’ ideas of what is ‘right’ is necessarily wiser, or that everyone will grow up to see that with time, their parents are right. Parents are human, they are adults like any other, and adults can be (and often are) wrong. Older people are often wiser, but not always, and anyway, it’s possible for two diametrically opposed beliefs to both be wise. That’s why arranged marriage and love marriage can coexist in society without either one being ‘wrong’. That’s why a woman who chooses to pursue a career and life outside of the family may be just as ‘wise’ as a woman who chooses to devote herself to her family. I’m an adult now, too, and I don’t see that my parents ideas about what my life should be like are better, wiser or more correct than what I’ve chosen for myself.

            I’m fine with whatever others choose to do unless it involves abuse, rape, breaking the law, hurting others etc. and faith is great, but as an existentialist, I’m not really big on the idea that there even is one “right person” or that a chaotic universe can “choose” anything for anyone. If that gives others comfort, though, that’s cool.

          • Shreya

            I said “mainstream culture”– what is advocated by society including media. That doesn’t mean pre-marital relations did not occur in Asia– it means that love before marriage was strongly discouraged by social constructs.

            They don’t have to be separate– the ideal is finding common ground between the pros of both cultures.

            Women should be treated as equals in decision making. That was not the case in traditional Asian culture– although variations exist from family to family with the mother-in-law holding a surprising amount of power.

            There is no denying that western culture is more individualistic than traditional asian culture. The ideal for asian culture was having all three generations of your family living under one roof.

            And I’m going to reiterate that my whole point is that there are pros and cons to both and the ideal is finding the common ground– not being locked in your community, while still being part of a tight-knit community you push and pull against.

            Finally, the idea of trusting in the universe supports your belief that there may be multiple “right persons”. It is built on faith that there is an abundance in the universe (no shortage of “right people”) and you will be taken care of, as long as you are doing what you can at the same time as well.

    • Sean Crandall

      Yes. This. We’ve allowed our culture to delude us into thinking that infatuation is the “true” and valuable connection. It reminds me of when somebody explained the plot of Titanic to me (I never bothered to watch it), and I thought, “So when Rose dies and goes to heaven, she is greeted not by the committed husband who spent 60 years of his life with her, but by the guy she fornicated with for a couple of days?” And there’s a not-so-subtle message in that about which relationship was more valuable and more “real.”

      If we want to preserve marriage as an institution—and I submit that we MUST preserve marriage if we are to survive as a society—then we have got to stop feeding our children these lies.

      • JusandJess Hoffman

        Matthew 22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.

        I suppose Rose would be good buddies with both her former husband and the guy who gave his life to ensure hers would be saved.

        The real focus in Heaven will be our relationship with God; everyone else will pale in comparison, although it’ll still be cool to hang out with these other people we knew on Earth.

        • Sean Crandall

          You are, of course, entitled to believe as you will. I have a distinctly different understanding of that scripture and believe that the family is an eternal institution. I find it a bleak and useless heaven that would rend from me the affection of my wife and my children.

          • Alanis

            http://mormon.org/values/family

            I think you might find this of value. 🙂 Home is heaven on earth. Heaven is that family love perpetuated forever, in family groups.

    • Jonathan

      I think that Romeo and Juliette is a little more complicated than that! Explained further by John Green. 🙂

    • david

      Banning things accomplishes nothing. Chemical weapons are banned, yet Syria used them.

    • frozen01

      “Secular literature” *facepalm*

  • אבי ג’יי

    Good honest article, Elad.

    Do you think the Jews loved G-d at Shavuot or were we just infatuated saying ‘we love you’ with naaseh venishma but only growing to love Him after spending the last 2,000 years plus in galut?

    Maybe now after suffering we can call it love. However would have been nice if it was love at infatuation phase

    • Hey man, we cheated on Hashem almost immediately after we got married to Him. Seems like we had a lot of learning about love to do.

    • Bruria

      Hey that’s a solid point! The Chabad Rebbe actually gave a brilliant talk exactly about that, and you just helped me understand it a little better.
      When we accepted the Torah, it was just infatuated or ‘forced’ love. Then years later in Persia came the whole Purim story – that’s when there was no more lala-land of infatuation and miracles – it was now really hard to be good to him. That’s why Purim is so amazing (and even greater than Yom Kippur!), because for the first time the Jews actually CHOSE to love God and put real effort into having a relationship with him. So Purim is when the real love started!

  • shirshelshalom

    I….LOVE this. (Are there 34983 people who responded with this terrible joke?)

    • Please, please, you need to get to know this post a bit better before you say you love it 🙂

  • Mendel

    There’s a lot of brain chemicals that are responsible for those first strong feelings of love, primarily ‘dopamine’ of which the levels that are released diminish over time.

    Brain chemistry is way too underrated in regards to how it affects the way we experience life.

    Later on a chemical called ‘Oxytocin’ comes into play which is responsible for those long lasting feelings of trust and love which results in a much deeper bonding.

    While having some feeling for someone is a must to get serious with that person, we should keep the full picture in mind.

  • Tzvi Adlerstein

    As a young single man who had been infatuated in the past, this is simultaneously disheartening and inspiring. What i try to bear in mind, though, is that infatuation is a very necessary precursor to genuine love; without it, we’d be too selfish to get there.

    • Gaylord Seal
    • SillyWabbits

      as a christian, i don’t find infatuation a precursor to genuine love. i do find submission to be one, tho. like, i can’t think of one person i genuinely love that i didn’t have to submit my selfish desires in order to connect fully with them. for me, love has been built on being willing to subject my will to the will of another. i love many ppl, some from the first time i meet them, God places within me a love for them and it does nothing but grow, never even getting to a stage of infatuation. 🙂 http://www.AdjustedSails.WordPress.com

    • Rachel PQ

      I created an account _just_ to respond to this. Infatuation is NOT a very necessary precursor. That is part of the myth. Yes, you should be attracted to the person, and yes, you should want to spend time with them, and feel lucky they like you back! All those things are good things. But the whole, “I can’t go one minutes without seeing this person” feeling. That’s just chemical.

      • Tzvi

        Perhaps infatuation is the wrong word to use, because it connotes a foolish attraction. I haven’t been married, but from what I observe, people typically feel a certain excitement going into a marriage that, while normal and healthy, is not love, and isn’t what keeps them going through the rough times (its giving of themselves that does).

        • CC

          Eh, but some go into marriage fully aware of what they are doing, and deeply in love – true love. I’d rather be in it like that.

        • Spencer7

          Maybe you’re just rationalizing your failed relationships, and you are just inferior when it comes to all things, including dating.

          Lets talk about all of your failed relationships, as well as your poorness, and less-creativeness?

      • Dann

        Infatuation, even if its only purpose is to show what love isn’t, is still useful. If it wasn’t for the few times I was infatuated, I wouldn’t understand what I have today, and how very valuable it is. If I ever have kids, I will help them to understand the difference as well.

      • Macattaq

        It’s all “just chemical”. Even the feelings of love or trust that we gain or lose as we become closer or further away from our partner.

        • Spencer7

          You know nothing about chemistry or biology, or love or psychology. That’s why al of your relatinoship(s) have been disasters, you don’t have that perfect wife/husband, because you’re not perfect.

      • Spencer7

        No, it’s what attractive people feel. Not ugly prototypes like you.

      • Keyser Soze

        What you are describing isnt the “love rush”, but rather specifically how insecure, codependent people feel when under the influence of it.

        Regular people who feel that rush do not feel like they “cant go one more minute” without seeing someone, they just immesurably cherish and enjoy every minute of time they DO get to spend with that person.

    • Bashie312

      I agree.

    • Omar Ibrahim

      love and duty is for all, but romance is only for the faithful—

    • Eric

      As a single guy who is engaged for the first time at 36, I have recently had a major paradigm shift-that infatuation or strong emotion is actually not necessary for a successful marriage. That’s not what you expected me to say, is it? I know it sounds weird and wrong (it has sounded wrong to me since I was young-you mean I don’t get to have those feelings? But I WANT them!!). But what I’ve learned is that there’s almost a mechanical element to love and marriage-just get married and do the right thing, and the love will follow. This is repulsive to our romance saturated, Fifty Shades of Grey culture, but I now believe that almost anybody can marry almost anybody, and it will work if they do the right thing(“right” presupposes Christian morality, which most people don’t exercise). Two weeks ago I did not believe that. That’s not to say one SHOULD marry just anybody, or that one should marry someone sexually unattractive to them. Not at all. But my girl-picker has been messed up for my whole life because I lived in an abusive home growing up. That changes things, bigtime. My whole life I’ve only had those really strong emotional feelings for people who were forbidden-namely other mens’ wives, or super-cute yet super-stupid girls that it would never work with. Understanding this has been the key to making our engagement work, and I have a beautiful, wonderful woman who I’m super excited to love in marriage.

      • Hannah Grace

        Disagree. So, so much.

        “…but I now believe that almost anybody can marry almost anybody, and it will work if they do the right thing…” Sweet Jesus. I would rather stab myself in the eye than spend the rest of my life with 90% of the men I’ve dated. And they were–for the most part–good and kind people, with good jobs, great families. But there’s a different feeling in being with someone who “does the right thing,” and someone who you connect with on a totally different level. I truly hope your marriage works out for you. But if you’re marrying someone on the basis that she could be anyone and it would work out, then it could make for a real snore-fest of a life.

        • frozen01

          THIS. My ex-husband was a very nice man, very smart and motivated, and had a loving family with no drama… all the things I thought I wanted. We’ve been separated or divorced over three years now, and as I’m preparing for my second wedding, I look back at my last with a kind of amusement. My husband-to-be and I fight but we also PLAN and make decisions together. As odd as it sounds, my ex and I never did either of those things (we didn’t even fight just before we separated). The two of us were so self-sufficient we really didn’t need the other. If one of us did something for the other, I think it made us feel more guilty (because “aw, man, that was my chore, my responsibility!”) than in love from it. It was more like having a roommate or a business partner than a spouse, and I don’t think that is a relationship that could’ve flourished no matter if we “did the right thing”.

          • Spencer7

            Wow you got a divorced? Both of you must have had some big problems. Get it together, woman.

        • Benjamin McFarlane

          Amen Hanna G. I’m afraid I’m with you on this one. There’s gotta be a spark, a deeper connection. Otherwise, it’s like frozen01 says, just a roommate or a business partner. That’s exactly what my marriage was.

          • acme39

            I think Eric’s whole point was that any given guy and gal, if committed, can make a marriage work and even thrive. If they are committed to it.

            If you don’t have “a spark, a deeper connection” then make the choice to find it.

          • Keyser Soze

            According to that same logic a gay man marrying a woman and “working really hard at it”, it a perfectly viable option to expect from people, and equally on par with a straight man and woman marrying each other. I think a lot of you are confusing marriage with friends-who-accidentally-made-a-baby-together or something.

          • Keyser Soze

            Or an arranged marriage. You know, the kind that tended to be based more in traditional norms and religion than two people actually being right for each other. Which seems to be exactly what this whole article is subtly yearning or advocating for a return to…

        • Eric

          Hannah-I got the line you quoted exclusively from people who have been happily married for over 20 years. Snore-fest, it turns out, is exactly what makes a marriage work. Not that one should marry somebody who isn’t interesting and nice to talk to, who there is much in common with. No, precisely the opposite. The kind of excitement you may be talking about-an excitement that I’m very, very familiar with-can be destructive and often translates to clashing and eventually divorce. Isn’t this what our culture goes for-the same culture with a 50% divorce rate? The connection on a totally different level you described is precisely what I have with my fiance and what all those married people I know have, but what I’m saying is that you get married and the connection will really start to happen IF you love and respect each other, and have lots and lots of sex. It can’t help but to happen if you do that 🙂

        • Linden

          I agree, Hannah. My ex-husband used to tell me what Eric seems to be saying here: he could have married anyone and made it work, but the reason I should feel special was because I was the one he picked. Not because I was special — he could have married someone else, I was just the one who met sufficient criteria at the right time. Needless to say, this kind of emotional detachment didn’t serve to keep us together.

      • disqus_zLY0jsDmax

        There are many, many examples of exactly what you are talking about, the most often in arranged marriages or people who marry for convenience or social reasons – many fall in love AFTER they are married as they learn to take care of each other and work on the marriage. People get married all the time madly in love and fall out of love. The lucky ones learn how to become good marriage partners and then find the passion returns.

        • Eric

          There you go. My fiance is Indian, her parents were arranged and are 25 years happily married.

          • Keyser Soze

            Yeah lets go back to forcibly marrying 13 year old girls off to 30-something year old men, that sounds like a great idea

          • Mikhal-Sarah

            Who said that arranged marriage must involve underage kids or huge age disparities? Many different cultures have practiced it in many different ways, most of them without force, without underage kids and with the groom no more older than the bride than is customary in “Western marriages”. Seeing as this is a Jewish site with some Christians visiting, I think for the most part we can limit the discussion to how Jews have practiced it, and not bring up the fear-ridden spectre of “child brides in India”.

            And BTW in our “free culture” I personally know several women who as 13 and 14 year old girls who were impregnated by 30 + year old men….expect that rather than being married and looked after they were used and dumped. I know even more who were made pregnant by other kids. “Freedom” has as many abuses as religion, if not more.

      • Morgan CN

        You may want to read my short testimony as to how that actually works out in real life. It’s several comments down, and I’m not sure how to link it. Having done “the right thing” for over twenty years, with no “love” results has been indescribably difficult. As one human being to another, I would advise you to be very careful with this theory.

        • DS

          Morgan, I read your story… it resonates with my own, and my heart hurts for you. I am 13 years in, and really wondering if I can keep going. Do you have any advice? I don’t want to hurt anyone, but like you said, I die a little each day. This is my one and only shot at life… I gotta say, I am beginning to panic. Has your perseverance paid off in some way? Do you stay for honor / religious belief / etc? What is it that drives you and sustains you?

          • Mo0nangel

            watch the movie fireproof with your spouse and be open about your struggles. Communication is so important even when the other person does not want to listen.

        • Mo0nangel

          I think you are missing his point. He said if BOTH work at it, not just one side.

      • Keyser Soze

        Come back after 5-10 years of marriage and let us know how you feel then.

        I wish people would understand that, if love isnt a prerequisite for marriage, then surely marriage itself isnt a prerequisite for a long term relationship. If youre not in love, why get married? Why get married at all, except to permanently deprive yourself and your significant other of someone else who might love them more?

    • Spencer7

      I love it when poor people tryign to cope with their world make conclusions

  • Boruch S.

    Herein lies the power of the Shidduch system.

    In the non-Jewish world, you go to a bar, you see someone you like, you ask em out, you get physical with each other, you get attached to them. Your relationship is based on the fact that you’re crazy about each other. As soon as the craziness dies down, you break up. Without a strong foundation, there’s nothing left keeping you together.

    In the orthodox Jewish world, dating is like buying a car. First, you figure out who you are and what you need. Do i even need a car, maybe i could bike or take the bus? What kind of car fits my lifestyle? I have children, so even though I “fell in love” with that flashy fast sports car, its not the car that i need. Now that i narrowed it down to a minivan, whats my price range? Which features do i want vs which are necessary for me? Which company has the best reviews?Once I know the kind of car I need, only then do I go to the car dealership and take it out on a test drive. Once I’m in the car, I already know this car can potentially fit my lifestyle, the only question remaining is, is it a comfortable ride?

    The shidduch system (in its ideal form) works the same way. First you have to figure out who you are. Then you figure out what you need. Then you do the research on a person. Only after you already know enough about a person to know that on paper you are compatible, thats when you go on a date to see if you’re comfortable with each other.This potential relationship is already based on something very strong before you even meet the person.

    A marriage whose foundation is based on love is weak. Do you always love someone? after years of the day to day grind, sometimes you are madly in love, sometimes you are not. A marriage based on an emotional foundation is by its very nature weak.

    However, a marriage based on an intellectual rational decision is much stronger. Instead of marrying for love, your marry for marriage and then you create the love that your relationship needs.

    Call me crazy, I find that beautiful.

    ((( definitely check out this video series. http://11213.org/tag/mashpia-mekabel/ seriously. its life-changing)

    • Miriam Pearlmutter

      Getting married is like buying a car. Love it!

    • Kegan Erickson

      That is so true. thank you for sharing.

    • Abu Asiyah

      This is why as a Muslim, I love Orthodox Jews. We pretty much do everything the same way, including marriage – with the exception that the date is chaperoned and usually at the prospective wife’s place, with her parents visibly in the distance. I agree about making it an intellectual decision – that’s how I got married (at an age of 23) and I have not regretted it for one second ever since.

      Ever watch that film “Arranged”? 🙂

      • shakur

        thats how you got married as a muslim, thats not how i got married and believe a marriage should be as a muslim~

        • Abu Asiyah

          To each his own – there is leeway on this matter in Islam as the marriage process isn’t as set in stone. However, the sacred sources do point to general principles, such being rational in the choice of spouse, consulting others, and keeping away from sexual interaction prior to marriage and things that could lead into that. The application of those principles may be different in different cases, but among the Muslims that I know, a system similar to that of the shidduch is common.

          I’m not saying everyone does it (or has to do it) the same way – in the same way that no all Jews marry the way described by Boruch S.

          The point still stands – a common way Muslims get married is similar to the common way Orthodox Jews get married. We also have very similar rules on purification, food, personal relations, communal responsibilities, etc. In fact, juristic principles when it comes to the Sacred Law are almost identical as well.

          Just trying to spread the love 🙂

          • Well said! And kudos to helping show the similarities between our ways of looking at the world. Truth is truth, and it’s no wonder that people that care about living life in the best way come to similar conclusions.

            Welcome to the blog, hope to see you around here more.

          • Abu Asiyah

            Thanks! I get annoyed when people portray Jews and Muslims as “opposites”, so I try to correct the image when possible. They’re probably the two closest faiths in existence in terms of belief, practices, and approaches to life.

            Thanks for the welcome. My wife actually pointed me to the article, so she gets all the credit 🙂

    • Matthew McMillan

      I took two years to get to know her. No bar. No immediate sex. It still ended in divorce. There is far more to it than that. Religious orientation has nothing to do with it. It is simple. Two people who go in knowing that life is not for sissies and that they will be there for the other. Period. We are friends today, but relationship is over. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out.

    • Jenna

      I think your post is great, and I’m on board with 99% of it.

      But:

      “In the non-Jewish world, you go to a bar, you see someone you like, you ask em out, you get physical with each other, you get attached to them.”

      Not always. I’m not religious, but that’s not how I met my husband. We don’t all go to bars, see people we like, go out with them, get physical, get attached then break up. It’s a gross oversimplification. Some of us don’t even go to bars much (I might with friends, but I never once set foot in a bar with the intention of meeting someone).

      Plenty of folks not in more traditional communities do something similar to what you describe, just…we go about it a little differently. I had a strong idea in my mind of what I wanted in a partner: similar values and life goals (my life goals happen to be secular and liberal, but I respect that that’s not true for everyone), some attraction both physically and mentally, intelligence, kindness, “good”ness (all that nice stuff like caring about people, being mature, being generous, being a good communicator), humor, honesty. As I dated, I applied those criteria, and didn’t marry until I found someone who satisfied them, whom I wanted to marry because I already cared about him enough – loved him enough – to consider him as important to me as family (it helps that we were best friends for a long time before we dated, but it was pure luck that I happened to fall for my best friend. Not everyone is so lucky). Our version of love includes physical attraction, but otherwise is more or less what you describe: knowing what you want and need and going out to find it, and what PopChassid describes (his version of ‘love’ from later in his marriage).

      And I’m one of those typical Westerners! A secular humanist feminist liberal New Yorker! Yet…while I dated differently than many people commenting here (no matchmaking, no parental interference, although my parents made it quite clear that they strongly approved of my choice) my ideas about who to marry and why aren’t really all that different.

      So please don’t assume we all just go to bars and get banged up. We don’t!

      • Haha, the last two paragraphs of this really made me laugh.

        I also want to clarify after reading your latest comments: I don’t in the slightest want to knock everything about western ideals of love. I’m talking more about the myths that have become so prevalent in our culture. Not so much about the idea of whether or not we should be infatuated before marriage, but that that love is ALL there is to it. I think that’s a disastrous way of looking at things, and it’s not even western. It’s modern, really.

        So yeah, don’t want you to get the wrong idea. I’m not against EVERYTHING. Just the BS.

    • Dann

      Before you say love is weak when a marriage is based on it, you need to define love. Emotions? Of course it’ll be weak.
      True love, or the mixture of all 4 kinds of greek love with emphasis on agape love, then yes. Marriage is strongest then.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agape
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_words_for_love

    • frozen01

      You buy a car to fit your needs *now* and then go get another one when your needs change or it wears out.

      Marriage and life partnership are not business transactions where you consider your “price range”. People are not commodities. They have strengths and weaknesses you’ll never see “on paper”, and things you’ll never know you “need” until you wake up one day and realize you couldn’t ever imagine living without it.

      Emotional ties (I’m not talking about infatuation, here) may end up being weaker than cold mathematical calculations from time to time but one could argue they are much more meaningful, as well. Otherwise, people would not love their children as much as they do.

    • Boruch S.

      You’ll have to forgive me for making generalizations. All I was trying to say, was that with such a life changing decision, you should be using your rational brain, and not your irrational emotions. There are obviously quite a few factors required for a happy successful marriage, but marrying the person who is right for you is the biggest and most important. In the Jewish world that I know, people don’t date for fun, they date with the goal of being married. They try not to let physical distractions get in the way of making a solid well-thought out decision. Before they start looking at other people, they look at themselves first and find out not who they want, but rather who they need.

  • Miriam Pearlmutter

    Ok, so in sum- everyone would be happily married if they realized they have to show love by giving to the other person? By putting the other person’s needs above your own? That’s the big secret? Don’t you find this to be a little simplistic?
    I can agree that as a marriage progresses, the relationship changes and hopefully deepens. This is a bit different than blaming divorce rates on selfishness, don’t you think?

    • 1. I don’t think it’s a secret. I think it’s a truth that’s been muddled by a bunch of silliness in the media and to help sell records and movies.

      2. It may seem simplistic, but I don’t think it is. Learning to give to someone and put their needs above yours is a lifelong process, one that takes constant work and vigilance. I know I’m constantly failing at it, and the longer I’m married the less simple it seems.

      3. A marriage does not “progress and deepen” on its own, just because time passes. Plenty of marriages do the exact opposite. It needs to be cared for like a living thing.

    • johnson marry

      if you lost your marriage

      love is very good in marriage

      if you want your love back

      please email dis spell home

      because help me to bring back my ex

      email spellsolutionhome@hotmail.com

  • L Nikai Harry

    As someone who is learning to love in my first “real” relationship….I 150% understand where you are coming from….but Disney isn’t a complete lie. The chemistry you feel with a person that you want to learn to love is SOoOoOoO important. I’m definitely a Disney kid, and I grew up thinking I was going to be treated like a princess and there would be a handsome prince that I would fall in love with and after so many struggles and battles there will always…always be a happily ever after. Then I “grew up” in my teenage years and realized that life doesn’t work that way and every relationship required too much work and love just isn’t worth it. Now that I’m in my first real relationship, I’m starting to learn that the chemistry somewhat makes it worth it. Just as you described…you found that the love language with you and your wife is giving. Every relationship finds their love language to keep that chemistry, and to keep that dream. Disney told us that it was going to take work, and Disney told us there are ups and downs, we just didn’t realize that life is a never ending movie and if there are things that we really want, we just have to learn how to fight for it.

  • DefSufi

    That’s the way mature love is. It isn’t that wafty oxytocin and hormone driven rush we all feel at the beginning. It’s that devotion and deep understanding and appreciation that develops once that rush is over. IF we have the patience to let it develop. Yes, once that rush is over comes the Grind. It’s that period when reality hits and you realise you don’t like they way your spouse eats an apple. Or the order in which they wash dishes. But when you begin to be able to look past that, and take care of them, and begin to care for them, that’s when love begins. Congrats on getting there. So many don’t.

    • MalakronikMausi

      This is beside the point, but in the interest of correctness, oxytocin is the chemical behind “Grind” love – it is the chemical of attachment formation. The gushy feelings at the beginning can be attributed mostly to dopamine.

      But what matters is your message, and it is a good one.

      • Lauren Burnett

        I don’t think you understand her definition of the Grind. Like, “back to the old grinding mill,” the hard work. Not some other kind of new love “grind.”

      • Ammaris Raposo

        It’s both dopamine and oxytocin. Dopamine is the “reward center” for pleasure. Many drugs cause a surge of dopamine, which is why many people abuse drugs. Oxytocin is a hormone released during intimacy. Breast feeding, hugging, kissing, sexual stimulation, etc. all cause a rise in oxytocin.

        • All these comments are just making me want to do drugs.

    • Spencer7

      F_ck you

  • Beautiful article, and honest. Thank you for sharing this 🙂
    Emotions come and go, no different than the ebb and flow of the waves. We can easily mistake its intesity for love. When we were younger, we see life and love through inexperienced lenses. As we grow older, we understand love is so much more than fiery exciting or even passionate emotions. It is about working through our own emotions, understanding ourselves as much as our partner/spouse and being there for one another. This is why they say, we grow into love, and not just fall into love 🙂

  • alishadefreitas

    Oh wow, this is beautiful! A friend shared this on Facebook and I’ll be sharing it as well! Oh, and Happy New Year.

  • ChasidaYerushalmit

    First of all, it is so refreshing to hear this in a very real, human way. I know this is standard Jewish philosophy, but I just kind of am sick of hearing it from other places. I think in being real in your experience, you’re making it relevant and real again.
    Secondly, I could it be that this is the same in our relationship with Hashem? Specifically, falling in love with Yiddishkeit?

  • Esther Freeman

    …changing the saying ” first comes love then comes marriage” to “first comes marriage, then comes love.”

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  • Chavie Lieber-Stokar

    nailed this post, Elad.

  • Zook1984

    If only you experienced love as BOTH a verb and a noun.

    • Omar Ibrahim

      nice.

  • Asadullah Ali Al-Andalusi

    Salaam,

    Well said.

  • Crystal

    Wonderful! Love beyond “passion” is what enables a marriage to last — learning to sacrifice oneself for the sake and good of the other (and the family) is essential to real love.
    As a Christian, I would say too that real love — Agape — is a reflection of God’s/Christ’s love for us. Something our grandparents and previous generations understood, that was somehow lost on the Boomer/”Me” generation.
    I agree with the premise, too, that the Disneyfication of youth, especially girls, is one of the many things Hollywood has done that has distorted people’s perceptions of relationships, marriage, and sex (<– rest of Hollywood on the last one, not so much Disney). (PS – this is making the rounds in the Catholic circles) 🙂

    • Totally agree! And I also agree about it being a perfect metaphor for our relationship with G-d. Hasidic Jews believe the world is essentially one big metaphor, and each reality in the physical world can help us understand our spiritual lives. And one of the best analogies for our relationship with G-d is our relationship with our spouses.

      I also want to say it makes me so happy to see how this post has brought out such positive connections between Jews, Christians, and Muslims. This is seriously one of my dreams come true for this blog. So thank you again for sharing your thoughts and the fact that others in your community enjoy the post as well. It’s beyond gratifying.

      • Abu Asiyah

        Well to weigh in from the Muslim side, the Qur’an says, “We will show them Our Signs in the universe, and in their ownselves, until it becomes manifest to them that this (the Quran) is the truth. Is it not sufficient in regard to your Lord that He is a Witness over all things?”

        This has lead Muslims to adopt the same principle: everything in this life is a point of reflection on God and our relationship with Him. The Qur’an refers quite often to the cycle of plant life (growth, death, new life out of death) as a metaphor for the human experience (birth, death, resurrection). In the same way, Muslims use other points in life as signs. In fact, my favorite Muslim scholars are those who can look at anything and extract a religiously beneficial lesson from it.

        The idea of marriage as a symbol of our relationship with God is very common – hence a common use of the term “The Beloved” to signify God in Muslim texts on spirituality. Rabi’a al-Adawiyya, an early Muslim pious woman, said about the night prayer in one of her poems:

        “O my Lord,the stars glitter
        and the eyes of men are closed.
        Kings have locked their doors
        and each lover is alone with his love.

        Here, I am alone with you.”

        • Bruria

          Our religions are so similar and have many common beliefs at the core. It’s great to see some real discussion on it. Hopefully one day we can all get along as well as we used to!

          We also have a core belief that the whole world will one day see God as the truth, and we also see marriage as a practical parable for our relationship with God.

  • M-EZZ

    All these words are right But Sometimes they just don’t let you do what you have to do Each one need a chance to prove himself !!!

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  • Skazimi

    Absolutely Loved reading this. As a Muslim who got married at 20 (husband was 23), I couldn’t agree more. I must admit I fall in love with my husband more with each passing day! (it’s not the Disney kind of love 😉

  • Omar Ibrahim

    I whole-heartedly disagree, love is fruition, like fruit its sought and attained and it grows.. but its just a matter of semantics.. what I think this person is describing is good and noble duty… the two are inseparable.. love and duty.. but they are distinct.. like any two honest souls..

    If he didn’t love her then, he doesn’t now.. and if he does then, he did now (tense is a funny thing).. love is a state of being.. and only your lord knows truly what is in your heart.. take that in either the meaning of a deity or whatever or whoever it is you have chosen to serve and submit to… however fleetingly or unconditionally =)

    • Bruria

      But where does it start?

      • Omar Ibrahim

        ah I like you. that’s the toughest question, really, but only if you press yourself to answer it. as a man of faith I’d say your lord knows best, and as a man of reason I’d say it doesn’t matter which comes first, love or duty, what matters is your capacity to mark the distinction.

        I feel the duty to respond to your thoughtful and insightful question, it’s a matter of principle for me. but the fact that you asked it leads me to believe in you and your own capacity for judgement, if I’m right to do so, if we share values and principles at some level then I do love you (forgive my forwardness), if not, I lose nothing for that love we could have and maybe do share is dependent on our individual eternal values not our ephemeral bodies and minds.

        to take it further we can say it is the soul of every individual which connects us so we experience love. so really by that logic there is no need to ever be “out of love”; if one’s principles and values are sound, he’s done his duty and so all his derived actions are an act of love, every breath, blink and beat of his heart aims to honor his soul and that of everyone he meets. hence the old proverb, “some souls meet in the skies before they do on earth”.

        but again why do we say anything comes first? a chicken and egg kinda thing, it seems to me. does thought breed action or action thought? you can’t really separate them. i could start saying things like “time is an illusion” and whatnot, but I’m afraid I’ve gone far enough… if anything it’s mere poeticism and purely for the sake of being safe, and keeping other safe—both, always a double-edged sword…

        when you ask what comes first, you want to know “how”, but when you simply seek to understand the two sides of something, the two possible states of being and living, the two possible ends of any action or thought, you are asking “why”. “why do I love this person”, “why do I do these things I do”, “why do I ask the questions I do”, “why does this make me happy and why does that not”.

        believe you can have both and you will, but focus only on one, you’ll forget there was ever another…

      • Omar Ibrahim

        I had responded to this earlier with a much more thorough response… but somehow it is not here.. anyway.. as a poet I can say:

        time is only the illusion of the mind and the only promise of the heart—

  • L Walk

    In my opinion, any love story can become a fairy tale story depending on how you treat it. Every fairy tale love story has a struggle, involves sacrifice, involves making a decision. You missed a huge opportunity to have an experience of true love with the last 20 dollars in the bank account situation. That was there for you to capitalize on and make her see you as a super hero. Now I’m not saying you need to get a second job, sell drugs, or something crazy yo get more money but you should do something to show her that even though the material goods aren’t there you still care for her. You could have done a fun cheap date idea, made her something or any number of different ideas. My wife and I were in a similar situation, when her birthday came around we had zero money to do anything, and no time as she works full time and I’m a medical student. In stead of doing nothing I acted. One day at school I stopped in the book store and bought some yarn for about 50 cents, watched a you tube video on how to make cool string bracelets, and gave her them that night. She loved it! Its still on her wrist even years later and even though she has other, much nicer jewelry now, she still loves that one (well whats left of the thing haha) the most. So all that happened was I had those feelings that you call “something in your chest”, we reached on of MANY hard points that happen in relationships, and I acted for HER. That cultivated love. As you commit to her and your self to do that, it will amaze you how much love you will find. Divorce is because people love them selves more than others around them. Selfishness and laziness causes divorce. If you forget yourself there is very little that can end a marriage if both people act in true charity for one another. I love my girl more now than I did when we first said those fateful words but I’m sure 25 years form now I’ll love her even more. So, I respectfully say that you really need to rewatch some Disney movies and look at how hard they tried to get to the fairy tale ending. I made a bracelet, I didn’t have to slay a dragon.

    • Roe

      this was one of my favorite responses to this post. the last paragraph was incredibly true as well, there has to be equality in any sort of relationship. i had two relationships one in which i cared very deeply for the individual and they became selfish and inconsiderate. the second (which was actually my first relationship) where we went through many trials for years and now to this day though everything we’ve been through, the strength in which i love him is stronger than it’s ever been. the reason that it’s that way now is because we never gave up despite all the moments in which we may not have been on the same page. i can relate to the stage where we were both pretty broke and we could only do small things for each other, but everything we did was for the other person. we didn’t care that we were young and didn’t have much, we just wanted to see the other one happy. i think saying that that “passion” of love can’t exist is limiting, people should believe in the possibility of true happiness. if we don’t then what do we really have to look forward to? yes, nothing is going to be perfect and there are going to be plenty of moments in which the person annoys you, but to downgrade love to giving isn’t fair. love is an experience, learning, growing, feeling, connecting, and GIVING. but, i guess i can’t speak because everyone has a different definition of love. but if you truly love the person then love is more than just DOING for them, it’s all of the emotion, feeling, and growth that occurs because of that. every experience is a chance to learn about the person and grow together. even when things fail or when things get too rough, that emotion that DESIRE to be with the individual is what can bring those two people back together. if you love someone based on what they can give you or do for you then it’s not really love it’s just mutual respect or admiration. (in my opinion), but of course everything i have said is debatable and due to my still being young, i may not have experienced quite yet what others are describing.

    • Hannah Grace

      I feel like this is the most decent thing I’ve read on the internet since 2007 (I’m not referring to anything specific there. Just making a point).

    • I totally agree with this! That’s, in fact, exactly the point I was making in the post. The examples you gave are examples of giving, examples of doing something for the other person and not just doing things for ourselves.

      As I said, we find the love WITHIN the practicality. So, while at first, I didn’t know how to make the $20 count, I later discovered the “secret”. It looks like you did the same thing. You “acted for HER”. Exactly. You gave. And that’s what engendered the feelings of love.

    • frozen01

      “Divorce is because people love them selves more than others around them. Selfishness and laziness causes divorce.” So many people get married before they even know who they are, or are pressured into doing so because it is expected of them, or they have had “happily ever after” drilled into their subconscious all their lives, or their biological clock is ticking. They take a stab at it even though they don’t know what they’re doing. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but you only have so much control over it (at most 50%). If you grow apart, if one of the pair feels trapped, then no amount of charity will bring the two back together (in fact, it could make one even more resentful of the other).

      • Angela Goudman

        This is why no one should get married without seriously considering the consequences, sacrifices, and pros and cons of marriage. My husband was in a marriage for 4 years to a wife with whom he knew he wasn’t compatible. (They were pregnant and wanted to do the right thing by their daughter.) He did his very best to make the marriage work, but she decided she wanted out because she wasn’t happy, and she left him. We met just over a year after she left him, and we have been married for 2 years now. We dated for about 6 months before we got engaged, and waiting another 9 months before we got married. We knew we were sure and we knew we were making a commitment that there was no backing out of.

  • Ihssan T.

    As a Muslim I can certainly say that I relate to this post 100%. Love is certainly misconstrued. Thanks for your insight. Check my blog out when you have a chance. http://www.muslimnlove.com

    • Great site! Thanks for sharing, I’ll try to keep up on it.

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  • clemsongt

    “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

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  • Ian Osmond

    Infatuation is a lovely, fun thing. It burns out fast, like tinder. But, if you’re lucky, and careful, and if you’ve got the right person and the right situation, it may ignite something that burns slower, not as bright, but much longer and much stronger.

  • thebagman45

    The self-righteous judgment that seeps out of the section about divorce, adultery, and “loveless marriages” troubles me a little bit. I think that the author could’ve made the same point without being quite so pleased with himself at the expense of other people. “If you guys could just be as awesome as me, your marriages would’ve worked!” I know that’s not the intended message, but I think that’s what managed to come out.

    • NiNiNiNi

      Popular culture’s depiction and definition of love has been instrumental in demise of a lot of relationships and marriages (though not every relationship of course). That was the point of the last paragraph. It might have struck a chord with you based on your personal experiences (which is quite a normal response).

      • thebagman45

        Respectfully, your response kind of exudes the sort of smug self-satisfaction that I found a bit off-putting at the end of the article. I’m not sure what assumptions you have made about my “personal experience,” but I am pretty confident that they’re not true, and I’m entirely confident that they have nothing to do with the merit of my opinion.

        I suppose that I have had some personal experiences with people who strike me as a little too comfortable judging other people and diagnosing what is wrong with their lives/relationships. This article will seem bitterly ironic if the author’s marriage somehow comes apart down the line. I thought about that, I chose not to write it because, again, I don’t think that personalizing an opinion and using it as a vehicle to judge that person is a helpful exercise.

        For what it’s worth, I like this post overall. The notion that love comes alive as a mutual willingness to sacrifice strikes me as true, and I’ve found it to be true in my “personal experience.” While my reaction to this article was generally positive, but I saw no reason to couch my criticism, which strikes me as quite valid, in praise. Plenty of other people were already praising the article for the same reasons I would have.

        • NiNiNiNi

          Thanks for your response, although I find that alluding to someone being “smug” while prefacing the statement with an “air of respect” is quite oxymoronic.

          I responded to your response because I did not agree with your opinion with about the author. You stated negative assumptions about his character based on what you perceived to be the point of the last paragraph and I simply reiterated what he wrote in an attempt to expose the originally stated point.

          Furthermore, since I do not know you I would be amiss to assume anything specific to your personal experience. My remark was meant in a more “general” sense, my apologies for the lack of clarity.

          To explain this generalization further, I believe that we are shaped by our environment and that in turn alters our perception of the world. Hence your reaction to the end of the article, which was contrary to what the author actually stated. Still, I am open to understanding that you do not uphold the same belief.

          Please rest assured that I do not know you and this is not a personal attack per se. It is also not an attempt to debase, belittle or patronize you. Just an open sharing of opinions.

          I am sure that there will be some who agree with you and others me, that is the beauty of humanity. I hope that we can both learn and become even better individuals from this discourse.

  • Ashley

    my husband and i only knew each other for like two and a half months before we got married. we really didnt date either. i was in a same sex relationship and it had ended a few months prior to him starting at our job. i still lived with the girl though because of my job and since where im from is 3 hours away. i didnt wanna give up my job. but when my husband started work we instantly hit it off. we would do alot of flirting with each other and then he started coming to work a lil early so he could sit with me on my break and us talk or i would hang out after work just so i could talk to him. i even started asking for more hours just so i could spend time with him. he eventually asked me to meet him somewhere one night. so i did. the whole time i had a million thoughts in my head. “he’s 12 years older then me, his daughter is only 9 years younger then me, ive not dated a boy in almost 3 years, IIIIII jus wanna piece of ass and he wants a relationship.” i was so up in the air and confused about alot. but i went to meet him and we sat and talked for hours and of course kissed. i was like holy crap this dude if friggin amazing. i can really see myself with him. a few days latter we met up again and i had more butterflies in my belly and my heart raced like crazy! he made me so happy. happier then i thought was possible. about a week after that we invited me up to his house. we jus sat and cuddled for a few hours. it was amazing! and he insisted on doing everything for me. thats when he threw out the “L” word. i was taken way by surprise. well he eventually took me home and and as i was gettin out of the car i looked at him and grabbed his face and kissed him and said “I love you too.” the smile that came across his face was so amazing. i stayed up all night that night jus smiling and thinking of him and how our life would be. the following week i went back to his house and spent the night. (oh yeah…since day 3 of meeting him he asked me on a daily basis if i would marry him lol) anyways i spent the night with him and he kept petting on me and holding me and telling me how he would love for me to be his wife and that he knows we only knew each other for a short time but he loved me more then hes ever loved anyone else. he kept begging me to move in with him. so 2 days later i moved in and then a week after that we got married. and even though its been a learn about one another as ya go kinda thing it has been absolutely amazing!!! i wouldnt change anything!! he knows every little secret there is to know about me and the same with him. hes been there with me through some crap with my ex and hes been just the best supporting husband anyone could ever ask for! people thought i was crazy for only knowing him for 2 and a half months then getting married to him but only thing i have to say is when you know you know and so why waste another second of not being husband and wife. weve been together for almost a year now and each day i grow to love him more and more! he helps me do everything! cooking, cleaning, laundry, dishes, you name it and he does it. we still sit for hours and just talk about anything and everything! hes the love of my life and its amazing being his wife and being a stepmom to his daughter…..sorry for the long drawn out story but i wanted to share 🙂

  • I wholeheartedly agree with this take except for two points. One is in the instance where you give of yourself fully and completely and there is no reciprocation. Should it be enough for someone to feel love in return for your giving but not give in return? Also, this article minimizes the fact that there is also a WHY you would want to give love to someone in the way the author describes. That comes from that burning desire he so readily dismisses. You have to have some passion for a person to want to give of yourself selflessly to them, right?

  • Zaid Mohammad

    I have a vision where Jews, Christians and Muslims come together to help promote such values in a society that is transgressing on its morals and values. Whether this be by an academic institution or by the media, we need to create more art that represent these values. As a Muslim I find this article superb as this goes exactly in line with my philosophy. Love constantly grows, as the two go through each phase of marriage (if you marry early, especially). This is why research shows that a marriage that had no sort of physical intimacy has a much higher chance of standing through the tests of marriage than ones that do not. I hope that such profound and true beliefs find itself in the mainstream world soon before we hit a crisis.

    • Zaid Mohammad

      Or perhaps we’ve already hit a crisis?

  • Linda Jones

    This is so very true. My husband and I have been married almost 29 years. We’ve had many struggles. After reading this article, it really gave us perspective. We were married within 2 months of dating (dumb, I know), but we both thought we knew what we wanted (the ideal list). The only problem is life happens and the fire does go out. Thank you for sharing this. We are working on finding a new love, one of mutual prespect.

    • Shakirah Hill

      Not dumb at all. You had faith in your love for one another. You went with it. It obviously worked because 29 years later you’re still going strong.

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  • Kris

    Such a beautifully written article. Thanks much for sharing!

  • TLCTugger

    I love my wife in more and better ways every day, so I believe you. But it’s really foolish to rush into marriage just because you’re horny.

  • molly

    I would like to point out while I really enjoyed reading this, there ARE people out there who get to this point before marriage, so to say that love doesn’t exist before marriage can be a bit insulting. I feel that more and more people are living together before marriage, having long engagements. My husband and I found love in our little, normal life long before we got married. Just wanted to rep the living-together-before-the-wedding folks!

    • For sure! Didn’t mean to imply anything different. If we’re giving then we’re loving! And by the way, I think that applies to things beyond romantic relationships as well. Such as friendships, leadership, etc.

  • Stephanie

    I agree with this article in some ways, but disagree in others. Yes, sometimes people do lose that feeling (fire) after marriage, and yes, sometimes that fire is nothing more than an emotion, but love is different for every single person on this earth. There are two types of love: Compassionate and Passionate. Compassionate love is the love he describes above; Deeper understanding and appreciation for one another. Passionate love is the love we all feel in the beginning, that fire that burns and burns and makes us feel alive. Some people lose that passionate love after marriage or even before when they start to become comfortable around their significant other. However, there are people who never love any differently, even after 5, 10, 20 years of marriage. I have been with my Fiance for 6 years this November, to me that is pretty long. I felt that fire in my heart the day i saw him, the first time he kissed me, first time he held my hand, and so on. And even though the fire died down after the first few years…its still there. Smoldering slowly deep within my soul. Sometimes it ignites when he kisses me, when he grabs my hand, and when he looks at me and without saying a word tells me he loves me. If that fire is still there after 6 years of being in a relationship, i have no reason to assume that it will suddenly end when we are married. Every marriage, relationship, every person on this earth loves, feels, and perceives things differently. My fiance and I are undoubtedly in a passionate relationship. Maybe along the way, down the road, that passion will die down and turn into compassionate love. But that fire, the one that started the moment we locked eyes on our first date, that fire will still me smoldering in the depths of our hearts.

  • liseux

    My husband and I began dating when I was 17 and he was 19, and we dated for five years before we were married (just five weeks ago!). We said that we loved each other after one week of dating all those years ago. I suppose when we said “love,” that it was just a tiny fragment of the enormous well that Love is. A part of me understood that my loving him was a commitment. We went through many struggles as a couple, from being thousands of miles apart to the death of a parent, and I remember during the struggle (even as a high school student) making the choice to stay with him, to support him and love him, even though doing so made my life more difficult, more complicated, because of that decision. I knew that the sacrifice I made was worth it because, well, loving another person is always worth the struggle. We made many mistakes and have had our share of issues, but I am confident that when we married just one month ago, we loved each other more than we ever thought was possible. Our love has deepened tremendously and our love has certainly been made more perfect since we first said it as teenagers. We are still learning to love each other more perfectly (through self sacrifice and the struggle). But I am convinced after all these years that love is a decision, and the fruits of the decision is tenderness, sweetness, and everything beautiful that there is in this world.

  • Dann

    You learned to speak each other’s love languages is what happened. You still loved her on the first date, but it took time to mature into something greater. You don’t judge a man by who he is as a kid, but who he grows into. Love isn’t an emotion, but the essence of our soul we put into the other person, a continuous desire for their wellbeing at the expense of our own.

    This is an oversimplification, but don’t say you didn’t love her at a certain point. You made your intentions clear and she probably wondered if you’d say that years from then. She gave you the chance to love her, and you did. That is to be celebrated.

    Women can usually tell when a man is sincere. Your actions, helping around the house, were evidence of your sincerity which is why they had such an impact. I can come across as overly sincere, so I have to pad out my words with actions and honest to God effort.
    It’s work, but that’s love for you.
    We need more articles like this. Thank you.

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  • Sephia8

    You say mostly religious people like this. Well I’m an Atheist and I liked this post.

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  • Ian Mankowski

    You speak sense to this atheist.

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  • Luke Roxas Solomon

    Will it be possible for me to reblog this content on my blog??
    I will credit your name and URL, please!!!

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  • Nadia Hassan

    Thanks for this blog I like the title that was a good hook and the superb content. Now i’ll be thinking love is a verb cs I always tried as a young muslim seeking to marry to wipe the disney movie thing out of my head but I had no effective mantra to wipe the illusion out and here is your article now ill be chanting Love is a verb 🙂 and Allah is our ultimate goal. Its funny though we may go through different religious paths and God will judge between us people but every individual in your life teaches you something. I hope the many people who like this and see it rewire their minds and hearts cs millions are suffering from all societies cs of this ’emotional fire’ you have labelled it and a few who have the real love are unable to express it so eloquently. Thanks for Naming the problem as a theory I once encountered said “Once you are able to put a name to the problem you are able to bring about a resolution”. Sadly many of us suffer not knowing what the problem is and are unable to help ourselves or others. I seriously hope men and women and of course myself start to really believe this and apply it in our lives. I shall be keeping your article for future references.

  • Matt

    I agree with the first sentence, but would also maybe add ‘naive’ in there

  • 7a

    I moved abroad soon after getting married and it was both mine and my wife’s decision for better career & future – except spending a month each year, have been away from her for almost 2 n half years and soon we were meant to be united where she would join me – Now we are in a state where its really uncertain if we’ll be together or not because of our last few big arguments and lately how I acted (being a jackass). Here I realized how much I really love her, I am to a point where I want to give up everything my job my career, things I built for her which I kept surprise, my dream for last 4 years of how we’ll live in land down under the house I planned on buying when she’s with me but now I am not sure if she wants to be with me – all the signals I am getting are in denial and I am trying to convince myself to accept it. Realizing the fact that I am not going to be with her just gives me heart attack – I now realize how truly I love her – I can now define love not in words but how I feel.

    I am not a big fan of sharing my emotions, in fact this is my very first time I am writing something so personal on a public forum. I always keep things within myself no matter if they killing me inside but today after reading through this article I just couldn’t stop myself writing a brief of my story or how I feel.

    I have tried whatever I can to contact her to express my emotions but all in vain – I guess sometimes you get to value things after you have lost them and just live with it.

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  • Klinggy

    I can not say I agree with this article but I suppose if one took out the factor of religion, it is possible to LEARN to love someone. As much as I would like to think that this article doesn’t talk about an arranged marriage, it does seem kind of like its along those lines. Either way, this really does resemble the same speech I heard numerous times from my muslim/jewish friends who claim that a marriage should be based on respect/honesty/trust/beliefs and values so you learn to love that person who you are committed. I honestly can’t buy this, love is not a business proposal with hopes of future revenues (A.K.A children), it’s not a template, it’s doesn’t have a guiding tutorial, or at least it should not have any of these in my opinion. What REALLY struck a nerve were a few of the comments, I have never seen such egregious errors in judgement. How can someone say that infatuation isn’t a precursor to love, the author blatantly says ,”marriage was sucking away that emotion” and I thank him/her for that honesty. Infatuation is an irrational, unmeasurable “need” for someone, it can manifest itself from something as small as the person looks at you, the way their talk when they say your name, or the little jump in their step as they walk away that GRABS your attention better than anything in the room. Therefore infatuation is not an affliction or curse that you have to ignore, not responding to that primal desire IS the affliction, fear is the affliction. Infatuation that doesn’t last is a problem, but some people are so afraid to even step out of their comfort zone that they think infatuation and this desire for someone is somehow going to lead to their demise. Truthfully, it might and it might not, some couples are happily married for decades and they claim that the sparkle in their partner’s eyes never fails to draw them in. I may have differing views that many of you. I may think that humans are just another species of bags of blood and bones that , much like rabbits and dolphins, reproduce for pleasure and not for purpose. In my opinion, if you are ignoring this rare genetic gift, you are denying yourself something wonderful. What I am saying, and this may hurt some of you non-secular types out there, is that sex with someone you are infatuated with will ALWAYS be more meaningful. By sex I don’t mean just the physical process of insertion, there is a whole mental attribute to it which somehow I feel people chose to ignore, sex isn’t just a way to channel bodily fluids. I am studying to be stock market analyst, and I find it sad to say that what I read in my textbooks uncannily represents what some of you have written about here, I find it sad that people treat marriage as a stock. There is this talk of “prerequisites” for love that I keep reading about in the comments, I find it hard to believe someone is talking about love in financial jargon. Why create this unnecessary divide between what you need, or as someone brilliantly commented “thats just chemical”, and what a marriage should constitute. What I am trying to say is that as humans, we are subject to emotions, urges and drives. Yes, they are chemical (please do not fail to notice the irony with which I say this) but they drive us as whole, as a civilization. Im not advocating wearing short skirts and busty tops or anything else that may constitute adultery by your rigorous standards, but that you shouldn’t be afraid of your primal urges, and the word primal does sound brutal but the honesty it connotes is really what Im trying to get at here.
    On another note, to the lady out there that suggested banning Romeo and Juliet from schools, I don’t wish to offend you by saying this but I am going to suggest that you read an original copy of that play. Shakespeare’s theme of love is timeless, its in ever one of his plays, or most anyway. The fact that its set in a time when 13 year olds and 17 year olds were falling in love is simply coincidental because 16th century England was accustomed to this, in modern times it could be interpreted as something completely different, yet with similar values. So I am asking nicely when I want you to apologize for insisting that such literature should be banned because it attacks something MUCH larger than just two love birds, it talks about family feuds, alcoholism, infatuation, greed, happiness, along with amazing imagery that can only be described with diction such as Shakespeare’s. In many interpretations Macbeth’s porter (a character that appears only once who is addressing the audience as opposed to other characters on stage) is a symbol of the devil himself. Should this be banned too?
    Anyway, Im sure I have ignited many fires out there, and people are itching to bestow me with knowledge which I somehow chose to ignore, so please give me constructive criticism and lets discuss this like people as opposed to enemies.
    Thanks,
    AK.

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  • Dave Johnson

    Great article and many great and insightful responses. While I didn’t read them all, those that I did and something the article didn’t touch on, didn’t mention friendship. I have been married for 22 years. My wife is my very best friend and business partner. I, too, was not in love with her when we married. I liked her a lot and I enjoyed spending time with her, but the love evolved and continues to do so. While I agree that part of love is giving, there is so much more to it and it is much more than a verb. Love is earned. In other words, you have to pay your dues. This means surviving the good and the bad. Love is managing expectations. Love is being completed by and completing the other person in the relationship. And, contrary to popular belief, love never goes away, it only grows. I can say confidently, that I love my wife with all my heart. I love everything about her even the things that frustrate the hell out of me. And, I love her more today, than I did yesterday and I know I will love her tomorrow more than I do today. But, it is a process. It is a commitment. It is the willingness, as many have said, to put someone else’s needs above your own. But most of all, it is friendship in its true unadulterated form. I would rather spend time with my wife than anyone else on the planet and it is because our friendship is so strong that we really enjoy being around one another and that, in my humble opinion, defines love.

  • GalacticForce

    I don’t know why I am like this, but as soon as you revealed that you were religious I stopped reading and all the interest died.

  • JDogg

    I love your wife. She gives me that smile every Tuesday night in the local Motel 🙂

  • Malka Hellinger Forshner

    Nice job, Elad! Sensitive and honest writing…….and you show deep and solid respect for your wife. It’s very refreshing and inspiring, perhaps you could do a support group for guys in the shiddach parsha, shana rishona as well…………

  • Houndawg

    Virgo wife only, it seems 😛

  • Amr Mostafa

    While I partially agree to the point you are making. I also want to say that perhaps the number 1 factor that made it possible for you today to write this story is: Luck. You got lucky and if we take that story and swap in different people in our society I would bet the majority would come to some horrible ends.

  • Chris

    M. Scott Peck in “The Road Less Travelled” writes very eloquently about this as well! It’s certainly worth a read. “Falling in love,” he writes, about the feeling,

    is not an extension of one’s limits or boundaries; it is a partial and temporary collapse of them. The extension of one’s limits requires effort; falling in love is effortless. Lazy and undisciplined individuals are as likely to fall in love as energetic and dedicated ones. Once the precious moment of falling in love has passed and the boundaries have snapped back into place, the individual may be disillusioned, but is usually non the larger for the experience. When limits are extended or stretched, however, they tend to stay stretched. Real love is a permanently self-enlarging experience. Falling in love is not.

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  • John Mayer Knows

    John Mayer expresses this sentiment in his song Love Is a Verb http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/johnmayer/loveisaverb.html

  • Seth Tan

    The perfect lover would be God, Agape Love.
    4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

  • wordbased

    Awesome transition! Not everybody gets that. Of cousr we are all subject to the lies of Hollywood, but this is one of the most universal and deadly (in terms of relationships) ones. Their definition of love will not last in the daily grind. you need something a little more substantive. Here I am 35 years married and in love more now than ever. Life is good!

  • Nur Safiah Alias

    YOU COULD SO DO A TED TALK ON THIS!!!!!!!!! “Ideas that should spread” And I support this idea. As a Muslim girl growing up on Disney cartoons, I had to grapple with what is right according to Islam and what I instintively feel to be true about love and the popular culture ideal about how you should feel when you meet “the one”.

    Thanks for concretizing it in words for me at a much needed time 🙂

  • Selflessness.

  • God is love – and that love takes the form of giving everything you could and getting nothing in return. God doesn’t need our love, but he still gave himself (the greatest, most humbling act) because he has unconditional love (or perhaps better said “Charity”) toward us.

  • Ashraf

    It’s truly amazing how complicated human emotions can get. I think this makes love and all it’s wonderful emotions super special, especially once the couple figure it out. Starting up in a relationship, I don’t know how many are able to really think about building a “loving” relationship that can make them happy. I don’t think they can see that far ahead, usually there are red hearts and roses flying around first then one of them gets busy with life or starts to see the emptiness and things fall apart (or they could pretend to not see it). But posts like these help to keep the love glowing!!! Thanks for a great content 🙂
    [an Egyptian in the US]

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  • Holly

    As a girl who’s going to get married next year I understand where you’re coming from, however, I think everyone’s situation is different. Your post is almost saying there’s no such thing as love at first sight and I agree with that. You can’t possibly love anyone after two dates. I do think you made a mistake that most young couples do. Rush into things and get married when neither is ready of know what real love is. In your case it turned out well in the end but in a lot of cases it ends in divorce. I’ve been through a lot of relationships and when you find the right one you just know. But you know it’s something deeper than just love. I love a lot of things but I’m IN love with my fiance. I wouldn’t feel loved if he didnt do the lovey dovey things for me. We’d just be friends who are doing each other favors. Don’t get me wrong I love my friends but again I am not in love with them. Those Disney movies teach us that one day you’ll find your true love and I found mine. It’s a shame people rush into things and then realiz, infact, they don’t love that person at all.

    • Elizabeth HB

      Romantic love is real, but it does not endure. If you cannot feel loved without the ‘lovey dovey’ things, you may find yourself in a world of heartbreak. I feel loved when my husband compliments my cooking, I feel loved when he gives the kids their baths so I don’t have to, etc. etc. etc. That lovey dovey stuff was gone pretty quickly, but I wouldn’t exchange what I have now – which is the deep commitment that comes from real love – for all the butterflies in the world.

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  • Avis

    i expected more from this article when my friend told me he was blown away by this and that it was “so deep bro”… (should have thought differently, coming from him)

    yeah, i agree that love is falsely represented in today’s culture, but anyone who is even a little religious (personal experience, may vary) and opens their mind to freely think for themselves can find this out pretty quickly. i’m 23 now but since i was 20, i believe, i’ve never believed in the type of “love” that everyone thought they felt. i never found the exact words to put it in, as this article states it, but the general idea was formed. i guess this is good for most people to finally understand.
    i almost thought that love didn’t exist at one point in my life, seeing guys say “i love you” to their girlfriend then make out with other chicks at clubs/bars…
    i feel that everyone is different and no one fully relate to anyone else’s situation.
    sorry for wasting your time and mine.
    p.s. i’m a guy (reference)

  • Mendolyn Skye

    What a wonderful and honest look at your relationship. Thanx so much for sharing it. You are right on the money and the only thing I’d throw in to the mix is a little bit of learning to have some humility and gratitude that anyone will even put up with us. Lots of times we’re struggling and say “Why do I put up with them doing this?” but the real question is “How can they keep putting up with me?” Also you need to want that person EXACTLY as is with no changes because you shouldn’t expect that you can fix them later. I prayed a lot early in my marriage asking God what to do with this man who is driving me crazy and very clearly God spoke to me through prayer and scripture that I wasn’t supposed to fix my husband but just to love him (your definition in the article of love) and that God would change our hearts and grow us into the people He wants us to be. How beautiful a marriage we have today because we continue to serve each other and Do love as a verb instead of trying to maintain an emotional high.

  • Klinggy

    I can not say I agree with this article but I suppose if one took out the factor of religion, it is possible to LEARN to love someone. As much as I would like to think that this article doesn’t talk about an arranged marriage, it does seem kind of like its along those lines. Either way, this really does resemble the same speech I heard numerous times from my muslim/jewish friends who claim that a marriage should be based on respect/honesty/trust/beliefs and values so you learn to love that person who you are committed. I honestly can’t buy this, love is not a business proposal with hopes of future revenues (A.K.A children), it’s not a template, it’s doesn’t have a guiding tutorial, or at least it should not have any of these in my opinion. What REALLY struck a nerve were a few of the comments, I have never seen such egregious errors in judgement. How can someone say that infatuation isn’t a precursor to love, the author blatantly says ,”marriage was sucking away that emotion” and I thank him/her for that honesty. Infatuation is an irrational, unmeasurable “need” for someone, it can manifest itself from something as small as the person looks at you, the way their talk when they say your name, or the little jump in their step as they walk away that GRABS your attention better than anything in the room. Therefore infatuation is not an affliction or curse that you have to ignore, not responding to that primal desire IS the affliction, fear is the affliction. Infatuation that doesn’t last is a problem, but some people are so afraid to even step out of their comfort zone that they think infatuation and this desire for someone is somehow going to lead to their demise. Truthfully, it might and it might not, some couples are happily married for decades and they claim that the sparkle in their partner’s eyes never fails to draw them in. I may have differing views that many of you. I may think that humans are just another species of bags of blood and bones that , much like rabbits and dolphins, reproduce for pleasure and not for purpose. In my opinion, if you are ignoring this rare genetic gift, you are denying yourself something wonderful. What I am saying, and this may hurt some of you non-secular types out there, is that sex with someone you are infatuated with will ALWAYS be more meaningful. By sex I don’t mean just the physical process of insertion, there is a whole mental attribute to it which somehow I feel people chose to ignore, sex isn’t just a way to channel bodily fluids. I am studying to be stock market analyst, and I find it sad to say that what I read in my textbooks uncannily represents what some of you have written about here, I find it sad that people treat marriage as a stock. There is this talk of “prerequisites” for love that I keep reading about in the comments, I find it hard to believe someone is talking about love in financial jargon. Why create this unnecessary divide between what you need, or as someone brilliantly commented “thats just chemical”, and what a marriage should constitute. What I am trying to say is that as humans, we are subject to emotions, urges and drives. Yes, they are chemical (please do not fail to notice the irony with which I say this) but they drive us as whole, as a civilization. Im not advocating wearing short skirts and busty tops or anything else that may constitute adultery by your rigorous standards, but that you shouldn’t be afraid of your primal urges, and the word primal does sound brutal but the honesty it connotes is really what Im trying to get at here.
    On another note, to the lady out there that suggested banning Romeo and Juliet from schools, I don’t wish to offend you by saying this but I am going to suggest that you read an original copy of that play. Shakespeare’s theme of love is timeless, its in ever one of his plays, or most anyway. The fact that its set in a time when 13 year olds and 17 year olds were falling in love is simply coincidental because 16th century England was accustomed to this, in modern times it could be interpreted as something completely different, yet with similar values. So I am asking nicely when I want you to apologize for insisting that such literature should be banned because it attacks something MUCH larger than just two love birds, it talks about family feuds, alcoholism, infatuation, greed, happiness, along with amazing imagery that can only be described with diction such as Shakespeare’s. In many interpretations Macbeth’s porter (a character that appears only once who is addressing the audience as opposed to other characters on stage) is a symbol of the devil himself. Should this be banned too?
    Anyway, Im sure I have ignited many fires out there, and people are itching to bestow me with knowledge which I somehow chose to ignore, so please give me constructive criticism and lets discuss this like people as opposed to enemies.
    Thanks,
    AK.

  • Coastal

    Looking after your daughter, cooking dinner, and doing work around the house (not “helping”) is your responsibility. You are not doing anyone a “favor”. It was your job to begin with and you are just pulling your weight as a resident of your household and parent to your child. It is unfortunate you ever shlepped that work to your wife in the first place.

    • Dude, please don’t judge my entire life based on a sentence in a post. I was talking about extra moments when I was busy, or went above and beyond at a moment she really needed it.

      • Sieben Stern

        is there really such a thing as ‘above and beyond’ in a marriage?

        such as – “I played with my daughter five minutes longer than i normally do so my wife could relax after work”
        I don’t understand…. how do you quantify it? It just seems like a really weird thing to say.

        if your wife gets really happy and lovey when you ‘help’ her, maybe you should take check on what you think your responsibilities are vs. what they actually are as a husband and father.

    • Sieben Stern

      right? at one point i thought he was going to call watching HIS daughter ‘babysitting’ >_< it really gets to me.

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  • Nicole

    I agree that love is a continuing dance that must be conscientiously affirmed between two people. But the idea that “Like, when I offered to do the dishes. Or make dinner after she had a hard day. Or, once we had a daughter, when I shared the responsibility of watching over her.” these tasks are ones that you do out of love and not out of responsibility is absurd. You don’t agree to watch over your child because you love your wife, you do watch over your child because that is your duty as a parent, just as helping around the house is part of taking care of yourself.

  • LaGayla McGahee

    i absolutely agree.

  • MKV

    My high school theology teacher used to tell us: “Love is not a feeling, it is an act of will. Love takes over when feelings fail.”

  • Jesse Barksdale

    Great blog post! You love where you give! But receiving can be giving to; I accept your gift and thereby give you pleasure.

    אַהֲבָה love, is from the root הָבוּ give, and each share a numerical value with דְאָגָה care/concern, of 13. Moreover, the number of verses comprising The Ten Commandments is thirteen.

  • Morgan CN

    This article has much merit, but omits much. Forgive me, but I must tell you the following, and perhaps you all can provide some insight-
    I went into a marriage with the wisdom of the article in view. We were in a religious environment, and the mentality was very similar to what the author was describing. But I did not feel that infatuation, or emotional “love.” And I knew it, but I had come out of some very troubled times and so did not trust my own perceptions. But I was unsure. When I asked for some help with all of that, the prevailing counsel I got was entirely in line with this article- that my interpretation of love was shallow and not real. So I married anyway. We have had a fairly good life for over twenty years. But I can tell you this: I die inside a little each day wishing I could feel those things for my wife. But I can’t. I have worked, waited and prayed, and done all I know to do, but it hasn’t happened. We have respect and friendship, and almost everything else. And she has all of that kind of love for me. I won’t quit, or leave, or do anything dishonorable. But to this day I feel incomplete and struggle deeply with regret. The posts by Jenna down below have it right. Pointing at arranged marriages that have “worked” is not really evidence of anything relevant. Take my word for it: If you are thinking of gambling on the idea that “love will grow,” you have no idea what it feels like to lose that bet. Don’t tell me that what I have is enough. You are wrong. It looks like enough, but it’s not…

    • Choua Yang

      Morgan, thank you for sharing. And I’m sorry for your predicament, but your comment does provide deeper insight for others. Having respect and friendship with your wife is quite a gift and is probably why you’re still together. The word Love is very vague, but I believe Love is very big, encompassing many things if not everything. I do believe that it’s possible love can be fulfilled by something other than another person, for example: causes, arts, movies, animals, nature etc. However, everyone’s different. A lifelong friend vs. a brief blistering love affair? It would be ideal to have them one and the same but most are not so lucky in life. There are no easy answers.

      • Morgan CN

        Choua that is a very kind hearted response. Thank you. I agree with what you say, I can only caution that dealing with something like this on a daily basis is quite tiring. Also, I find myself having to fight quite hard against finding that fulfillment in “something other” of a type that is unhealthy (read: substances, etc.). Life is hard either way, but I struggle with the fact that I made it harder on myself by this choice. And that I subjugated and suppressed my humanness to my religion/religious based counsel that discounted that humanness. This is an error that religious rigidity compounds, and has for ages. God made us flesh and blood, and we need to at least respect that decision on his part enough to not pretend we are anything more than that.

    • NotMyHome

      Morgan, I created an account just to tell you that I relate so very much to your story. I also came out of troubled times and didn’t trust my perception when I married my husband. I was confused, and felt pressured to make a decision. I have never felt genuine free love for my husband, even though he’s a good, hard-working person who gives me anything I ask for, and makes absolutely no demands on me whatsoever. I am lucky, and yet I feel so empty. Even when two people are good people and work hard at their marriage, you can’t make up feelings, and it’s really hard to be married to someone without feelings for them. I have no biblical reason to leave my husband, but I cry myself to sleep over it sometimes, wishing desperately that one of us would die so that I could be free…

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  • david

    Everything you described is explained at length at pre-marriage counseling sessions. Many couples that go to these sessions end up not marrying at all. Every couple thinking of getting married should do it.

  • Edge

    Here are excerpts about Love from the Top Ten singles on iTunes (as of Sep 10, 2013), I’m not kidding:

    1. “We kissed, I fell under your spell; A love no one could deny”
    – Miley Cyrus, Wreckin Ball, #1 on the Charts

    2. “Life’s a game made for everyone, And love is the prize”
    – Avicii, Wake Me Up, #3 on the Charts

    3. “So if love is a chess game, check mate”
    – Eminem, Berzerk, #4 on the Charts

    4. “We aren’t caught up in your love affair.”
    – Lorde, Royals, #5 on the Charts

    5. “We fell in love Alone on a stage In the reflective age”
    – Arcade Fire, Reflektor, #6 on the Charts

    6. “I want your hot love and emotion endlessly”
    – Drake, Hold On We’re Going Home, #7 on the Charts

    7. “It’s our party we can love who we want, We can kiss who we want”
    – Miley Cyrus, We can’t Stop #10 on the Charts

    The only semblance of real love coming from the singles charts was Coldplay’s “Atlas”:

    “Carry your world, I’ll carry your world” #9 on the Charts.

  • Annie Buck

    So beautiful, I am reading this with tears starting up in my eyes. I wish so much that people would just stay and not stray when the “emotion” starts to fade and real life takes over. Long term love and commitment is the best.

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  • Richard Patterson

    This is a great post and hits the nail right on the head. I have also noticed the importance of serving my wife, and how much of a difference that makes in our marriage when I focus on her rather than myself. One thing however, that I picked up from your post relates to the idea of love languages. Everyone likes to give and receive love in different ways. It seems to me like the way that you were trying to show love early on was through “I love you”s and words of affirmation. There is nothing wrong with this, and it shows that you were making an effort to show love. However, from your post it seems that your wife’s love language (the way that she likes to receive it) is by you doing acts of service. Once you discovered what her love language is, you were able to focus on that and see the results (the look in her eyes).

    In summary, it was awesome and commendable of you to do your best to show love early in your marriage – everyone should learn from that example. But I think everyone should also make an effort to learn what their spouse’s love language is. Once that is done, it is much easier and less frustrating to show love to your spouse in a way that is meaningful to him/her.

    This website has more information on that idea.
    http://www.5lovelanguages.com
    (I am in no way affiliated with 5lovelanguages, but am just speaking from experience because of how much The 5 Love Languages has strengthened my marriage.)

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  • Ukweli Mungu

    1 Corinthians Chapter 13.

  • I love this. Thank you – as someone who is young in life and still in their relationship, this advice is so helpful and guiding. I don’t want my relationship to fail and I’m willing to put the “verb” in it to make it work!

  • Choua Yang

    someone sent me this link, from Facebook probably. It annoyed the shit out of me, for reasons I cannot wholly explain. Below was my response.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “Being
    sappy isn’t love. Telling someone you love them doesn’t mean that you
    do.” Really??

    My first reaction is, “no shit”. He writes it
    as if it is some kind of revelation in the twenty-first century, when
    poets, writers, and artists have been going at this for… forever. But
    I realize his audience is for young married/soon to be married couples
    who grew up in an American Disney/Hollywood culture.

    If he would’ve threw in examples of great writers or thinkers
    who’ve written about love (a little research for backup?), I would’ve gave him more credit. His letter
    gleams nothing except to reveal his ignorance about love, life, and,
    like every cheesy love movie out there, to appeal to what women want to
    hear. It’s basically equates to the same as a woman writing about how
    love is like having a three-some with her husband and some hot chick,
    riding motorbikes, instability, double cheeseburgers, obeying… you get the picture.

    Nothing wrong with help washing dishes or watching the kids,
    but please, don’t try to equate it or say it’s out of love. It
    sounds more like an attempt at some sort of justification for an unfulfilled life. No one’s going to write a book or make a movie about “Man
    loves woman so much he does the dishes, AND, sweeps the floors!”. It
    speaks to every suburban wife’s desire of having a stable, reliable,
    predictable, castrated husband, while they secretly fantasize about the
    mysterious man, unpredictable, comes in and sweeps them off their feet,
    ties them up and fucks their brains out.

    As for the puppy love one feels when they are young, it’s just
    as “real” as any love people have in their 40’s. Whether something is
    “real” is just what you believe is real at that moment and time. Don’t
    try to downplay it. Love at 16,19, 25, those feelings were just as real
    to that person in time as the love you have now is to you (if not
    more). 10-20 years in the future, needs change? “Rinse and repeat” ideas on love.

    Of course, now as we’re older and our situations
    have changed, it’s easy for us to change Love to fit into our current
    needs, and thus it’s easier for us to say, oh, that wasn’t really love,
    or it was just sappy, puppy love. But the truth is, the amount of emotions,
    the amount feelings, the amount of beauty, desires, and dreams that occupied that time and space, were just
    as potent and real. For some, it was more.

    Anyways, what most people think as love, is really just selfishness. Love
    should be replaced with the word “need”. Think of the women in Blue
    Jasmine. What the movie is saying
    about “love” in that movie is more honest than any Hollywood love
    movie. But honesty doesn’t sell. No one wants to hold that kind of
    mirror to themselves. I don’t know why. There’s nothing wrong with
    saying, “I need you” (your help, your body, your company, your taking care of me,
    etc). There’s nothing wrong with that at all. But it requires honesty and vulnerability.

    I think the closest thing to love humans have is the love
    for their kids. Even then, selfishness lurks nearby. I’m not saying
    there’s no love in the world. I think there is, but this guy missed the point.

  • Ronnie Tyler

    Great Post!…thanks for sharing

  • Shai Glosser

    This is interesting and I liked reading from a man’s point of view. However, when I love I do love with all of me…emotion and daily giving of myself to the one I love. To me part of loving someone is to take care of them. When I see the man I love I smile. The sound of his voice makes me smile. I enjoy taking care of him. I feel the emotion. I do believe that love is a verb.

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  • Rockin_Roben

    She used classic behavior modification on you, trained you like a puppy.

    • I think a puppy would’ve figured it out quicker than me. 🙂

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  • Chris Park

    You should listen to “Love is a Verb” by John Mayer. I feel as if you would like it. lol.

    And yes, I 100% agree with you. I first learned about these different types of “love” in one of my school courses. I have also seen some people end their relationship because they were chasing this type of passionate love. One friend even told me he broke up with his girlfriend because he didn’t feel that type of “love” anymore, but just thought of her as a best friend… Which, to me, is the best kind of love out there. Thankfully, what I learned in that school course helped me because I knew the passion I first felt wouldn’t last forever. There is only a certain amount of passion you can feel until your body goes through withdrawal (oxytoxin). Now I’m in the same stage as you. My girlfriend and I are best friends, and love each others company.

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  • matawinski

    lovely article!

  • Mandy Esquilin

    Please, write in a proper format when trying to sound proper about the idea of love not existing. Maybe you weren’t in love because you wanted to find someone so badly you lied to yourself but that does not mean everyone is doomed. I’m sorry you took Disney films so literal but perhaps they aren’t portrayals of what we all think love should be, but so simple and beautiful only because love and people in this world can be a tumultuous process. Perhaps love brings pain in everyones life at some point and well, Disney helps us tune out and be engrossed in fiction just for that hour or so. I wonder if your ex-wife would like to see you splatter your non-love for her on the web. If she did not love you before, she definitely doesn’t know.

    • Kirsty

      Did you actually read the post?

  • Camille

    Honestly, this is sort of a.. “no-brainer” for most classy educated women They feel this feeling a lot easier then men. It takes men a lot longer to catch on!

    • I believe that!

      • Ramanan

        I disagree. I’ve interacted with many “classy, educated” women who have an unrealistic view of what love is, whereas I think many men have more realistic outlooks on this.

  • babybass1222

    I love the idea that Love is a Verb but I have a lot of problems with the initial situation.

    So wow I didn’t mean to write a novel but I can talk forever about something I feel so strongly about… I’ll summarize and then if you want to read the rest of the rant, go ahead…:

    Balance:
    You should NOT make such an important decision like marriage, without fully reviewing every aspect of your choice. Love is part of the decision but should not be the only part. Love is NOT ONLY a Noun or Emotion; Love is NOT ONLY a Verb or Action, it’s Both.

    The Noun/Emotion part of love is the Reason for the Verb/Action. If the feeling dies completely, you won’t want to do anything for your partner, give to your partner, if you do these things when you don’t feel anything, you have a level of disdain and it becomes a resentful chore like taking out the garbage for your parents when you were a child. You do it because you think you have to, not because you want to. So love IS an noun, AND a verb.

    Be A Little Selfish When Making Decisions About YOUR Life!:
    Your Life is the most important thing in your world no matter what the case is. If you make an extremely important decision about your life without considering all the details beforehand, you probably aren’t mature enough to make the decision yourself.

    ex: I wouldn’t dive into a pool of mercury because it’s fun to play with and ignore the fact that it could potentially be very dangerous… I make sure I know the facts about mercury first, see that it’s dangerous and decide whether I still want to jump in or not… you have to do the same with any relationship…

    If you are offended by this idea, you clearly don’t have ex-boyfriends or ex-girlfriends that you want the next relationship to be better and more thought out than the last one.

    Love Is A Choice, Marriage Is A Commitment To That Choice:
    Love can happen to anyone, but love is a choice you make everyday, so you can chose to love the right person, and chose to not let your feelings get the best of you when it’s not the right person.

    And some people will argue that, “you may not feel that “spark” with someone who is perfect for you on paper, but you might feel the spark with someone who is so wrong for you, you can’t choose who you love.” On the contrary, the person who is ‘right for you’ will have everything you want in a partner which would include the ‘spark’.

    Just like a career, you must Learn about what the job entails before you can say that’s what you want to be when you grow up. Sure I can say oh, firefighter sounds cool, I should be that!, but then I learn that you have to go into buildings with big fires and sweat a lot and I don’t like those things, and those are the main parts of the job, so now that I learned that I decided I’m not going to be a firefighter… Getting married that soon after meeting someone is like committing to something before you learn that you have a major conflict that can’t be fixed unless you say goodbye to it. Obviously this isn’t the case for all marriages that happen that fast, but why take that big of a risk before knowing what you’re getting yourself into???

    Obviously this is easier said than done especially since you don’t always know it’s the wrong person until after your feelings develop which makes cutting the cord that much harder….

    Which brings me back to my main point that you should NOT choose to spend the rest of your life with someone until you KNOW they are the right person for you. This can’t be done when you are wrapped up in honeymoon stage bliss, this can only be done with your head, using your heart only to choose what flaws/cons you can overlook or learn to live with, forever… It takes TIME to learn the most important things about a person to decide if they’re right for you.

    Patience Is A Virtue:
    Not only would couple who rush into marriage inevitable disagree on the major things, but you need to know that you’re able to support yourself and your spouse before you throw a wedding.. it really doesn’t make sense to have a wedding that declares not just your love but your independence from your parents, and then to move back in with mom and dad after your honeymoon…

    If you really are going to spend the rest of your life with your boyfriend/girlfriend… then what is the rush in getting married? It doesn’t matter if you wait 5 minutes or 5 years, you made up your mind that you will be with them forever, so why not wait until you can actually afford to support yourselves?? of course your parents can help you out, but you need to be able to pay the bills every month plus groceries and gas… that’s a huge commitment to add that much responsibility to your life for someone you met only a few months ago… it just sounds a little crazy to me…

    My Story:
    I’m in a relationship with my best friend. We had a mutual attraction so naturally things progressed and of course there were jealousy issues (mainly on my end), dishonesty, distrust, skepticism, guarded hearts, lack of commitment, etc etc etc.. so then we hated each other and after that drama died down, we actually became friends… then good enough friends to skype everyday for hours on end til the wee hours of the morning… which overlapped with best friends who shared everything and made each other happy, etc.. then a little while after I had broke things off with a summer fling, he told me I looked pretty, even though I was in my pjs with no makeup and messy hair… that’s when I knew he had feelings for me all along, but he wasn’t obsessive and sulking that I wasn’t with him, he showed that he actually cared about me and was a true friend, even more of a friend than my best girl friend… and when I realized all of that, I didn’t fight it or even question it, I welcomed it and let it grow into something so incredible that 3 years later we’re still in a happy, healthy relationship, where there may be natural disagreements from time to time but no irrational behavior that would start an argument. We talk about our future all the time, not just that we want to live together and get married and have a family, but specifically what careers we want and how much income we would get per year, what age we should get engaged so that we have enough money saved up for our first few years of marriage, where we want to live, how many kids, how to raise our kids, what schools to send our kids to, religious aspects, who would cook this and clean that… and this may seem like a stressful task where we sit down with a pen and paper and write a list of pros and cons, but it’s not like that at all, it’s actually a fun conversation topic that we discuss randomly and frequently….

    and yes it’s wishful thinking because there’s no way to actually plan the future, but we find that we agree on almost everything and the things we don’t agree on are very manageable to compromise and figure out later… and if there were major differences in what we wanted for the future, well no matter how much we love each other, we know it’s gonna have to end at some point because we can spend a future together fighting for 2 separate ways of life, it’s not healthy… thankfully we don’t have that problem, but many couple who marry so soon after meeting, like the author, absolutely have that problem.. My boyfriend and I agree on almost everything regarding our future together AND love each other deeply… with that in mind, we both know we are perfect for each other, and have the comfort and stability knowing that we will last a lifetime and our relationship is strong and healthy, and we’re both so happy together. Now tell me that another way is better?!?

    —–

    End Summary

    —–

    Detailed Rant:
    (Fools Rush In):
    I don’t think you should get engaged, especially married, if you don’t love someone. More importantly, 2 months is not nearly enough time to get to know someone well enough to decide to propose and spend the rest of your life with someone, not even 4 months, not a year…. yes it’s different for every relationship but there are certain things you must go through with your partner to know them on a deeper level and make sure you’re still compatible afterwards…

    for example, the money issue he mentioned when they were eating dinner… you should talk to each other about each obstacle you might face and how you would deal with said situation…

    NOT ONLY that, but you have to know how your partner is going to react in certain situations… when you’re sick, when you get in a fight with someone else, when you let loose and act like a silly teenager, does he or she think you’re gross, in the wrong, or immature? or does he or she take care of you, back you up when you’re right or talk you down when you’re not, get silly with you?

    …these are all things you need to consider…

    More so, after a certain amount of time passes you feel more comfortable with your partner leaving you more vulnerable and letting your guard down… once your guard is completely down and you are completely open and honest with each other (your partner has to let you in completely as well) you will learn a lot more about your partner …

    you know the saying “you learn something new everyday” well that remains true with relationships, the more time that goes by, the more you learn about your partner, hence proposing after only 2 months of knowing each other is WAY too soon…

    and while the little flaws shouldn’t send you running and screaming in the other direction, the big ones might…

    for example: maybe your partner is violent when he or she is angry and since you’ve only known each other for 2 months, you’re still in the honeymoon stage and never seen him or her angry, you won’t know until it’s too late… now you’re married and have your first argument and he or she hits you… now what do you do? divorce is too expensive and it could have been avoided if you only waited long enough to get to know that side of your partner. The choices you’re left with come down to getting an expensive, messy divorce, or staying with an abusive spouse who will eventually be an abusive parent to your children… but if you waited, and got to know how your partner reacts to certain situations, and didn’t like the violence, you can end it with little to no problem.

    I understand that when you do actually decide to propose to your significant other, you’re swept up in the moment, full of emotion, etc etc. and maybe did NOT know that the feeling you had when you were dating won’t last forever because you’re so wrapped up in your relationship bliss…. but when you’re in your room deciding you want to buy a ring and propose and spend the Rest of Your Life with this person,… don’t you consider certain things first???

    It’s Your Life! so you have to make sure you’re going to be happy with your partner forever… you have to make sure you both agree on how you want your future to be, you have to know that you have an open, honest, understanding relationship, that there’s nothing you’d be embarrassed or scared to share, that you can understand and forgive mistakes without expecting your partner to make a mistake which would cause your partner to feel inferior or inadequate, you have to learn how to love in such a way that giving and doing for your partners makes you happy, and doesn’t feel like a chore.

    Because as he said, love is a verb, not a noun. If making a relationship work, feels like work, you may love each other enough to work on your relationship, but you’re not in love.

    Being ‘in love’ is mainly the emotion part you feel when you’re dating, it’s easy and fun and light-hearted… love is something deeper…. a successful relationship should have a balance of both… you love your parents but you’re not in love with them… you’re ‘in love’ with your boyfriend/girlfriend but maybe haven’t reached a point of love yet.

    Love in a relationship, whether it’s dating or marriage, should involve both the action anddd the emotion, @d90c5551a88d70495aaa5736706651e0:disqus wrote that when she loves, she loves with all of her, she smiles when she sees the man she loves, she enjoys taking care of him, she feels the emotion and believes that love is a verb…. I agree with her 100%, while love is a verb, if there is no emotion behind the action, it becomes meaningless, which is a big discussion in the Hasidic community that the author is coming from, that when you pray, you shouldn’t just recite some Hebrew words, you have to feel it, you have to have emotion behind it, otherwise the words in the prayer don’t mean anything, we learn that in Sukkot with the citron fruit that represents the whole-heartedness needed for prayer.

    —-Wow, sorry about all that, hope someone out there actually read it, haha! If you reached the end, Congrats and Thank You!

    Now that I finished the rant I wanted to end on a positive note (I did comment on this but I feel it will get lost in the rant):

    Overall I love the concept that Love is a Verb, but we can’t say that’s all it is. The emotion is the reason for the action and therefore we can’t say that love isn’t a noun or a feeling, because it is. That’s not all it is, but the emotion is a huge part of it. Why would we show love in actions if we didn’t feel something?

    • S.S.

      I used to think that major decisions in life (like marriage) should always be well thought out. That two people should first date, then live together and then if everything is going well, after few years, get married. I still think that one should be smart and not rush into something so important as one’s marriage but something in my thinking process has changed over the past few years.

      I’ve heard about people dating for years, getting married and then after a while divorce comes anyway. I also had a chance to meet people who got married after 3 months of dating and now, after 23 years of marriage, they’re still living their happily ever after. My grandparents give another shocking example because they came to be husband and wife in an arrange marriage and at first didn’t even love each other….yet, I’ve never seen a relationship filled with more love and commitment to one another.

      So although I agree with a lot of your points, I have something for you to consider….there are about 7 billion people in this world, each with different background, ideas, traditions, religious beliefs, personality etc….therefore, love also, has many definitions. What is right for you or me, might not be right for others. Sometimes those well- thought out decisions end in a miserable divorce and rushed marriages with a great success, because when it comes to love there is no definition or manual.

      • babybass1222

        Although I have also seen a friend marry too young and too soon and live with her husband happily (so far, it’s still too soon to really tell), I just feel it would be better to have a set plan of what you want in life…

        I understand that love isn’t a thought out plan, it just happens… but the relationship won’t work if you’re heading in a different path than your partner… to quote Lincoln, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” and he’s absolutely right… If you want to build a relationship, a home, a family,.. a future.. you NEED to have a Strong Foundation…

        While this may not be true for everyone, including your grandparents, I think when you rush in to marriage, maybe not even loving the one you’re marrying yet, you Learn to love the person or at least Learn to live with the person, for the sake of the institution. I feel that it’s better to fully, truly love your partner first, and use your love (and common goals) to decide to marry the person…

        ex: When choosing a college (another important aspect of your life/future) you don’t just pick one randomly out of a hat and after 5 minutes say OK, that’s the one! and then commit to 4 years of your life at a place you don’t know much about ….You have to sort through a few options and figure out which one is right for you after careful consideration. Well, marriage isn’t just a 4-yr school, it’s The Rest Of Your Life! So the consideration put into who you should marry, should be a longggggggg time figuring out what is right for you…

        If you and your partner are headed in different paths, have different goals for the future, different interests, wants and needs, etc etc.. there will be major problems that will eventually dissolve the relationship…

        Anecdote(s):

        – Let’s say you want to work on Wall St. in NYC and your partner wants to be a Director in L.A. there’s no way you will be able to have a home together and have a family together… being together won’t work literally and figuratively. Sure, you can ask your partner to be a director in NYC and your partner could ask you to work in L.A. to try to make it work, but eventually there will be resentment because one of you gave up on a life goal to satisfy the other…

        – Let’s say you want a big family of 4 or 5 children and your partner doesn’t want any kids at all,…. You can’t compromise by saying ok fine we’ll only have one or 2 kids, your partner doesn’t want any at all and won’t budge on the topic… What do you do? Do you have a childless marriage, or do you force your partner to raise kids he or she doesn’t want to raise ultimately leading to your child having a bad relationship with your partner that could lead to other problems…

        There are a lot of things that need to be considered and discussed before making the biggest decision of your life…

        I wouldn’t ask these questions to someone I just met or just went on a few dates with. It’s too much too soon and that’s how you scare someone away. If someone I just met said “omg I’m in love with you, marry me!” I would laugh thinking they were joking around, and then I might come off as a bitch and that I’m not interested at all, and then any potential relationship was just ruined.

        Most importantly, Marriage itself is a thought out plan in a list of things you want to accomplish. The institution of marriage is independence from your parents and their choices for you, and deciding to choose a partner to make decisions with about how you want your life to go. So being wreckless about who you decide to marry, is contradictory…
        You can absolutely get married in a short amount of time if you both decide you’re getting too old to wait and both agree on every aspect of married life, and love each other.
        But really, tell me why there is such a rush to get married? You’re gonna spend the rest of your life with that person so why not wait until you’re financially stable to support yourselves… If you can’t live on your own, you’re not rushing into marriage, you’re rushing into a wedding, and then live your life as you normally would if you were dating, until you can afford to move into your own home and pay your own bills… It seems backwards doesn’t it?

        Lastly, I understand that there is not set definition or manual for love because every relationship is different. But in your own relationship, you and your partner should be in total agreement of not just the definition of love, but what you expect from each other out of the relationship, what path you want to take, etc.

        It’s all very necessary to figure out BEFORE you make the biggest commitment of your life….

        • S.S.

          I do hear you out and although I belong to people who take their time when making serious decisions I realize that time isn’t the most important factor here.

          You can spend 5, 7, 10 or more years “learning” about each other, figuring out what the other wants etc. and when you eventually marry, you realize that either one of you have changed your minds about a specific topic. This isn’t very uncommon! People change all the time, it’s a natural process of growing up and getting old. Suddenly you realize that you’re not in the same place where you used to be and your partner still is. In situations like this one you have 2 options: you either work through it or you give up and get a divorce (sadly, people very often choose the latter nowadays).
          This said, I also can’t imagine marrying someone without truly knowing the person and having answered all the “necessary” questions (re. children, career etc.) but I believe that people who do marry just after few dates usually come from the same/very similar background and therefore know what to expect from the other person. For example, two people who are religious and not only share but live the same traditions. In many families like this, both partners know what to expect from each other and that is their strong foundation and not whether they asked if she/he wants children (they probably already knew/felt that they both do/don’t).
          Of course I’m leaving all the “Lets get eloped in Vegas!” people who at the moment of making such decisions are either intoxicated and usually do it as a result of an emotional rush of meeting someone pretty/handsome/cool or being way too young.

          However, in other cases, no matter if you take your time and wait for the big ceremony or get married after few months/a couple of years based on the information you have at hand, your marriage might or might not work out…. and that last part is the most important factor because it shows whether both parties were ready for a committed relationship and are willing to work together to get through tough times/personal differences/every-day problems etc.
          To sum up, I believe that “finding the right person” is a complex process in which not only time and compatible personalities play an important role but there’s also got to be that bit of good luck and hope which carry two people together through life.

          • babybass1222

            I feel the exact same way, people are always changing and as I said in my original post, “there’s no way to plan for the future” for that exact reason… but it’s better to have validation about the big things.
            You’re not supposed to be in the same place you were when you first started dating; the idea of marriage is to grow and change together, not to grow apart, so if you do change throughout the relationship, it should be because you are both growing and your ideas change along the way but you are in the relationship together and should experience the relationship together that you still have the same idea as your partner, not the same idea as when you started the relationship. If you do end up growing apart and changing your ideas on certain topics, the relationship may not have been as strong as once thought, or there was a lack of communication and one didn’t express the new idea or concern.

            The relationship should be strong enough and open enough that you don’t feel scared or embarrassed to discuss any topic… so if something did change, it may not be easy to talk about but it should absolutely be discussed beforehand … I make sure my boyfriend feels safe to talk to me about anything, and that no matter how difficult a situation is, I will be there for him to help him through it…

            People with the same backgrounds, or very similar backgrounds, have certain expectations about each other and the “relationship” that they decide to get married so soon, just as you said. The problem with this, I find, is that the expectations don’t always hold up. Just because you share the same religion and both want to have kids asap, doesn’t necessarily mean you are right for each other…

            People from the same background shouldn’t assume they know the person by a few dates simply because their backgrounds are so similar, everyone is different, people are unique and to have such expectations for someone you just met, is crazy. A really religious jewish man sees some girl who is also really religious and assumes she wants the same things he does, to marry fast and young and start popping out children as soon as possible… and since the backgrounds are so similar and that’s what to expect, maybe the first couple of dates are those big questions, the interview for the rest of your life, and hey it’s the first few dates, you are still trying to impress each other… there’s no way to know that this is the person you are going to love unconditionally and selflessly support for the rest of your life… I know time isn’t the most important factor here, but you should allow some time to really get to know your partner before deciding something that permanent that will affect the rest of your life…

            And of course there’s no guarantee that it won’t end in divorce. Divorced people don’t plan or expect that when they say “I do”, or maybe they do and go along with it anyways for a selfish reason, money, family, security, whatever it is… the typical Hollywood romance dilemma, fall in love with someone who isn’t “right” for you on paper… forced to break his or her heart in the process to find the person who is right for you, has money and security… and while you may love him or her, you always know your heart belongs to the first love of your life, but you say “yes” to the proposal and will say “I do” at the wedding if you don’t go back to your first love because you don’t want to struggle…

            I agree with your summary, and to comment on the last part about good luck and hope… I heard a nice quote once that said “Hope dies last.” I liked it a lot and realized that seems to be a problem among many relationships these days… I’ve seen a lot of couples give up hope way too easily; once the go gets tough, they split up instead of working through it, and that’s the sad truth but I still have hope that people will try harder at love because it breaks my heart to hear about people who get divorced, it’s like you were so sure that you found the one, and you’re just gonna give up? I don’t know, it’s different for everyone, which is which I think time is so important, even though it’s not the most important it should rank up there as one of the big ones, because everyone is different and even though you have similar backgrounds, your personalities may clash, and it’s hard to tell in the first few months that the person is right for you… Another typical Hollywood plot line is the two people who start out hating each other, end up fall in love… and the people who were so in love in the beginning, realize they’re not right for each other… Rushing into marriage, makes me think these people are too scared to allow themselves to make mistakes or get their heartbroken that they just want that person to be the one, the only one that they will care about so that there’s no more drama and heartbreak that comes along with finding out someone is not right for you… It seems a little juvenile to rush it, like in middle school or high school when you get a new boyfriend, or even just a crush, and the first week you are saying you’re in love with the person… it’s not real because it’s too soon to know… and later you smack yourself because you were so dumb and naive to think your infatuation was love and that once you really got to know the person, you didn’t like them at all… That’s how I feel about it, but hopefully I’m wrong and these couple that get married really fast are mature and know what they’re getting themselves into.

    • MG

      I agree with what you said about not rushing in, planning things out, and discussing how you’d act in various situations so that you’re not going in blind in the honeymoon stage. However, not everyone ends up acting the way they promised they would, no matter how long you were together before you got married. Marriage does sometimes change things. It puts pressure on that wasn’t there before, it makes you feel like things “got real” all of a sudden now that you’re defined as a “husband” or “wife” and have different expectations of one another, and it brings family out of the woodwork and into your business… and sometimes only then do you see how a person really is. That’s what happened to me. I got married while still in the honeymoon stage because it had lasted long enough that we didn’t know we were still in the stage, and then when it wore off (right away after the wedding) it was like we were total opposites, and we couldn’t get along like we used to. I am wondering how you can ever really know and avoid making a mistake. I don’t think you can. But selflessness seems to be a key reason people are able to make it once you run into trouble, so maybe that’s a key trait you need someone to demonstrate before marrying them. I don’t know. But enjoying all of the good advice in this thread.

      • babybass1222

        Oh absolutely, that’s why I said “of course there’s no way to actually plan for the future” because people, and things in life, are always changing but at least it’s good to have some validation of where you would like to end up… the idea is when you marry someone, you hope to grow and change together, not grow apart… and if marriage should make things feel more serious or “real” and I don’t think anyone is equipped to handle that sort of pressure after such a short time of knowing each other… My boyfriend and I still feel like we’re in the honeymoon stage after 3 years because we’re still so in love with each other, but we know that things between us are serious, and have discussed our future together in a serious manner, so although plans don’t always work out how you want them too, we are at least somewhat prepared for the road ahead. Selflessness is a huge part of love, and absolutely is a key to making a relationship last through the rough parts that will be inevitable especially in marriage when one of the biggest issues is money, which for some people is too hard to handle…

        Now I’m gonna tell you something personal from my experience and it may help you and it may not, but I’ll try… Obviously I don’t know everything, but I have had my own experiences in my own life and can share with you what I do know…

        For relationships, I don’t think you can ever really know when you’re making a mistake to avoid it, unless it’s cheating, you always will know that’s wrong, lol …but as cliche as it may sound, when it’s right, you’ll just know… you can feel when it’s right with someone and even though someone sounds good on paper, you may not feel any connection with them that will lead to long lasting love… At the beginning of my relationship, when we we’re still unofficial and unsure of where we stood with each other, I started having a physical attraction towards someone else, and since I was so upset that my boyfriend wasn’t defining our relationship, I flirted with this other guy, and I was really hot for him in the week and moments leading up to it, but the second he touched my skin, the exact moment his lips touched mine, it’s like my skin crawled and I was immediately so turned-off and disgusted with him and with myself, but I knew right then and there, I will never feel for anyone else the way I feel for my boyfriend… this was the second time it happened and felt that way about it… the first time was with an ex-flame, on and off for a year, finally broke it off, I was head over heels for my now boyfriend, and I saw my ex, and these old feelings came rushing back and I said “uh oh”, so I decided I needed to figure out what it was before it’s too late, I will not let myself be one of those girls who can never move on from an ex and worry that those feelings will come back, …so I invited him over to hang out… sure enough my parents left to get ice cream and we were alone… when we kissed, the same thing happened, my skin crawled and I felt so turned-off and disgusted… and this was a guy I was infatuated with for almost 2 years… My body, mind, and spirit, all screamed at me that my now boyfriend is the only one for me… It was the weirdest feeling, but it did strengthen my faith in God even more… But then again, that’s just my experience; that doesn’t happen for everyone but I think love is one of those weird things that you can’t explain, you just know when it’s right or wrong… and if you are unsure, it may be a sign that it’s not right, but maybe you’re just nervous and need a sign to remind you of your love and validate your feelings and that everything’s going to be okay…

        I’m glad you’re enjoying my advice! I’m glad it’s helping someone! And I really do hope you and your husband can find a way to fix whatever problem you have… maybe there was too much pressure on you both at the time, but I have a feeling that you two will always love each other and will find a way back… Good luck!

  • Kelton Francis

    For a nation that cannot find love, and thinks everything should be instant, let’s all lower our standards for what love is. My parents have that “Disney movie lie.” Don’t tell me it’s bullshit just because you lack passion.

  • vivien

    But love is an emotion.. and more. It involves a readiness to sacrifice for the other person. Most women knew that. Don’t blame your pop songs and your Disney movie if you had not figured out that being in love and loving are different, that it usually requires the first for the second the happen. It could happen much sooner for those who are more predisposed to love and to make sacrifices for someone new. Others need time before they could give themselves up.

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  • Emma

    Thank you. I alway thought that love was this, but NEVER could express it itself better. I alway wanted to explain it to those people who say love someone too son, and I will defintely shared it. Grettings from a Spanish woman, from Hamburg-Germany 🙂

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  • Monto Gawe

    LOVE isn’t static, it is dynamic. It unfolds its many facets layer by layer as ‘time goes by.’ As it isn’t static, it has to be nourished as it is also a ‘work in progress.’ Otherwise, like everything else taken for granted, it withers, rots and dies.

  • Bethany Potter
  • Kalina

    Very well put. I love the points that you made at the end when talking about the divorce rate, adultery, and how Disney, etc has made us think that love will always be there. My parents raised me to know that married is hard work but you don’t realize how hard until you are in it and things get…well…boring!

  • Amber Lasly Staine

    This is why people should read the book cdalled ” 5 love languages” its a book that tells you of your love language and your other half as well and you work torwards your partners and the same for them. It would save alot of marriages .. so i encourage everyone to read it !

  • Juliana Arthuso

    Love the text, but just about “The Office”. Jim and Pam are the most beautiful example of the love you are describing in your text. If you watch the show on the last seasons, you will see that; 🙂

  • Sigrid

    Lovely writing. I may not agree, as I wholeheartedly agree that love is an emotion as well as many other things, including a verb. I feel love, I see love, I smell love, I taste love, and I touch love. It is both physical and conceptual. When I look at my loved one, my heart swells and this serenity washes over me. I may not always “like” him, but I will always love him.

  • Budi Kosim

    happy for love but love isn’t for happy all the time and your fire is just lust for sex only not for your truely life …………………………… !!!

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  • Rowena

    I must take issue with your line about sharing the responsibility to watch over your daughter, as if that were some favour you were doing for your wife. It reminds me of dads who refer to themselves as having to “babysit” when they are taking care of their own kid. Your daughter is your responsibility; participating in childcare is not a favour, not something extra that you volunteer to do when you want to show your wife you love her. It is sexist drivel to phrase it and frame it as you have.

    • 1. You are aware this is a post about me realizing my own shortcomings, right? That’s, like, the whole point. This isn’t a post about me being a hero. It’s a post about me realizing how to be a man.

      2. Either way, though, every marriage is a balance of responsibility and time, and every couple must learn where to expend their energy in a healthy way. You cannot determine what is the “right” way of handling things based on your own biases. That’s up to the couple, not you.

      3. I find it fascinating how people think they can judge an entire marriage and life from a sentence in a blog post. Rather than focus on the message, some people choose to find a way to judge and tut-tut. The worst part about comments like this is that they do the exact opposite of what this post is about. They’re selfish, judgmental, and presumptuous.

      • Rowena

        Defensive, much? I was not judging your entire marriage & life; I was pointing out a sexist attitude toward women, and men’s & women’s roles in parenting, that was clearly evident from that sentence. You can’t deny it or weasel out of it.

        If someone criticises one sentence out of a long post, it seems a bit defensive to label them “selfish, judgmental, and presumptuous” rather than thinking, hey, they read & liked my post & only had an issue with one sentence. Do they have a valid point? What does the way I phrased that say about my attitudes?

  • Maybe, I see this differently because it took me so long to get into the whole dating and relationship gig. For better or worse, I focused the younger years of my adult life on myself. Learning who I was, making a life for myself and not following the path that many in my family took which generally led to divorce.

    I think it also matters that I didn’t date in the normal sense and maybe by using the internet, I found the love of my life, my soulmate, on eHarmony. I won’t get all sappy I promise. What I will say is that a lot, and by that I mean way too many, of relationships are built on the wrong principles. Looks, financial status, and failed contraception drive many relationships.

    What I learned from eHarmony was that finding someone who shared my values, dreams and interests meant that we could be in love from the beginning. How? Because we could have deeper conversations from the beginning, not that financial problems are ever easy to discuss. It would also mean that, love didn’t come from just a physical perspective, although physical love is important in a relationship. Real chemistry is at work here. When you have shared values, interests and goals, you find that you REALLY LOVE the person deeper than you ever thought was possible.

    I say this because after meeting my wife on April 9, 2005. I felt more connected to her than anyone person I have ever met. We finish each other’s sentences. Actually, many times we are thinking the same thing at exactly the same time. Yes, it is creepy and many times people don’t believe it is true. We were engaged in July 2005. I was and still am on top of the world with my love for her. I would do anything for her. Never underestimate the value of cleaning around the house or helping with the kids. Never think that you are above a task that your loved one would do. I would spend every second of every hour of every day of every week of every month of every year for the rest of eternity with my wife and I would be HAPPY!!! More importantly, I would love doing it!

    You see, maybe I am just a romantic or live in an ideal world, but part of the challenge of a relationship is the hunt. The hunt for finding the Mr. or Mrs. Right. I don’t think I would have done this at 25 or even 30 years old. I do know that love is work. It is making choices, picking your battles and not expecting the other person to bend to your will because it is what you want. Your mindset needs to be that you want this person in your life so much, you would do anything to make it happen. I had that spark early on in our relationship and it turned into a flame and now it is a full fire in the fire place bordering on a bon fire.

    • That’s awesome man! I 100% agree that discovering yourself (and more importantly, loving yourself) first is key before diving into a deep relationship with someone. We can’t love another deeply until we love ourselves deeply, and until we learn that lesson we keep looking for ourselves in others. Another big lesson it took me a long time to learn (I’m almost 35 and learned it not too long ago) is how to truly allow the other person to be exactly who they are, and exactly who they aren’t – without commentary either verbally or in our heads. Just truly allowing them to be them, and loving that. Great comment here man, it really got me thinking.

  • Israel Turley

    I would be curious to hear from the author about this how this applies to the study of love languages. Don’t get me wrong. I was touched by reading this story and plan to apply the principles in my own marriage someday. I am curious as to how people who “Express their love” in words, gifts or time could incorporate this principle of service as a form of love into their lives; or does this idea completely rule out all other forms of love? Is service the highest or most effective way of showing someone you love them and therefor suggesting that all other forms are lower or less effective?

    • I think the idea of “languages” that people have brought up fits very well into this idea. The whole idea of having different languages simply means that different people need different things “given” to them.

      It’s fine to give, but we need to work to actually give our spouses what they NEED, not just what they think we need. Or what we ourselves would want. I think that’s what the languages idea is all about. Going outside of ourselves to give to the ones we love.

  • Julia Carruthers Morden

    Beautifully stated and so very very true!

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  • Amen, love is an action and a decision. The feelings are the caboose on the train. They will follow where you go, and what you focus your attention on.

  • Raejae

    I saw this as a repost through Facebook and I thought to myself, “wow I wonder what the outcome of this was”! Lately I’ve been wondering if the man I’m dating is truly “the one”. We’ve been dating for 3 years. One of those years I was gone to finish college but we kept a long term relationship. I’ve been back for a year now but it seems like I’ve hit a dry spot in my feelings for him. He’s still madly in love with me though. After reading this I’ve found there are a few things I need to rethink on. Especially how I do or don’t view and treat him.

  • BrightViolet

    Wow, I found this an incredibly sad article to read. Even sadder the responses from those in similar situations, and from disappointed singletons. You really think this is what love is? This whole article reads like someone trying to justify his own marriage to himself, convince himself that it’s true love, when he’s just trading favors for a little hint of affection from his own partner. Like an arranged marriage in which you eventually just become ‘content’ and ‘at ease’ with the reality of the situation because divorce is not an option. I think you still have not discovered love.

    And before you say I must be writing this as an overly romantic person who doesn’t understand marriage: My husband and I have been together for a long time, living together for over ten years, happily married, and still in love.

  • patc

    I think love means different things to different people. I think there are some people who just want to get married and have a family, and if partner has a basic set of criteria, that is good enough for them. I think that is certainly more the case as people get older. While others are looking for that mad deep emotional love, and I think that is ok as long as there is a solid foundation, as that is unlikely to last forever.

  • Lythagyd

    I can tell you that my grandmother still gets butterflies in her stomach when she knows my grandfather is on his way home, and they still cuddle and whisper sweet nothings to each other and get giddy in each others presence. They barely have ever argued, and he gives her everything she wants and more. They’ve been married for 43 years, are you telling me this isn’t fairy tale love? I’m not saying it’s an everyday thing, but they are the reason I, a stubborn cynic, believe in love.

    • I don’t doubt your grandparents’ love at all! But I would imagine it’s not from nowhere, and that a big part of the reason their love still flourishes is that they give freely to each other. Perhaps you could ask them? I’d love to know.

      Fairy tales are real for sure, but it’s our job to make them happen. They don’t come out of thin air.

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  • SΣMI-PRO

    i totally understand

  • LMA

    Live with anyone long enough and you will form an attachment, assuming you both generally want similar enough things in life. Your hormones make sure of it. Imagine life without the rush of first loves, the excitement of wanting to see someone, the holding your breaths before the ‘I love you’s’, the trembling of the hands and even the heartbreak. Imagine how boring all our lives would be. Humans throughout the centuries, way before disney, have been drawn to great loves and tragedies and it has nothing to do with taking out the trash and getting lovey dovey eyes from the wife. And wow, how convenient it is to blame disney, TV and pop music on why divorce is so high. Genius. And tell me, which grown man wants to live out a disney movie..?

  • Liz Wright

    So easy to be addicted to that “feeling of love” and to feel like it’s no longer there once it has worn off. I totally agree with the idea that Hollywood has given us the wrong perception of what love is. In reality, there are many different types of love, and that “agape” all encompassing love, where you seek to serve those around you is what I would hope we all strive for in our relationships. Unfortunately, I don’t think enough people take the time or effort to really understand what that means, and want that instant gratification. Putting love as verb means that relationships should also be a verb…which means work and effort.
    Beautiful post…Hope this message continues to spread far and wide 🙂

    You can see Liz’s latest blog at http://www.lizwrightnow.com/7-ways-to-survive-a-break-up-and-find-your-own-happily-ever-after/

  • Barry Laminack

    As Gary Smalley puts it – Love is a decision!

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  • jimpemberton

    I think we have been led astray by the Western idea of romantic love. I am a Christian, but I have studied the rabbinic writings some. The meaning of chesed in the Hebrew scriptures, I believe, is like this better idea of love that you wrote about here. So I think you may be true to your Hassidic faith in your understanding. We need not redefine love as much as we need to restore its original meaning as I believe was given by G_d.

    All blessings to you and your bride.

  • Totally agree!
    It is not important to say ‘I Love you’ to actually love someone. It is an emotion that can only be felt and cherished. Sometimes, these three words when said may not convey the emotions that they are supposed to. At times ‘I hate you’ may actually convey true love.
    It is meaningless what is said. The energy released is what actually matters.
    Any form of positive energy depicts love.

    Divine love can be felt in the pattering of the raindrops, the soft humming of the birds, the cool shade under an oak tree, in the smell of the freshly cut grass, the first rays of the rising sun, the waves thrashing the shores, in the blossoms on the trees, in fact in
    just anything that you see around you. This is God’s manifestation of love.

    Please follow my blog about love if you find time:
    http://www.paradigmhouse.net/2011/02/souls-reflections-love.html

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  • Reuel Eugene Tay

    Thank you for this really honest and insightful entry! I’m sure there are many other couples out there who struggle with this but are afraid to speak up and speak out. Your entry is refreshing, honest and liberating. Love is a fact, love is also an act. Cheers to a greater marriage!

  • brisonc3

    yes, I have often said and discussed the difference of “being in love”(the loving dovey, giggly butterflies feelings) and “loving someone”. Being in love is a feeling and feelings can come and go with circumstances, but once you love someone, it’s very difficult to “un love” them. I can only say, now that God gave us a child after 7 years of marriage that I can’t imagine my child having a better mother than the one I married and they are a great pair and I am significant to him in many ways too(meaning he loves me also). Our child has then brought my wife and I together even more, but the author has it right. When you practice love and acts of love it “makes love”. This is rather similar to the lesson of the movie “Fireproof” and it’s lessons about “the love dare”. It is based on the same principle. Practice daily acts of love and love will grow from it if both allow for it to.

    One other thing. I don’t say “I love you” to my little boy very much, but only because those words aren’t strong enough to convey what he is and means to me(I was about to say “what I feel for him”, but remembered it isn’t about feelings). It’s just a very special relationship and I LOVE IT.

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  • Great blog.

  • Devjani Bodepudi

    Love it! I really mean it. not the emotion but the giving…i’m sharing this!

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  • Maria Carolina

    Have you ever listened to John Mayer’s song “Love Is A Verb”? Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9P3WUG7tmA

    I couldn’t agree more with your post! Loving is giving. Love isn’t passion, it’s much bigger and everlasting than passion. Love isn’t a entity, a contract, a pact. It’s an action, and an everyday action if you want your relationships (not only marriage, but also strong friendships and family relations) to last. Thank you for the beatiful reflection!

  • commoncents

    While I find the sentiments of this post full of wisdom and happy, hopeful feelings – I respectfully disagree with the premise that marriage and love is a verb that we make work – and it works only when we put someone above ourselves…

    I first say that marriage – not love – is a societal, cultural and social creation. As humans, we were only meant to live 30 or so years. As mammals we once had many partners – not a ‘single household’ with one partner we had ‘forever’, with whom we celebrated that ‘we made it’ with a 30 year anniversary.

    I look around and see people forcing their lives to fit into societal norms of love and marriage – I really can’t look down on anyone as it is almost emotionally and economically impossible to have/build a family without following through on the social creation of marriage.

    I just ask all the readers to look deeper at the societal forces and norms that say its normal to love one person, to stay with one person forever. I don’t think that is normal at all – and thus I think increased divorced rates is simply due to the fact that women as well as men have more ‘freedom’ from historic societal and cultural norms…….I mean less than 60 years ago divorce was a bad word, and women were often stuck in a relationship that was abusive or unfulfilling.

    As human beings thrown into this as individuals, it is the great ride tofind and experience, to lose and to gain LOVE. Life should not be about simply accepting the ‘grind’ and finding love in giving up yourself for someone else after the emotional fire is gone. Life should be about experiencing emotional fire all the time – and that often takes being honest with yourself and the ones you have come close to when you say “it’s over”

  • Jess

    interesting perspective…but I would say it’s just as short sighted as the “movie” version.
    anyone who attempts to define love is wrong, it’s not one thing and especially not to everyone. love is not all or nothing, and it is not mutually exclusive to other actions and feelings.
    One can be married for a lifetime, but never really have been in love – though, one can love ones partner as one would love one’s mother or child. That is love, but it is not romantic love.
    arranged marriages are intersting to me because I believe it’s wholly possible to eventually fall madly, deeply in love with the person you were assigned…but that doesn’t always happen, and it’s not for a lack of effort.
    As a lesbian I know there are a lot of people who think what I have/feel/give isn’t love…because they are only capable of thinking of my “lifestyle” in sexual terms. Just as some people believe that beginning emotions of a relationship (butterflies, infatuation, pupppy dog love) isn’t REAL LOVE…because it also encompasses lust (generally). Being emotionally and physically attracted to someone does not mean you are incable of feeling utter love for that person too. Though, for some…lust isn’t love…and for others, love will never involve lust.
    I have no ability to define or confine love to a singular reality…I just know for me pesronally I have loved more women than just my wife (whom I cannot legally marry yet)…even though we’ve been together for 14 years. Prior to her I had 2 relationships that weren’t much of anything in terms of time/committment…but in terms of feelings/emotions – it was love. It still is love, I will forever love those 2 people – just not romantically anymore. But they are very special people to me, whom I still care deeply about – again, just not romantically. That is still love.
    My wife I absolutely love beyond all ability to describe, romantically and emotionally…our love is not defined by how much i “do” for her, and it never was…though, because we love each other…the doing part just came naturally. It has taken years to figure out what domestic duties we prefer…and my wife was diagnosed with MS at age 21 (2 years into our relationship) and it has evolved over time what things I take care of, and what things she takes care of. it will continue to evolve. There will come a day when she most likely wont be able to do very much and will be 100% dependent upon me. when that day comes, according to this author…will she be unable to love me because she’ll be unable to “give” to me in the form of household work? it’s absolutely absurd notion…to say the least.
    real, true, deep love understands it can never be just about “what can you give me” but also about how do you make me feel…I make her laugh, alot. She makes me smile, a lot…she doesn’t even have to say, do, or give anything…sometimes she just tells me something and it makes me smile, something mundane like “oh the cat was so cute today sleeping”…and it’s her happiness that makes me happy. She can just walk in a room and I light up, it’s been that way since we met.
    I can’t tell anyone how to make their marriages last, or their love to thrive…everyone has to figure that out on their own…and I have no guarantee’s 10 years from now my wife will still love and adore me…I have no ability to control her emotions, only my own. I can just continue to hope, pray and wish upon the stars that whatever challenge we encounter we both fight through it so we can see each other on the other side of it.

    • Loyal

      I was reading until, “The office is one of my favorite shows” If perversion is your favorite show, then you have nothing to say! Then the nerve to condemn lust, divorce, adultery. And if the office is one of his favorite shows, whats his un-favorite show? Excuse me, gotta Puke!

  • Thank you for this post! I write romance stories, so I’ve always been interested in what makes love “real.”

    As you pointed out, the “Disney depiction” of love isn’t accurate, and the stereotype is that romance novels are similarly unrealistic. However, as a reader, I recognized that while some of the “love at first sight” stories made me want to roll my eyes, others struck me as believable. As an author, I wanted to know why so I wouldn’t make those mistakes in my stories. 🙂

    I think the difference you point out here between the emotion and the giving is the key. Some stories explore only those surface emotions and/or don’t show the couple sacrificing for each other. As readers, we don’t believe those relationships will last. The first time the car breaks down and they’re arguing about money–kaput.

    The believable (and dare I say, realistic) romance stories show the struggles, the sacrifices, and the good and the bad, as the characters grow from the emotional fire to something deeper. The readers *see* the caring, the respect, and the giving.

    Thank you for sharing an example that I can keep in mind as I write my stories. I want to ensure I’m showing real love with enough depth and believability that readers will trust the “happily ever after” ending. 🙂

    I posted about this topic–with the writing bent–on my blog: http://jamigold.com/2013/09/in-books-and-beyond-love-vs-lust/, and I included the #LoveIsAVerb hashtag so you’ll see any continuing conversation about this as the topic spreads to more communities. Enjoy!

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  • Liz Mayhugh Guidera

    I feel bad for you… love shouldn’t just be expressed when you do something nice for your wife. She should love you all the time and express it often. She should give you that loving look when you walk in the door from work or when you get up in the morning. You shouldn’t have to earn her affection. It should just be there. I know it’s hard to feel affectionate when things aren’t going well, but that’s when you need it the most. I think she doesn’t deserve you…. you, who showed her affection or emotion or whatever… she made you work for affection… seems wrong to me…

    • Jasmine Robinson

      Obviously he did not give us a complete play-by-play on his marriage. I am sure he is not needing of your sorrow.

  • Damaris Muga

    I think this marriage worked because your partner loved you from the beginning, you grew into the love, but they were there tolerating your nonsense because they loved you, we sometimes love people who dont love us back, and they get away with lots of stuff, if we are lucky, they return the love, if not, we hang in there hoping they will and sometimes they come around and do. I say of your partner did not love you from the word go, that marriage would have lasted shorter than Kim Kardashians

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  • Formerly_Marcella

    Someone please share this with Taylor Swift.

  • MG

    I just want to know how to tell if you have real love/compatibility or if you just THINK you do, because everyone is saying infatuation is so easily confused for love, and only after you get married sometimes do you realize that you probably shouldn’t have/are in for a real challenge, which is something you couldn’t see while infatuated. Here’s my issue, though. If you had waited to get engaged until after the infatuation ended, you would most likely never have gotten married in the first place. In relationships, when you’re not married, that’s the part where you break up. So what is supposed to happen when the infatuation ends instead of breaking up? What is different for the people that truly love eachother/are compatible? You just handle conflict more respectfully? You put the other person’s needs first? What is it that happy couples do that the rest of us don’t?

    • CC

      You might not handle conflicts well all of the time even after infatuation is gone, but if you have the determination to get through anything with your partner, you and your partner can soar through, well, anything that comes your way. Happy couples are honest, giving, and often think in terms of ‘we.’ They have a shared vision – and a shared commitment to work as a team to get there. They are willing to work everything out.

  • Spencer7

    You retard, you have been with too many women to have such a bent view of love. Jesus! Get a grip. And love goes from electric to warm, this is cal,ed psychology. Read some!

    And you’re still poor! And making fun of yourself for being a jew!

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  • inci

    That’s funny he calls doing dishes, making dinner, or watching his own child “doing things for my wife”…

    For two people to stay together, they need to connect spiritually not physically. That’s why people get divorce. Because when people say love, they think about sex in the first place in this country.

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  • Eric

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  • Nicole Armann

    If you haven’t already, read The 5 Love Languages. It’s a great book, an easy read, and mind and heart opening.

    Cheers!

  • kahenya

    Time to play devils advocate. In the real world, I’m a realist masquerading as an optimist. I used to believe in “Walt Disney” love before I realized it was a hoax. Love is a decision. Like a business decision. You choose who you love, you choose to love them, you decide to love them, you decide on the terms you love them on, and if you get swept off your feet, well, the burn will be that much deeper. And sometimes alcohol and weed (don’t judge) and pride and society and chemicals and lust and financial situations as well as biological clocks and religion and your over zealous parents help make that decision for you. This post, while it sounds nice only gives hope to those in less than ideal situations, and to me, is just acceptance. This is the new narrative of how “happily ever after” is supposed to be defined in our time/generation. “Now that I am here, knee deep in it, with a mortgage and a daughter, might as well stick with it and accept my fate”, happily every after. Its a form of peculiar submission, one without consequence, and to me, in the long term, it will come back to haunt him (and her) or just end up being a long boring relationship, full of “maturity” and “sensibility”. This is a “for the sake of the kids” decision. This is the couple you choose to avoid in parties cause they have that weird look on their face that seems painted on. Real love, the way I know it, then one we struggle for, is full of crazy, its an all or nothing ride, you are either in it wholeheartedly and keep that fire burning even if an accelerant has to be used, but it is based on mutually deciding together. Love is that decision you make that everyone tries to talk you out of because you decided together to the end together cause it made sense to you then when you both had nothing. If I don’t make you happy now, don’t accept me for the mediocrity I bring now, and the later acceptance that will follow for as of now, I will be playing a role in a script in a movie that will be long and boring. With boring sex scenes. For the rest of our long natural boring lives. Well, life is too short for boring, so choose wisely and don’t settle or accept, or do things, cause they were the right thing to do.

    • orthorim

      Once there are terms it’s not love. Took me a lifetime to realize. But its true.

  • Jason McDaniel

    This is a great article! I like this

    https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2003/04/eternal-marriage?lang=eng#watch=video

    Skip to about 7 mins to hear one of the greatest parables on marriage I have ever heard.

  • blaine

    its actually a 60% divorce rate.

    • Lisa

      ” females feel security through having a mate thats available for support
      and is supportive. 70% of male evaluation of females is based on
      physical attractiveness, which in it of itself is just neotenized faces
      and curvy bodies.”

      If you give those actions a name it is called love. ” Roll eyes

    • Lisa

      ” females feel security through having a mate thats available for support
      and is supportive. 70% of male evaluation of females is based on
      physical attractiveness, which in it of itself is just neotenized faces
      and curvy bodies.”

      If you give those actions a name it is called love. ” Roll eyes And not every women who falls in love have neotenized faces and curvy bodies.

  • hilbuk

    I was in love with my husband when we got engaged and when we got married. This is because we lived together first (but even before that, we were very giving to each other, yes, in the practical way). The type of love you’re describing was there for us well before the marriage actually started. Granted it has only grown over time (now 13 years together, 8 married) but it was there. I think that a good idea for dealing with the divorce rate is for people to wait longer within their relationships before they get married. And obviously have MANY conversations about the “practical” stuff in advanced of getting married.

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  • Lisa

    Okay I agree with this article. However, I don’t like how people say love is just a flat out verb. Maybe love means different things for everyone but love have to have some emotions behind it. When you help out a person it doesn’t mean you love them it means you just think it is your responsibility, if you kiss a person it doesn’t mean you love them it just means that it feels good to you. If you tell a person “I love you” it does not mean you love them. If you care about a person and, do all those things I said above. You probably love them.

    *To me love is when you feel comfortable around that person, I guess that is where trust comes in you love them.

    When you can share anything with that person and they won’t judge you on the things that you have done in the past. Unless you did something really really horrible.

    Love is also a bond that you have with that person, and your bond grows stronger and stronger. That bond never stops developing.

    You are willing to do anything for that person. Like taking care of them when they are sick, doing the things that the man named off on this article.

    You laugh at their jokes all the time even the unfunny ones. I guess you can say the joke one is part of infatuation but it could also mean you have the same sense of humor which makes you compatible.

    You respect one another

    You make sacrifices: I heard a story about this couple who met in high school but one of them had to move away but the boyfriend tried to come and visit the girl 2 hours every weekend. When the parents allowed him to go that is. 10 years later they are married with 2 children. They got married 5 years ago though. If you think about it he was a teenage boy. He did not have to do that. He could have dated another cute girl at his new school. I’m pretty sure they were a lot of cute girls but he continued dating her through the rest of their senior/junior year and if he didn’t do that they would not be together today, If she didn’t stay committed to him they would not have been together.

    I like the point that this article made. I think most love start off with infatuation which is not a bad thing. It is just not a good idea to get married based only on infatuation. Let it grow into love first. Even though the author said he didn’t do that. I think you should have a bond or connection with that person.

  • Lisa

    I agree that love is a choice but there is a reason why you chose to
    love them. The reason why you chose to love them because that person did give
    you butterflies. You choose to love them because you like their
    personality. You choose to love her because you discovered that bond
    with them way before you decided to date them exclusively. You choose to love her because you develop a bond while you are dating. You choose to love her because they make you happy. You choose to love her because they uplift you. You choose to love her because you can’t imagine being with anyone else. You choose to love her because you can talk to her about anything. You choose to love her because they understand you. You choose to love her because she’s flat out special. You choose to love her because she is beautiful inside and out. You choose to love her because she’s sweet. You choose to love her because she respects you. You choose to love her because she loves you.

    These are the reasons I hear from people who are in love. When I ask them why they fell in love with that person these are the answers I get. I am also a really good observer.

  • Colleen Star Koch

    Thanks for inspiring my evening sketch session with your true and lovely post. 😉 -Colleen @bkchanteuse

  • Colleen Star Koch

    Hmmmm…the pic didn’t post. Trying once again!

  • Brian B. King

    Love is a choice, a will, an action verb. It has never a been a feeling and will never be a feeling. Feelings and emotions are reactions to stress. Stress is a psychological or physical reactions to the body. We often confuse love with infatuation, lust, desire, and affection (these are stresses). One of the best displays of love is charity, which isn’t very entertaining for a romance novel or Shakespeare. Charity is giving for the benefit of another with no strings attached, and I don’t mean giving just because the person wants something. I’m talking about for the purpose of growth. What that looks like, will very from person to person. Some of us get hitched because we want a license to screw without being frowned upon, when really all we want is to feel pleasure without responsibility. Ha, you can’t even have that after you get married. With much practice and focus on other goals it is very possible to trim the hormones down. Yeah let’s be honest with ourselves. I don’t really love you hotness, you just make me want to orgasm with you- on multiple occasions.

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  • Great message and I agree. Love is also a choice – one you make every single day. By choosing to give instead of take for yourself. I’m sharing this with my husband.

  • Keyser Soze

    Summary: Men fall in love at first sight; Women only love you when youre doing something for them

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  • Asma’a

    As a Muslim girl, I felt really good after reading this post. Thank you very much.
    ” They say true love always has a happy ending, WRONG, true love never ends, it lasts forever” …only when we understand what true love is..

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  • It was love that made you propose to her on the second date; it was love that got your married in less than three months since you met her first; it was love that let your love mature in course of time. So saying that you did not love your wife when you got married is unagreeable.
    Stay blessed 🙂
    PS: My husband proposed to me on the very first date and we were married in less than 3 months. It’s been almost 7 years and it seems the time passed by in the blink of an eye.

  • Ashley Kling

    I have to agree with you on most of what you have said here. However, I do believe that love is a feeling. Love is many things! Because we only have one word for love in the English language this is hard for most of us to understand. Love is a verb, it’s giving, it caring, it’s compassionate, it’s forgiveness, it’s grace, it’s a feeling, it’s undying, it’s kind. Love is all these things. You can’t say love is one thing. Because it is many. There are many ways to love. You love your spouse differently than you love your child, you love your child differently than you love your parent, you love your parent differently than you love your closest friend. But who is to say that one of those is not love? All these things are love!

    • In greek they actually had several words for love. Phileo was brotherly love, eros was romantic love, mania was possessive, obsessive love, storge was friendship, agape was self-sacrificing or giving love. There are even more if you want to check them out. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_words_for_love

      • orthorim

        Smart people, the greeks. Wonder why we don’t have that anymore.

        I guess we have “bromance” now….

  • mithluin

    Yep, this is an important message! The more times and the more ways we say this, the better we prepare people for the reality of marriage. dcTalk’s song ‘Luv is a Verb’ says essentially the same thing (from an evangelical Christian background):

    Love is sacrifice, putting another person before yourself. That’s way more important and lasting than…being in love. Thanks for sharing!

    • orthorim

      Sacrifice, putting another first… that sounds hard. In reality, it’s not hard at all. It’s not a sacrifice either.

      If you don’t love yourself, you can’t love anybody else either – so loving yourself is the most important. If you don’t know yourself, you also can’t love anyone else truly – so knowing yourself you do others a huge favor. True love arises when you realize that everything is love – the whole universe is love. When you do something for somebody else because you know that you are not separate from the other. True love is unconditional.

  • Larry Garfield

    I highly recommend the book “The Five Love Languages” for anyone interested in this subject. It’s the first book I ever read to explain the phrase “love takes work” in a non-self defeating way. The way you express post-infatuation love varies with the person. What works for one person won’t work for another, but there are clear patterns. Highly recommended.

  • Aimee

    Beautiful.

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  • XFSmith

    There’s a statistic flying around somewhere that says after 18 months of being in a relationship with someone your brain stops sending the “emotional fire” signals, and that after that point you’re technically not in love with that person.

    I agree with your blog wholeheartedly, after that period of infatuation is where a relationship built on respect and mutual understanding starts. To me, that’s what Love is about, It’s about finding that person who you want as opposed to need in your life.

    Thanks for being a voice of reason in an age of pretend fairytales.

  • Joseph

    I think people were having affairs before the time of Disney, could be wrong about this…

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  • hazey

    This genuinely made me cry, so emotional. Thank you.

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  • Enas

    Wow, amazing article! It was forwarded to me by my best friend and I forwarded it to others including my dear husband. Thank you! 🙂

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  • LJ Roberts

    What a wonderful article. Love isn’t that first rush. It’s about being there every day. It’s about always putting the other person first. It’s about passing the grocery store and remembering something the other person mentioned they needed. Just as sex isn’t about the act. It’s about dropping a kiss on the other person’s neck just because, or holding their hand walking down the street. It’s about rubbing their feet when their tired or clearing the table without being asked. It’s about all the little things one does during the day before going to bed, without any expectation of “reward” in bed. It’s also about putting the partnership first, even before the children. That’s what keeps the spark and love alive. My parents have now been married 68 years and they have never forgotten a single one of these things.

  • szili

    Every post i read here, i agree with. How is that possible?
    They are opposing viewpoints after all. Two viewpoints basically:
    1. fall head over heels (aka chemistry aka attraction)
    2. learn to love (aka mature love aka work at love.)

    What if BOTH are needed?
    Could this be why true love eludes so many?
    Because it is f%$^ing hard to find strong physical attraction …..and also have the intelligence to make it last.
    Marriage truly is, well, a marriage of heart and mind. Yet, we are usually good at matters of the heart OR matters of the mind, but rarely ….both.

    • orthorim

      These are old concepts – only small parts of the truth. The truth is that love is something that needs to be given. There is nothing to learn, only things to understand, and to see. The truth, is love.

  • Louis

    I hope also for a marriage that is more than just a feeling. Feelings change and if love is a feeling, it is easy to see how people fall out of love. Love is and should be a doing, a for… “or worse, in sickness and for poorer”. No one needs the commitment of love to get through the … “For better, in health and for richer” times of life, those are the smooth sailing times. Marriage is work and love is the main job involved in that work!

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  • orthorim

    I’ve come to the same conclusion as the OP, even if from a completely different direction. You are right of course: Love is something to give.

    Mother Rytasha said it best:
    “What Is Called Love, Is Often Not Love At All, But A Business Arrangement, A Bargain At Best, That Says, I Will Love You, As Long As You Please Me. When You No Longer Please Me,I Divorce You! Or, I Will Be Your Friend, As Long As You Do What I Want, But When You No Longer Do What I Want The Friendship Is Finished. The Friend Has Become The Enemy. In This Way Has The World Become Broken Hearted.”

    “For Love Is Not Of The World But Of The Spirit, And You Who Seek Outside Yourselves For Love Look In The Wrong Place, For Already Are You Love. Look Instead For Places Where You May Give Love. For Love Is Not Love Until It Is Given.And In Giving Know The Things Of The World, Are Limited And Temporary And Bind One To Suffering. Give Then, That Which Is Unlimited And Eternal And Frees One From Suffering. Give God. Anything Less Is Not Love.”

    As for religion, Rytasha also says that all religions are the same, and there, she’s also right.

  • Jessa6

    This is wonderful. My parents feel the same exact way, even telling me (almost) verbatim, the words that you wrote as I was growing up. This is why they were able to stay together.

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  • lelawren

    Ha! So sorry that happened to you, but my husband and I fell in love two weeks after we met and have been living a fairy tale life for 43 years. I dare say we’re more in love now than we were then. So your observations certainly aren’t true of everyone, although I agree, we are the exception to the “rule”. We were the lucky ones.

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  • Sm B

    I totally agree, love comes through giving to each other. I read in a book by Rabbi Tatz that there are two stages. The romantic stage which comes and fades, and the true love stage that takes a lot of work, but lasts forever

  • Rosida Macualy

    i am thanking the great man called prophetjakula who help me and cast a love spell on my ex boy, we were in love for more than a year. two days to our marriage he called me and told me that he is no going to marry me that he has a woman that he is so much in love with i cried, my friend told me about this man i felt it was scan until i give it a try and he help me now we are married and we are especting our baby soon, i will advise if you have any problem contact this man. prophetjakula@gmail.com

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  • FoundAgain

    There is nothing I can write here in words that could convey how much I thank you for writing this.

    When I read your opening line, I thought I was reading something that I would write. I am that guy. It has confused me for a long time on what love is and every time I would chase that emotional response I so craved, when it didn’t come back like I thought it should then I felt…..

    Unwanted, unloved, alone, rejected are just some of the words I could use.

    Even though logically I knew this was not the case, it didn’t stop me from feeling this way, I had connected that passion, desire of heart stopping flutters to what true love is.

    So when temptation and interest started coming my way recently I began to question my marriage.

    It felt so absurd, I love my wife deeply and I knew and know this, so why did I have these strong feelings of desire, I even started to think I could love this other person…. btw this is after the second time in talking to her.

    How could I love my wife so much and yet feel this strongly? Not to mention I have two beautiful children, my life is good and we are well established through a lot of hard work….

    This is the first time I really started to question the difference between intense desire / emotion and actually love.

    This was today…. This morning…. 13th October 2013

    When I found your post.

    For that, by divine intervention, pure luck or other, I dont care what you call it or what you believe in, I am very thankful that you put this out for the world and I landed on it.

    Without a doubt it has stopped what I know would have eventually turned into a destroyed marriage and family and now opened up something I am now aware of and can start to initiate change within.

    In every way I can express…. thank you from myself and my children’s future selves.

    One thing I now am doing is delving deeper into this and what I need to do to change these patterns that have been a part of me for so long.

    If you have any suggested reading, process or activities that you did or realized that helped you to the understanding on where you are now….

    I would greatly appreciate it.

    Thankyou Thankyou

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  • Dee

    Thank you so much for writing this. We appreciate your transparency!

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  • johnson marry

    i need my ex beck

    love is very good in marriage

    if you want your love back

    please email dis spell home

    because help me to bring back my ex

    email spellsolutionhome@hotmail.com

  • Bestspell

    Me and my boyfriend were seriously in love for six years and we were planning to get married but one day he came to my house and told me he was no longer interested in our relationship simply because he was dating another lady who promise to buy him a car and to sponsor their wedding. And i was heart broken. So i take a bold step by contacting a spell caster who will help me bring my ex boyfriend back and in three day after i contacted him my boy friend who left me for another girl came back and start begging to take him back. Dr. Book is powerful and great his contact is drshalorspelltemple@gmail.com you can also contact him for help………..emilia from Brazil

  • How true. However I only had this conversation with her late in our marriage and now we are apart. It is something that changed over time. I gained a better understanding of what love is late in life. I’m only sad I realized it too late. We are still good friends and I love and care about her and our children. Live and learn…

  • vice

    First of all, Am just short of words i don’t know what to say, am so grateful to Dr aduga for what he has done for me. At first i thought he was a scam like two others that i worked with, but i just decided to contact him then he told me that my lover will be back home within 4days. When the 4 days completed my husband called me and said he was sorry for the frequent argument and fight, i was so happy that my husband who left me for over 2 years called me. Now we are together he can’t do without me, he always wants me to be by his side and he just bought me a new car. If you want to contact him for help, his email is dr adugasolutiontemple@hotmail.com

  • matta

    Thanks for making my family happy again, my father came back home and he can even take us out, something he never think of before! i wonder Dr egbenakhue are you god or what? amazing you make things happen! i will .Thank you very much. from Holland if you need his help contact email address Dr egbenakhuespelltemple@gmail.com

  • ANGELINA

    I want to specially thank Dr Wisdom of drwisdomspelltemple@gmail.com for casting a love spell that brought back my ex husband in three days i really do not know what i would have done if not for you Dr Wisdom,i want to inform you that your spell did not only brought back my ex but has also brought happiness to our lives.thank you very much for your kindness ………

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