I Love you. Love, love, love blah, blah, blah.
I love the pizza and I love you. I loved that movie and I love my mom and dad. How quickly a word’s meaning becomes diluted when it’s used so often to describe so many different levels of this one emotion.
Did you know in the Pali language which is derived from Sanskrit, the oldest language known to man, there are three hundred different words to describe the different types of love. In the English language there is only one.
There are people who avoid the word entirely, to them it is literally as a four letter word, an anchor that will certainly drown them if thrown into the deep waters of a relationship. While others seem to use the word as they fall in and out of love as easily as the winds switch directions. No one tells you when you fall in love that life happens and the longer you are together the more that you realize that the word love is just a very small piece of what makes an extraordinary relationship.
Anyone who has a great relationship understands that there is not just a single word but an umbrella of words that when combined keeps you safe when the inevitable storms of life come your way.
Let’s look at a few often overlooked pieces that are an important part of loving someone.
Value, can you look at your partner and realize the important part they play in your life? Remember that things that you value are not so easily discarded and that goes for relationships as well. Reminding yourself often of the wonderful qualities that your partner brings to the relationship will go a long way to appreciating the significant part they play in your life.
Respect, the longer we are together the easier it is to treat each other and speak to each other disrespectfully. Once the line is crossed it is easier to keep crossing further and further over the line. Reset the line to a place worthy of someone you love and care about.
Compassion and empathy. A great relationship is created by always considering the effect your actions have on your partner. Learning to come from that place of consideration of someone’s feeling or trying to empathize or understand why a person feels like they do will go a long way to help strengthen your union.
Friendship. Great relationships often begin and almost always become amazing friendships. When asked, many people who have been together for a long period will say that they are married to their best friends.
So you see love is just the beginning to building an extraordinary relationship and has relatively little to do with the pieces that are needed to create a great relationship that stands the test of time.
This week look at the entirety of your relationship and write down all the reasons you have to be grateful for your partner and your relationship. Keep it as reminder that you may not always love everything about someone but if you can value, respect and empathize with not only your lover but your best friend you have created something much more amazing than the word love could ever mean.