How do you know


How do you know when you have found love and when love has found you?

An interesting question. A very interesting conversation. How do you know when love is so very hard to define.  Many people feel like they are in love, only to find that this feeling fades in time. Do we often confuse lust, desire or loneliness with love? Do we confuse our other feelings with love? So it is a difficult question to answer.  We really need to pin down what love is.

We know all kinds of love.  Some of us “love” certain foods.  We love our pets. We love our children. We love our friends. We love our spouses, or any other term you want to use for a romantic love.  Except for the food, all of those other loves denote some form of caring or concern for someone or something else.  While we feel that animals can return our affections, most think that the love we feel toward our pets is a one way deal.  With people the love can be and often is something shared between two people.  How that love is expressed or even identified depends on who and how we love.

Now since the original query was relating to a more romantic type love, I will just skim over the other “loves”.  Love of children, siblings, parents and friends don’t always need to be reciprocated. While we like the people we love to return our caring, it is often not essential to our outpouring of love.  It is nice to have and does allow for more expression of our love. But we have all seen where someone cares deeply for another, but that caring is not returned.  It can change how we feel, but often does not.

With a romantic love, it is almost mandatory that the love be returned. Without that return it is difficult to show, expand and grow in that love.  But what is that love?  In my very humble opinion, love is a combination of many different feelings and relationship experiences.  Our physical chemistry, our mental compatibility, our communication level, our specific likes and dislikes, and various other conditions that define who we are play into what we think love is.  And through this, love grows, changes and becomes defined by the people in a loving relationship.  Knowing that it will change is important to remember.

After defining love (at least I hope I did), we can ask how we know if we found love or if love found us.  You need to open your heart, emotions and mind to see what you feel.  You need to ask and talk to your partner to find out what they think and feel.  If compatible, and the two define their relationship as love, then you have found love and love has found you.  But, and this is a big but, you must always remember that love changes.  People change and the relationship between those two people will change.  By keeping the lines of communication open, two people can keep love open and growing. Everything else is really secondary if communication is absent.

Many may ask how in the world I know any of this.  I have experienced love in my life, and that love grew and changed for 20 years.  I’ve known feelings that were close to love, but the lines of communication were never really open.  I’ve confused feelings of desire and loneliness with love.  I know what love did for me and how it changed my life.  I also know that because of the love I shared, I am open and would welcome a new loving relationship. Love made me a better person than I was, and opened my eyes to all two people could be together.

We were better together than we ever could have been apart.  

Or to answer the questions posed. When you are you better together than you are apart, you have found love and it found you.  

7 thoughts on “How do you know”

  1. I agree with everything you have said, (Daddy is *soo* smart!) but I disagree with the people who feel that pet love is a one-way deal. My pets do not just have affection toward me. My pets LOVE me. I am eight weeks pregnant. Isaac, our “smart” dog, will watch me, and if I am doing a chore that involves standing up a lot, he will herd me to the couch every twenty minutes, so that I can sit down and rest for ten minutes. When I have bronchitis, he lays in bed to make sure I am following “Daddy’s” orders, and getting better. Oakley, our “dumb” dog, will come cuddle and comfort me when I am crying, and do silly things to make me laugh. To me, that is care and concern for me on their part, which would me they actually return my love, and don’t just keep me around to fill the food dishes.
    So there! 🙂

  2. I most definitely agree with Draclet; my pets do all of those things when I am sick or sad or whatever. They come by and give me head nudges and “drive-by kisses” and “hug” me all the time. I’m just saying. 🙂

  3. There are also times when one decides to put up a barrier because they have been hurt people they cared for in the past, that makes it hard for any kind of love to get through or be shown.

  4. I always thought you just KNOW when it’s love, and if there is any doubt, then it’s not true love. But love is so complicated – as your in-depth analysis points out – so perhaps it’s different for different people based upon their situations, life experiences, etc.
    And there is another type of love that wasn’t mentioned above: Divine love. Until one is able to open his or her heart and mind to this ultimate gift, it’s difficult to truly and fully appreciate the other types of earthly love.

  5. Sorry, I’m the very last to have authority on this topic. Perhaps something to do with your line “You need to open your heart, emotions and mind to see what you feel.” Yep, closed person am I.

    And I’ll skip the Van Halen (Van Hagar days) song going through my head right now from this post…

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