Love is a verb, not a magical unicorn-level connection
People in general seem to have a warped view on what it means to love someone.
Because love isn’t a feeling, or an infatuation or an attraction or a connection. All love is…is action. And you can love a lover, a friend, a family member and a stranger.
Let’s take everyone’s favorite bible verse for example: 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 :
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.
Love is verbs.
Love is being patient….a mindset. a decision. an action.
Love is being kind. Love is choosing not to envy or boast. It is choosing humility over pride. It is not dishonoring others or being selfish in how you treat them. It is giving the benefit of the doubt and actively choosing not to be easily angered. It means not holding grudges. It is being protective of someone, even if that means doing what you can to not hurt them yourself. It keeps a hopeful perspective in all things and it does not give up so easily.
Love isn’t about how you feel about someone. It isn’t romance or connection or a good sex life. Love is caring enough about someone that you don’t want to hurt them, that you are motivated to be selfless and serving and not always put your wants and needs first. Love is striving to give the benefit of the doubt in confusing and hurtful situations. Love is striving towards openness and trust. Love is not giving up.
And ironically, people who don’t understand how to love others, still inherently know what it means to be loved by someone and they will demand love in the true sense when it’s in how THEY are treated: “You were rude to me. You didn’t give me the benefit of the doubt.” People don’t know what it means to protect each other but they recognize inherently when they don’t feel protected. People don’t know what it means to be selfless in the true sense but recognize inherently when they are not someone’s priority. People don’t know what it means to honor someone but they know when they feel dishonored.
Actions either communicate love of others or love of self. We actively choose with each decision which is more important to us, and thus communicate our values.
Love is action. The other stuff is just romance.