What kind of love do you have for your significant other? We trade the “L” word, but what does the concept of love really mean? I think the kind of love we all want is a mature kind of love, but what most of us know how to do is really a quite immature form of love!
Strong, sudden and overwhelming feelings of attraction and connection are what most of us recognize as romantic love. It is so powerful and consuming that we actually get a physical “high” from it. It makes us crazy! We do things that do not make sense in its wake. This is an immature kind of love. The feelings are so powerful that they take control of our good judgment and cause us to do things that later we cannot understand or may even regret.
An immature kind of love is like a mirage. It is falling in love with someone’s good side and refusing to acknowledge, or minimizing, their not-so-good side. It looks so real, and is so believable that we bank everything on it only to find out that what seemed so real was able to dissipate right before our eyes! This beginning kind of love is not a bad thing, necessarily, but it is important to understand that it is immature.
A mature kind of love, on the other hand, is not fleeting, but is deep and pure; it grows and deepens over time. It is not skin deep and based on beauty so that when looks fade, so does the love. A mature kind of love sees the whole person – their character, their strengths, their vulnerabilities, their inner and outer beauty, the child within their heart – and loves all of it. While a mature kind of love is endeared towards their partner’s faults and failings, it loves them enough to help make them better because that is what’s best for them, not for our own benefit. A mature kind of love has their partner’s best interests in mind. It allows us to put ourselves aside for the good of our partner. A mature kind of love is patient, there is no hurry. A mature kind of love can be trusted and is carefree – absent of fear that it will be yanked away from us suddenly and without warning.
Let me sum this up: An immature kind of love is about ourselves. A mature kind of love is about the other person! Are you willing to make sacrifices for the one you love? If so, are you doing it for them or for you? Can you do what is best for your partner even if it means you don’t get what you want? Can you be honest enough with yourself to see the real reasons behind the things you do with your partner? Can you love without resentment? (Resentment is about you, not about your partner.) Can you love your partner even when not being loved back? Are you driven to be a better person because your partner deserves it? Can you love them on their worst day?
Mature love is a conscious decision to give love without regard to our own personal gain. Are you mature enough to love maturely?