Today the state of relationships are in a crisis. I’m observing that many of my peers are more open to being “friends with benefits,” rather than in a committed relationship, let alone marriage. I wonder if it’s because most people don’t understand what love is and how to form a foundation for love that will last.
When constructing a building, you seek the counsel of an architect to help develop a blueprint before constructing the building. Any building or structure needs a solid foundation. The beginning of the structure starts at the bottom with laying the foundation. The end of the structure will culminate at the top with the roof. After construction is complete, then you will see how beneficial, durable, convenient, and beautiful the structure is after all the hard work was put in to create it.
My idea of well formed love is parallel to the construction of a building.
In the beginning you seek the counsel of an architect. (In my case, this would be God’s guidance.) I think it is important to learn yourself, love yourself, and build yourself up before you build with someone else. Once you get in a relationship, you and your partner should seek counsel together and develop a blueprint of how your relationship will work. (Everyone’s blueprint is different.) You’ll need a solid foundation to begin with things like communication, consistency, forgiveness, support, friendship, trust, and other positives that add value and structure to your formation of love. The peak of the relationship, in my opinion is marriage. This is the completion of your structure and the beginning of starting your home. Yes, your home will be tested for its strength and tenacity, but the foundation of your structure will hold you up.
I think the biggest misconception of love is that it is based on how you feel. When I named things in the foundation, I did not say feelings. Love is a lot of things and yeah we do feel when we’re in love, but its a decision. It’s an action. It’s actively working. Tenacity means the quality or fact of being determined. That’s the essence of love.
I asked some friends and associates who range from early twenties and up, who are married, engaged, unmarried, or in relationships what their definition of love was and what their idea of a love that is well formed looked like. Here are some responses:
“Real love is not really based on feeling, but a decision to love despite actions or faults.” – Married female of 2 years, age 26
“Love is the most powerful act in this life. Love is giving without expecting. No matter what you believe in, LOVE is the purpose of human life. You can’t see it with your eyes nor can you hear it. It’s a pure honest feeling that cannot fade when it’s true. It’s everlasting and unconquerable. No such thing as 50/50 you must give your all and you won’t have time to worry about what’s coming back your way…Love is learning and growing, it’s never complete.” – Engaged male, age 30
“My definition of love is having someone that you love unconditionally and can depend on and trust. You see beyond their flaws and you love them for who they really are. My idea of a love that is well formed is one that is built on friendship first. Then also trust and communication.” – Engaged female, age 23
“Hmm, I never thought about it. Friendship and trust is needed in the formation.” – Married female of 30 years, age 59
“I think love is an unconditional spirit of the heart which is a strong feeling that no one can take away and a well formed love has trust, respect, and commitment.” – single male, age 30
“I don’t know, I’m gonna have to get back to you when I find it. LOL! Corinthians is the definition of love to me …kind, patient, forgiving…all that.” – Single female, age 26
“Definition of love is different for everyone but I think it centers on trust, respect, communication and dependability. When those attributes are present in a loving relationship it makes imperfections tolerable. That person covers your weak side. People in love want to give more than take, want to support more than cripple, want to be close rather than separate. They are comfortable with that one they love.” – Married female of 2 years, age 38
“My idea of love is a positive radiant spirit that is not self seeking! It’s powerful.” – Single female, age 30
“Forming love is just like building something. It starts with a good foundation. Love is action. Love is what love does.” – Single female, age 25
“Love is when you’re willing to make a positive change for someone and they don’t have to ask you. Love is God. Well formed love is having a common bond.” – Married male, age 35
“I can’t explain what love is. It’s different types.” – Engaged male, 29
“Basically love is God. He gives all the attributes needed to love someone. If you want to form a great loving relationship, learn how to love God.” – Single male, age 28
“Love is caring, respect, always being by your mate’s side, being a provider. You form a love like that with getting to know the details and the little things about a person.” – Single male, age 37
“Self-love is invaluable. If you depend solely on someone else to love you, you’re more vulnerable to pain and disappointment because if that person ever leaves, you’ll be deprived of love once again. So once you learn to self-love indefinitely, you’ll use others’ love to compliment not complete you. Pure romantic love, to me, is selfless, mutual forgiving, God-ordained, sincere, patient, unmaterialistically-based, and expandable. I believe romantic love should mature as you grow with your companion/spouse. It may be one’s intent to love unconditionally but you won’t know if you can do that until you’re faced with a challenging condition that truly tests your love. So whereas others may love unconditionally, I strive to love restlessly. At some point you might get tired of loving even in struggles, but loving restlessly means you commit to always resorting to love as the solution. Because I love you, I will… Because I love you, I have no choice but to… Because God requires me to love you, It’s my duty to.” Married female, age 26
I challenge you to answer this question for yourself!
Keep pressing and form your love well!