When I care about someone I want to love them and make them happy. These are both very important parts of any long-lasting friendship or intimate relationship but they’re not the same thing. There are some major differences between the two and understanding these differences is really important.
We all want to be happy and happiness a lot of times is the main thing people are seeking in their lives. Just take a look at all of the self-help-how-can-I-be-happy books that are out in the market and it should give you an idea of how much we all want to feel that way. Keeping someone happy is easy and it means you’re doing what you can to make sure they’re pleased or content. If you please them then they will be happy but pleasing someone isn’t loving them.
I see loving someone as being much different than keeping them happy and pleasing them. Love can mean a couple of things. Initially, love is a strong affection for someone else due to attraction or common interest. This is how most relationships (both intimate and not) start out. You feel an attraction, the more you see the more you like and you want more of it. This stage of love usually involves trying to keep the other person as happy as possible. You’ll change your plans for them, buy them dinner and do whatever you need to do in order to spend time with them. It’s a fun type of love and it feels amazing.
But eventually if you stick with it this first stage love turns into the real deal love. This real deal love is an unselfish, loyal and true concern for the good of another person and this is much more than simply being attracted to someone and keeping them happy. This is when love turns into something much more. This type of love is awesome but it’s really, really hard.
This type of love involves strong communication of things that are easy to talk about and things that are hard. This type of love involves confronting things when you have that feeling in the pit of your stomach, even if you know it will upset the other person. This type of love involves understanding your own weaknesses and being willing to work on them for the sake of your relationship. This type of love involves keeping the love alive even when it seems like there’s nothing left. This type of love involves fighting for each other when you have to. This type of love is a crazy commitment. This type of love isn’t convenient.
So for this Valentine’s day be sure to keep the person you love happy but don’t forget to love them, too.
photo credit: Byways.org
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