As a psychotherapist, as a father, and as a husband, love is far from being just passion, excitement, sexiness, fun and joy, and more being a continuous stream of emotions, learnings, and experiences. Let me share with you—as I have shared with my patients—three very uncommon ingredients love needs.
What does love need?
Once I saw a mother telling her five-year-old ‘I love you’. And as a previously trained routine, the child answered ‘I love you too’. What does a five-year-old know about love?, I thought.
But years passed, and now my three-year-old daughter tells me without previous training ‘I love you so much’ and she hugs me. And I can feel it. She is honest. She is not repeating a TV gesture or imitating another kid. And I’m very skeptical to get fast and easy conclusions.
Besides the fact that her declaration makes me cry of happiness, I wonder how a child can intuitively understand love.
In the other extreme, there is my teenage daughter and the way she is trying to understand what love is. The love for her friends and the love between couples.
I guess it was easy for her some years ago as it is for her sister now. Love for our family members is relatively easy to understand. The problem comes with dating and courtship.
When you fall in love is easy to love. Or at least to say the other ‘I love you’. But once you engage, live with your loved one, and have a family or home, the concept of love becomes complicated. More complicated at least than your three-year-old daughter telling you ‘I love you so much, dad’.
1. Love needs will
First of all, love needs will. You can engage with someone but without the will to keep that commitment you don’t go too far.
You can tell me that first, you have to believe or to have faith in the other person or the relationship. Or you can tell me how important it is to want the best for the other.
But, I think when we say that, it is because we think that we’ll always believe, have faith or want the…