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Dr. Wendy Walsh
So many people I council talk about love as if it’s something you find — a thing, a person, a place. Love may be a feeling but it certainly isn’t a noun. Love is not something you capture. You don’t just suddenly stumble upon it like a treasure chest left on a sidewalk. Love is something you do. It’s something you build. And to keep love alive, you simply do more.
It’s a verb. It involves sacrifice and giving. Two people who exchange care feel “in love,” but that’s only because they are both being so active. I think people who are hoping to find love are really hoping to find a compatible mate upon which to shower their love. And accomplishing that goal is part luck and part determination. (Make yourself attractive and plant yourself near a good fishing hole, but that’s another blog.)
And while you are waiting to find a target for your good will, the best way to create love is to sprinkle it all over your life. Start with friends and family. Have you been loving toward them lately? Have you been sacrificing for them?
Next, move on to charity work. Have you been showering love on those less fortunate? Remember, the biggest beneficiary of your love is you. Acts of altruism and random acts of kindness transform you. Daily random acts of kindness have been as affective as an antidepressant in lifting people’s spirits. They make you feel good and that looks attractive to a mate.
The only thing that dies is one or both partner’s energy to create a loving environment. I can’t tell you how many times a married person has said to me, “I love my husband but I’m not ‘in love’ with him anymore.” And I usually respond with “I hope not!”
If a couple is in a long-term married relationship and they expect it to feel like the delusion of early romantic love, they will never be happy. Boredom is not an excuse for a divorce. Boredom is a wake-up call that you haven’t been loving enough. Where’s that verb, that action word?
Ask not what your relationship can do for you. Ask what you can do for your relationship. Is today the day to go into action?