How Do You Love Your Loved One?

I’m hoping it’s the way they deserve to be loved.

I recently read a quote that made me realize I have to say this, and say it LOUD.

I want to ask you a personal question:  how do you treat the love of your life?  The person that is your partner, the one who makes you whole, the one who you’ve chosen to spend the rest of your life with.

How do you treat that person that, at some point in your past, had such an impact on you, that you decided, and made a choice, to be with them forever?

I ask this, because I see people out there, who treat their loved one with less than that person deserves.  When I say loved one here, I mean the one person you have a partnership with.  I suppose this could go for many of the loved ones in our life, but today I’m just talking about The loved one.  And on that note, if you have more than one of these, you can stop reading right now, because we’re not on the same page.  (I’m looking at you, Mr. Warren Jeffs)

I’ve seen people that have been engaged, just married and married for what seems an eternity – and I’ve seen them treat each other as though they are barely worth the time to look at.  Barely.  I’ve seen contempt in their eyes, and in their voices.  I’ve seen hurtful things done and said.  I’ve seen belittling commentary peppering an entire evening with friends.  I’ve seen a complete lack of trust and faith in their relationship.  I’ve seen complete glee in being able to tell others of the mistakes a person’s partner has made.

I’ve wondered what makes a person do things like this?  Isn’t that the person you love?  More than anyone else?  Isn’t this your best friend?  And if your partner isn’t your best friend, perhaps you could ask yourself why that is.  You could ask yourself who is your best friend, and why it isn’t your partner.

Or maybe you could look at it this way – do you not see your partner as your friend?  And if you’re heading down that road, I’d be interested in knowing what you might think your partner’s role is – in your life?  What function do you need them to serve, if they aren’t your friend?

Our loved one deserves better, my friends.  And I’m so grateful to be able to say that, for all the aforementioned behaviour that I don’t understand, I’ve also witnessed incredible love out there.  I’ve seen amazing, whole, unadulterated, unconditional, pure love.  Between real live people.  It’s so refreshing to see people that truly love each other, and treat each other the way they ought to.  And it happens in every station in life – I’ve seen it in puppy-love brand-new couples.  I’ve seen it in newlyweds.  And I’ve seen it in couples that have been together for a long, full lifetime.

I truly believe that perfect, unfettered love exists only in a vacuum – maybe in some Utopian world that I haven’t been to yet.  Love exists to fulfill part of us, but it also takes more to make life work.  I think that treating our partner the way they deserve to be treated is absolutely a conscious decision.  It requires us to think about it.  It requires us to act.

I think we need to show our loved one exactly how special they are, and I think no day should fly by (and they do fly, don’t they?) where we haven’t actively done something to ensure our loved one’s comfort in knowing they are the one for us.  That they are everything to us.  I mention that time flies by, because I would hate to have someone realize that too late, and see that so many days have, in fact, flown by – days they can’t rewind, full of regrets, words and actions they can’t take back.

How do you love the love of your life?  Are you respecting them?  Are you treating them like a grown-up?  (that sounds funny, but look around – so many people belittle their loved one, and treat them like an idiot who knows little or nothing)  Do you spend your time together nagging, arguing, being critical about absolutely anything you can find?  Or do you spend your time supporting your loved one?  Even if they’ve made mistakes?  Failed at something?  Done something you didn’t agree with?

Do you know when to listen to them?  When to act?  Do you still have passion for their goals, not just your own?  Do you remember what it felt like to hold them in your arms the first time, and how you never wanted to let go?  Should it feel any different today?  Do you still go that extra step for them?  Do you open doors for your girl?  Do you put your arm around him?  Do you kiss them, because you want to, and for no other reason?  Do you go out of your way to make something special happen for them, each day?  Something as simple as bringing flowers home for no reason at all – well, except that she makes your heart’s cup run over.  Something like leaving a note in his lunch, telling him how important he is to you.  Something like telling her to have a girls’ night out, when you’ll gladly take the kids and let her relax and take a load off.  Something like never, ever leaving the house or going to sleep without telling her or him how much you love them.

This all sounds idyllic, I know.  Trust me, I’m not saying this stuff happens automatically.  That brings me back to making conscious decisions.  If you’re treating your loved one the way they deserve, keep doing it.  Keep making those conscious decisions.  Do it in public, do it in front of your kids, your friends, complete strangers.  There is nothing bad that could ever come of this.

And if you see an opportunity to treat your loved one better, do it.  Do it for them.  Do it for you.  Do it for your kids, for whom you are the strongest role model.  Do it for others, who are silently watching and, for better or for worse, learning.

You’ll never regret treating your loved one better than anyone else.  And you’ll reap rewards for the rest of your life for it.  And remember, you never know how many days you have with your loved one.  If today were your last day with her or him, would you have done anything differently?

Oh, that quote I mentioned?  It went something like this:  “Treat your partner better than your best friend.”   I love that!  And man, do I love my wife.  To be honest, I’m crazy about her.  I’m not ashamed to admit that she makes me who I am.  I’m so thankful to have someone that accepts me for who I am, faults and all.  And I’m committed to never letting a day go by where I don’t tell her or show her that – in one way or another.

Friends, I wish you and your loved one an amazing day, an amazing weekend and an amazing, fulfilling life together.

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