My father always described love as an action verb. It’s much more than some butterflies in your stomach from saying or hearing three words. After a man polled a men’s forum about how they would define love, here is what they had to say.
1. When You Feel Like You’re Home
What does home feel like to you? Many men in the thread agreed with the definition of “When you feel like you’re home.” However, many others noted this isn’t true if you come from a toxic home, which, sadly, many admitted they had. Nonetheless, the consensus was “Home is where you make it.”
2. Giving Them the Power and Trust to Destroy You
Is trusting someone a terrifying reality for you? “Giving someone the power to destroy you and trusting them not to,” confessed one. Another admitted, “Sometimes it scares me how quickly my husband could destroy me, but then I’m comforted to know that he would never do that.”
3. Investing Your Time in Someone
Putting in time is an important component of love. One man suggested, “When you know that the other person deserves the best and you want to be that. Love is not giving up when things get difficult. Love is investing your time in someone.”
4. Stranger In A Strange Land
Another man shared, “Here is an exact definition courtesy of Stranger In A Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein and spoken by the legendary Jubal Harshaw: Love: When another’s happiness is essential for your own.”
5. Feedback Loop
“Well, it’s a feedback loop,” replied another. “The two of you should constantly reciprocate affection, appreciation, and services. Intimacy isn’t a service, by the way. That’s supposed to be affection in its highest form.”
6. Wanting the Best
Have you ever wanted the best for someone despite no longer wanting to remain involved? “I’m getting a divorce, but I still love my wife,” one man explained. “Not in love- our want for the divorce is mutual- but I still hope she finds happiness and peace in her life. She’s the mother of my children, after all.”
7. Love Is a Decision
Another man shared, “I used to work with a lot of couples from places like India and Pakistan where arranged marriages were the norm, and they seemed like some of the happiest, most functional marriages I’d ever seen.
After about a decade of that pattern, I asked them if they thought that might be true and why. The answer I got repeatedly was, ‘To us, love is a decision rather than a feeling.’
They would consciously decide to foster, create, and tend to love rather than hope to ‘fall into it’ with the right person. Eventually, those decisions and actions led to feelings and love.”
8. Putting Your Partner Before Yourself
“Putting your partner before yourself and taking satisfaction in the knowledge they know they can depend on you in any given situation, but there are so many different kinds of love. I love my dog for his innocence. I love my wife for about twenty various reasons,” another suggested.
9. Where Need and Want Perfectly Meet
“Love is where need and want perfectly meet,” one clarified. “Love makes you realize life is beautiful and not always so indifferent and cruel. True love makes no sense at all but sets everything right.”
10. Never Needing to Lie
“The feeling of not having to lie about anything ever again,” confessed one. A second added, “That’s a good one. When you trust your partner with your past, your mistakes, your shame, and your guilt, true honesty is all that will ever be required of you again.”
11. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Many men in the thread agreed with the scripture, “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
12. Doing It Anyways
“Love is knowing that your relationship is going to almost certainly end in the immense pain of a breakup or death but choosing to do it anyway,” one clarified. Several men agreed in the thread before one noted, “This is it’ this is the one.”
13. Love Is Action
One notes, “Love is an action or set of actions. It’s easy for someone to say they love you. True love shows through acts.” My father always said, “Love is an action verb.”
14. Dog Loves
“Your dog when licking your arm while you rub their belly. Unconditional love” claimed one. Another agreed, “No one has ever or will ever love me more than the dog snuggled on my lap. I am his moon and stars, and he is my baby boy. I cannot imagine a day when we are no longer together. If that’s not true love, I don’t know what is.”
15. A Romantic Definition of Love
A romantic defined love as “Love is when you feel like the world is on your shoulders and everyone living in it is after you, but when she holds you in her arms, it’s all suddenly gone. She gives you the strength to keep fighting to better yourself and make each other’s life better. Love is that extra special kiss before you leave for work that day.
Love is that home-cooked meal that only you can enjoy to the fullest at her bedside. Love is that warmth on a cold night that only her under the sheets can give you. I could go on, but that’s love.”
16. Insanely Missing a Person
One man suggested, “When you are missing the person because they are 300m away in their own home.” Another added, “For the Americans, that’s the equivalent of three American football fields.”
17. When You Accept Bodily Functions
“When she farts around you, it adds to the love despite the smell. Also, when you can talk about things that need to happen mid-poop. Just being around them makes life better when you look at her and can’t imagine life without her,” answered another.
18. Love Is the Ability to Be Yourself Truly
“Love is the ability to be yourself down to your core, to care about others over your own happiness,” one said. “Not in a way that sabotages yourself, but shows the very purest sides of our heart. Love is a bed you can always come home to, and sometimes it will be made; sometimes, it will be messy. But it will always be there for you to sleep.
Love is pain, a hurt that has no answer, a feeling we don’t get over. But, we learn to live with it, even when it’s tough, and in the end, become better and more beautiful than we could have ever imagined.”
19. Putting In Work
“Love is wanting to put in the hard work to make each other feel wanted, needed, desired, appreciated, and welcomed into your lives. It is filled with trust, loyalty, and honesty. It is mutual admiration and respect,” confessed one.
20. Love Is a Commitment
Finally, one noted, “Love is a commitment. Love is realizing a world built and shared together. It’s better than a path walked alone. Love is happiness shared.
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Elizabeth Ervin is the owner of Sober Healing. She is a freelance writer passionate about opioid recovery and has celebrated breaking free since 09-27-2013. She advocates for mental health awareness and encourages others to embrace healing, recovery, and spirituality.