Is this really love?

falling in love

I love to learn new insights and revelations about marriage and sometimes I get encouragement from places that surprise me.

When I first read the title, 12 Signs That You are Falling in Love, I thought, “Oh that’s cute.”  But as I was reading down through each of Aurelia’s points, I found myself responding with, hmmmm, well, what do you know about that! I still feel lots of these emotions for Darrell, I wonder if that means that I’ve been falling in love with the same man for over 26 years?”

There were lots of other sites with the same idea and one in particular that had a more science-ee feel, you can read it here.   Although there is some overlap, I found Aurelia’s to be a bit more ‘dreamy’ which keeps in step with my girlie heart.

See if any of these signs ring true for you:

  • You will read his messages over and over again.
  • You will walk slower while walking with him.
  • You will pretend to be shy when you are with him.  (Ok, not too sure about this one.  so I added my own …
  • You will often find yourself speechless around him.
  • While thinking about him your heart beats faster.
  • By listening to his voice you smile for no reason.
  • While looking at him you can’t see other people, just him.
  • You start listening to slow music.
  • He becomes all you think about.
  • You get high just by his smell.
  • You realize you are always smiling to yourself anytime you think of him.
  • You will do anything for him.
  • While reading this there was one person on your mind the whole time –AM I WRONG?

I thought it was clever how she strategically placed her last point!

So, what does it mean then, “Have I been falling love with the same man for over 26 years?”  Yes – and no.

You will continue to fall in love

the more you choose to be in love

It took me a long to grow up in our marriage and until about the last 12 years I believed that love was supposed to happen naturally.  Why wouldn’t I think that, we met naturally and we were naturally attracted to each other.  Why wouldn’t married love be the same?  Those of you who’ve been married for any length of time know that a marriage can’t survive on this kind of love.  To me, attraction isn’t really even love it’s more like an appetizer before the main course – something to whet your appetite.

When I stopped to reflect over the different seasons of our marriage, I could see a pattern emerge.  When I was selfish, none of these love ‘feelings’ of attraction emerged – they were killed and replaced with feelings of anger, fear, hate, dread.  However, when I was in a giving spirit the love feelings came flooding back into my heart.

Stephen R. Covey says it this way, “The notion of being ‘in-love’ is purely passive; the notion of ‘loving’ is active – it’s a verb.  Love (the feeling) is the fruit of love (the verb).”

I like that he uses the word fruit.  Fruit isn’t like a gift, it must be grown and it takes work.  The word fruit reminds me to push passed any thoughts of entitlement that I first experienced during attraction so that I can move on to a mature love:  The doing love.

This means the love you feel for someone is a direct result of how you have chosen to love them — sow love reap attraction.  If God’s law of sowing and reaping is true then reverse is also true.  — sow hate reap rejection.  If I want to know if I’m emulating Christ, all I need to do is examine my feelings.  Do I feel attracted to my husband or do my feelings reject him?

People have the power to do loving things FOR each other just as they have the power to do hateful things TO each other.” Stephen R. Covey

 

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10 comments

  1. “When I was selfish, none of these love ‘feelings’ of attraction emerged – they were killed and replaced with feelings of anger, fear, hate, dread. However, when I was in a giving spirit the love feelings came flooding back into my heart.”

    This is so true. Excellent post!

  2. I laughed at the one about smell. When I first realized I was falling in love with my wife, I would imagine I would smell her even when she was not there. It was weird, I would get a whiff of something and I would think it was her, I would look around everywhere hoping to see her.

    Another time while I was in college and she was finishing HS, a friend I had not seen for a while came to visit the college and she was wearing the same perfume my wife (well not yet) wore. When she hugged me it was hard, it made me miss my later to be wife even more. I had to go back to my room and open the box where I kept her letters just because I need to smell the perfumed ones.

  3. The mind is a powerful thing isn’t it? How about her voice (I’m wondering) did you hear her voice when she wasn’t around? I heard Darrell’s voice when he wasn’t around.

    That was a great story rhw. I loved how you chose to smell HER letters to refresh your memory (and heart) of HER, that’s awesome!

    1. The sense of smell is the most powerful memory trigger of all the senses and the one of which we are the least cognizant. I think it may be different for women in degree than men. In his absence, a woman will wear a shirt or pajama top her husband has previously worn, sleep holding his pillow next to her or spray his cologne about before going to bed. Women are romanced by pleasing scents. It is a rare man that will possess tokens of his wife’s scent and secret them away for pleasuring his memory of her. As I age I am becoming more aware of the role scent plays in our relationship and how it initiates my desire for her. My favorite scent of her’s is raw her, hours after bathing when her body has had a chance to recover her essence as she goes about her daily routine. She would would want me to prefer her favorite fragrance,
      but, though nice, that is artificial. There is no created fragrance that captures her essence. Wives need to be aware that their unique personal aroma is a far greater aphrodisiac than anything in a bottle.

      I like the honesty of RHW’s comment. I too have a stash of scented items. More men need to be open to their sensual side, not just their sexual side. If they realized how much nurturing and developing their sensual side would enhance their sexual experience they would be lined up for lessons. But then, I am a sensualist so I may be somewhat biased. But I am right.

      1. An interesting factoid: my husband lost his sense of smell when he was 16 and something we’ve noticed is that as he ages his sense of touch is becoming increasingly sharper.

        This is true about men realizing their sensual side, but also it is an immense turn on for wives. Let’s see: wives want more sex and the more sex husband’s get is now enhanced, sounds like a winning evening!!

        Yes I love RHW’s honesty and yours as well. I’m blessed to have both of you brothers here, thank you.

        Robyn

  4. “You will pretend to be shy when you are with him. (Ok, not too sure about this one. so I added my own …”

    I haven’t read her work, but is it possible she is talking about creating and atmosphere of implied innocence in which the man can feel he is pursuing instead of being lured or chased. Most male egos would desire this dynamic at the outset. At some point though, we want to know we too are desired and to be pursued at least a little. Actually, with a shy guy, this may have to be an upfront gesture on her part until he feels confident.

    An aspect of being shy is not being confident. No one wants to be in a relationship with someone who totally lacks confidence, is not assertive, or is constantly dependent upon you for their care. But, there is something sweetly pleasing and satisfying about kneeling and tying her loose shoe lace for her, carrying that “heavy” item for her, helping her hang a picture, zipping that “can you get this for me” zipper in the back of her dress or skirt (we know you can roll that skirt to the front like you do your bra, but we’ll feign ignorance), reaching that thing for her that’s “too high”, but not really. All small opportunities in which she feels cared for and, if she’s smart, she will create for you to fulfill.

  5. You are probably right BD – “implied innocence” – good call!

    “But, there is something sweetly pleasing and satisfying about kneeling and tying her loose shoe lace for her” — and why on earth would any wife NOT want to give this pleasure to her husband – such a generous gift!

  6. “But, there is something sweetly pleasing and satisfying about kneeling and tying her loose shoe lace for her”

    I read this post and the above comments to her. I had no more finished the word “kneeling” than she said “You are talking about the shoes, aren’t you?” How sweet is that? I kept breaking up while trying to read it to her. Such a small gesture creating such a grand memory for us both.

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