The truth of being in love


August 23, 2016

When 'friends with benefits' suddenly popped up on the dating scene a few years back, a lot of male and female adventurers liked the idea and bought into it.

What could be more enticing than two consenting adults meeting and greeting, and going on to have no-strings-attached sex until they find someone more suitable to settle down with. But sex is not meant to be that casual. It should flow out of committed love. When I say this I am sometimes asked what is love. So let me try to answer that question for those who will ask.

I have come to believe that whenever we ask what is love, it's usually because we're unsure if a certain special someone really loves us, or because a certain special someone just accused us of not really loving them.

giving and receiving

When we are truly engaged in giving and receiving love, we don't ponder such philosophical questions. It's only when something is lacking that we begin to analyse and contemplate what that thing actually is. So, if we're even asking the question, what is love, it probably means that we don't feel completely loved, or that someone doesn't feel completely loved by us.

But since we're asking, let's try to answer the question.

Am I loved or do I love? It is easier to first address the 'what is love' question in terms of the love we feel coming toward us.

If we understand how to recognise when we are being loved, we can also learn to recognise our love for another.


When we are loved we tend to feel it intuitively in our guts. But how does it work? Is there an extrasensory perception in the heart that is able to read the feelings in another person's heart?

On the contrary, it's pretty practical and down to earth. Our hearts take cues from our senses. Everything we see, hear, taste, touch, or smell teaches us about our universe. We don't need to contemplate or ask questions. Our sensory organs report to our brains, and our brains interpret the data and send the report to our hearts.

So, if we see a loving smile, hear loving words, or feel a loving touch, the brain processes this information and concludes, "Hey, we are being loved right now!".

In short, when we are loved, there is tangible proof. It's not an abstract thought or feeling, it's concrete and evidenced. As King Solomon wrote in Proverbs 27:19 "As water reflects a man's face back to him, so is the heart of one to another." This means that when you are treated with love, your heart feels that love. The answer is straightforward.

When we behave lovingly towards someone, it means we love that person. When we ask a question like 'what is love' we assume that we're trying to define an abstract concept like terms we express everyday like 'I am blessed'.

But truthfully, love is not a concept, it's an action. In order for love to be real love, it has to be expressed as an action. If you love your beloved, then you must show it.

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