I went to the beach over the weekend and surprisingly thought a lot about life. Relationships, love, mistakes, triumphs. It’s interesting to realize how different people are and how God works through all of us. Deep thinking for a day at the beach, right?
I really had a good time. In addition to finding a jellyfish, clam, and possible stingray, I was able to have some serious girl talk and bond with some ladies! It’s lovely to get away and examine yourself and discover who you are outside of the daily routine.
One thing I realized was how much I enjoy talking about serious matters. I kept asking questions about family and relationships because I’m genuinely interested.
I believe love is one of the most interesting topics known to man because it looks different everywhere you go. Each relationship is unique from the rest.
Recently I’ve found myself saying, “I wish there were guidelines for love.” There have been times that I’ve felt lost within myself because I don’t know how relationships are supposed to look. Family, friends, spouse. Everyone seems to find what works for them without saying this way or that way is best.
Of course, there are some guidelines. Like the Golden Rule: “Treat others the way you want to be treated,” “Don’t go to bed angry,” and “Don’t say anything really hurtful when you’re angry.” These are all good suggestions, but I was looking for something more like the ideal example.
Then I realized there probably isn’t an ideal example. We’re all human. Humans aren’t perfect. No relationship is perfect. While in deep thought I discovered there can’t be an idealistic form of love because it differentiates. Everyone gives and receives love in different ways and, therefore, a universal “correct” way to love cannot exist.
Now, there are things I do and don’t encourage, but those, likewise, are different for each person. One cannot say, “Love means doing things for your significant other,” because what if somewhere in the world there is a lazy significant other who needs to accomplish his/her own tasks? Because people are different, love is shown differently.
Another thing to consider is the five love languages. (To learn more about the love languages, Click Here.) Some people do not express or receive love in the same way.
For example, I remember growing up and always wanting to sit on my mom’s lap. I just wanted to be held and caressed because that is the way I received love. My older brother, on the other hand, preferred to have quality time. He would ask Mom to play board games or video games with him because that’s how he received love.
Although it’s frustrating sometimes that there isn’t a definition for the perfect form of love, there are definitely things you can do to learn how to love someone better. I’ve learned that the best thing to do is to outright ask, “What can I do to show love for you?” My mom’s answer to this question was, “I like a clean kitchen. If you want to show me love, you can clean the kitchen for me.” Everyone is different, and it’s fascinating to see what everyone’s love needs are.
As for me, I hope to continue to explore the love language of everyone around me, discovering how to make the relationships in my life better and stronger. Feel free to do the same. You never know if a simple act of kindness can make someone feel loved.