Do we have committed relationships with every person we love? That is a big question. There are many different types of love but for the purpose of this piece I am referring to the love between a man and a woman. I stated before that I love two men right now in different ways. One is a sexually intimate relationship, which brings about all types of emotional connections and the other is truly a friendship with a strong emotional bond. But when considering love and commitment, how do you determine if the love you feel can sustain a committed relationship.
Love is a choice
The biggest thing to consider is that love is a choice. The emotions come without much effort, it is a natural connection between two that is unmistakable. But it needs to be nurtured and fed in order for it to grow and fulfill the beloved. Sexual intimacy is one way to nurture love but should not be the sole way. As we are not always able to be sexually intimate and all of us will grow older one day thus placing severe limitations on sexual intimacy. Therefore love should be displayed in other ways as well through the course of a of a relationship.
How is love nurtured
According to Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages there are other ways people say “I love you” and each person has a different love language. The five areas are:
- Words of Affirmation – may include verbal praise and encouragement, kindness, saying thank you, compliments, notes, emails, and letters.
- Quality Time – may include having undivided attention, spending time together, planning activities and outings, and engaging in quality conversations that may allow you to get into the head of your lover thus deepening intimacy.
- Gifts – may include visual symbols of love, can be as small as a cup of coffee, roses, candy, and perhaps a card. The thought is what is most important not the size or cost of the gift.
- Acts of Service – may include doing things for others or having them help you out, such as cooking you dinner, giving you a massage, washing your car etc.
- Physical Touch – may include giving pats on the back, hugs, a kiss on the cheek, holding hands, or basically any skin to skin contact.
For couples it requires time and attention to understand each other’s love language. One person can be feeling completely fulfilled while the other is feeling neglected. It is easy to get wrapped up into life and ourselves and forget to nurture those close to you.
When I love I give a lot but many times I don’t feel as though I receive as much as I need in return. I don’t love to receive anything back but love is a two-way street. Perhaps I have not communicated my love language directly to my significant other. They don’t always know you automatically. Maintaining a relationship is work and it doesn’t happen overnight, it takes a time.
What is your love language?
My Love Language
I generally find that I am moved by words, acts of service, and physical touch. I feel loved the most when it is shown in this way, which is probably why I am not feeling much love in return from my lover or perhaps it’s not love at all. Maybe I am caught in a world wind of infatuation. Infatuation of course does not last. It eventually wears off as the reality of the relationship begins to set in. It is at this point when a couple finds out whether what they have can sustain them for a lifetime. Which is precisely the moment Elizabeth has in 9 ½ weeks when she is crying under the stairs. She realizes that while she is totally engrossed with her lover perhaps even loves him what they have will not sustain them in a committed relationship. It took me years to understand that scene. But finally I do.
We feel things for many people and I realized this week that if I had married every man I “had feelings” for then I would be at least a five-time divorcee. I say this because it is crucial to examine relationships to determine whether the love is real and strong enough to weather the lifetime commitment of marriage.
Fedora loves you. Peace
 Chapman, Gary. The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate. Northfield Publishing, 1995