Love is a doing word
When I first thought of writing a book on relationships, I kinda laughed internally because 1. I don’t have a lot of experience with them and 2. My experiences have largely been unsuccessful. Yes, I was married for about a couple decades but the emphasis is on was. While it’s true many people never marry, a failed marriage does not bode well for someone sharing relationship advice. With that said, everyone has a unique way of looking at things and I’ve heard many stories from fellow travelers on the often rocky relationship road and I want to share our stories and things we have learned along the way.
One of the things I have found interesting and useful is knowing your person’s love language. Yes there is an online test, but I mean it in a broader sense than that. It basically means everything that makes your person feel loved and valued and it may not fit neatly into five categories. It may also change over time. It’s worth taking the test though to have a starting point. Link: https://5lovelanguages.com
My main three love languages from the 5 love languages test are “words of affirmation,” “quality time” and “physical touch.” Mind you, a couple of these are a challenge when you’re in a long-distance relationship so I’m learning that getting back to basics and understanding “love is a doing word” explains how we can easily lose touch with our person.
I also have a word about “lists.” You’ll hear advice on both sides of this camp. Some people say to ditch the list because you box yourself in and you don’t open yourself to possibilities. That’s probably a fair argument if your list is only the superficial demographics (age, race, gender, ethnicity, religion, income, education, home ownership, sexual orientation, marital status, family size, etc.), but digging deeper will yield more important information about values, lifestyle, goals and mindset, attributes that I believe will give your relationship an increased chance of standing the test of time.
Please note this is not to say that demographics are unimportant because they are, but I would encourage you to look past height and income as those two characteristics might blind you to someone who is perfect for you. I’ve also noticed that today’s man is increasingly sensitive about being judged purely on his income. They want to be loved for something more than what they can provide, just like we want to be loved for more than how we look, not that I think either one of these things have a chance of not being put into the relationship match equation. My thoughts are though it shouldn’t be weighted as highly as it usually is, but that’s a whole chapter in my upcoming book!
So … my list a couple years ago included:
man of God with a heart for God and His Word
an African-American man so we would share the same culture
These two things are extremely important to me and really not negotiable, especially the first one.
Back to “love is a doing word …” This morning when I woke up, I started thinking of a list involving actions that show love:
a man who prioritizes me
a supportive man who is interested in my well-being and goals
a man who is interested in building something together
A man who is interested in helping the world become a better place
These are things to lead to someone showing you they love you. It is not a matter of proving themselves, but rather understanding that words are just that.
And, yes, I am interested in doing the same thing for my person. We have to invest in the people we love as we want them to be the best they can possibly be. To that end, I believe it’s important to have regular check-ins and even relationship performance reviews periodically and definitely date nights, especially when you are in a long distance relationship. Carving out time for each other is especially important when you don’t see your person on a regular basis.
In the words of Teardrop by Massive Attack:
“Love, love is a verb
Love is a doing word”
Love’s a doing word
So before you say I do
Make sure that he does