Ever seen Fiddler on the Roof? There’s a scene where the husband asks his wife if she loves him. She’s shocked that he would ask such a thing, and replies that for 25 years of marriage she’s cared for him, took care of the house, made his bed, cooked his food and reared their kids. And then says, if that isn’t love then what is? This fun interaction illustrates one of the most beautiful elements of true love: selflessness.

Those of you who’ve spent time with me lately know that I’ve been exploring this notion of what is love in a love relationship. One friend’s definition was, “You’ll know it when you feel it.” I suppose she could be right. But, that can’t be entirely true because love is more than just feelings.

Love really is a decision — a commitment. It’s the act of deliberately choosing to dedicate yourself and your energies to thinking about your partner and his/her needs first (even when they are pissing you off!)

Love is a verb but yet, not a perfect one.

From what little I do know, true love in a healthy relationship focuses on meeting the needs of our partner and not selfishly concerned with our own needs and direction. It means allowing the person we love to be who she/he is and still choosing to be with them rather than being angry with them for their differences. I actually came up with a definition that I can’t seem to ignore – When you love someone, you have their back – always – no matter what. Seems simple but true.

The wife in Fiddler on the Roof expressed love so bluntly and yet so beautifully. Her selflessness revealed a depth and breadth of love that was beyond the flame of infatuation-type love. I can relate. I’m the Italian/Jew who expresses her love with food and taking care of and doing for my partner!

Can you say that your love is selfless? Are you more interested in having your needs met or being right? Do you still love your partner even when he/she hurts your feelings? Do you tell him/her that? Clearly, I’ve got more questions than answers right now. I guess I’ll have to keep working on this one. 🙂 Isn’t that the story of my life?!

Please be safe today!