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15 Truths About Love We Tend to Forget

15 Truths About Love We Tend to Forget

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.Love never fails.”

Although this quote may be the most famous quote on love, taken straight from the Gospels, most of us have a hard time putting this kind of love into practice. Most of the time, we are lost in fantasies about love involving highly romanticized visions of perfect dates, romantic evenings, and finding a life partner who perfectly understands us at all times. We imagine love as this rush of feelings that continue to last forever. We imagine finding THE ONE – an ideal person who complements us in every possible way and satisfies our every need. The only problem with that vision is that it is false. Inevitably, our romanticized ideals about love leave us with unrealistic expectations for any partner who might come along, even if they are the real deal.

Here are 15 truths about love that we tend to forget when imagining our perfect relationship.

1. Love is a choice.

We tend to forget that feeling love for another person and choosing to love them is a choice that we make. It is different from feelings of lust which are often intense, of short duration, and involuntary. We choose to love. No one else can make you fall in love with him or her, no matter how hard they may try.

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2. Love is not infatuation.

Too often, we confuse love with what is actually infatuation. Infatuation is a rush of feelings that generally borders on obsession. Love is not an obsessive feeling. Love does not result in feeling possessive of one another. Love is a sustainable emotion. Infatuation is not. After the initial rush of intense feelings, infatuation dissipates until another possible lover is discovered; whereas love is long-lasting.

3. Love takes time.

Personally, I don’t believe in “love at first sight”. Real love takes time to develop.  Love requires trust and really knowing the other person – their character, interests, beliefs, behaviors, and deeply held core values. You can feel infatuation and lust towards someone based purely on physical attraction at first sight. But there is no way you can deeply know, trust, and respect that person right from the get-go. Love, admiration, and respect take much longer to develop and grow. With time, real love strengthens as you build trust. Love makes you feel physically safe and emotionally secure with your partner.

4. Love requires patience.

Along with time, love requires patience. We can’t love another person unless we learn to be patient with ourselves, with the other person, and with things taking time to develop. Patience is an all-too rare commodity in this era of instant gratification. We expect instant results, next-day delivery, and romances that bloom overnight into soul-mate marriages. With patience, we allow the situation to unfold naturally, without rushing, demanding, or pushing the pace. Patience requires letting go and trusting that the universe will work things out the way they are meant to work out. Patience is not trying too hard or forcing something to happen. If it is meant to happen, trust that it will work out.

5. Love takes work.

Love is a verb. Love is an action. Love requires effort and hard work to be fully realized. Love requires two people equally working at the relationship, in order for love to grow stronger. Love is not a one-way street.

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6. Love requires being present.

When we love another person, it is important to be fully present with him or her. It is extremely important to listen to what he or she has to say. Really being present in the moment with him/her and empathizing with that person when they share their story can mean the world. Listening and being present is the biggest and best gift that we can give one another. Listening, in this age of distractions, electronic devices, short attention spans, and self-centered absorption is difficult. We feel more important, respected, and special when someone really truly listens to what we have to say. Strive to be present physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Work hard to stay present without ruminating about the past, or jumping ahead to the future. After all, the present is the only true reality. The past is conjured up from memories we have reconstructed in our minds, and the future is made up of mental fantasies that we play out in our heads. The present is all we really ever have.

7. Love is kindness.

Love should never hurt. We get confused when we think that love equals dramatic up and downs, intense feelings, fighting, making up, game playing, and dramatic pushing and pulling. Yes, maybe that is how we understood love in middle school. Maybe those behaviors make for a dramatic and exciting Hollywood romantic comedy. However, in reality, mature love between adults is consistent, kind, and stable. You should feel safe and secure with your partner – both physically and emotionally. Life is hard enough without having your partner cutting you down, being critical, or belittling your character. Love builds you up. Real love is when someone treats you with kindness and respect, even when you disagree – even when he or she is angry.

8. Love for yourself is a prerequisite, before you can love another.

We can only give away what we ourselves already possess. We can only feel love towards another person when we love ourselves, fully and entirely. We often mistakenly approach relationships as this obsessive hunt for “the one” who will finally complete us, fill up the lonely places in our hearts, make us happy, and meet all of our needs forever. Unfortunately, such expectations are doomed to fail. When we look to another to provide us with everything we can’t give to ourselves, we are setting up unreasonable expectations. We put a tremendous amount of pressure on our partner and unknowingly sabotage our relationship.

Only we know what we need, want, and desire. The only person who can make us truly happy is our self. If we expect our partners to provide this contentment, they will eventually disappoint. Inevitably, we will then dump our partner and go hunt for a new one who we think will finally be perfect for us, and perpetuate the cycle. Rinse. Recycle. Repeat. It is only when we love ourselves first and foremost, learn to take care of ourselves, meet our own needs, and build our own happiness, that we will ever be truly content with another person.

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9. Love is not selfish and self-absorbed.

When we love another person, we become bigger than ourselves. We are no longer self-centered. Our circle of care expands to include our loved one, and by default, other people. When we love, our capacity for empathy, compassion, and caring grows. On the other hand, if we are impatient, if we act selfishly and demand love or demand our needs be met in a certain way or at certain time, we are not ready for real love. This dynamic can also sometimes happen in toxic relationships, where one partner is emotionally abusive to another. Remember, love requires taking care of yourself first, while making concessions and compromises for another. Love is putting someone else’s needs above your own.

10. Love is being all in.

Above all, love is about being vulnerable. It’s about taking a risk and opening up our hearts to another person who may or may not leave us, who may or may not destroy our trust and faith, and who may or may not break our hearts. It’s a terrifying proposition. Being vulnerable and exposed is uncomfortable and unsettling. Most of us shrink back in fear when we experience real intimacy. Relationships take two people in agreement to begin, but they only take one person who wants to leave for them to end. It’s an unfair truth of the universe. However, really loving someone is about being all in. There is no safety hatch where you can play it safe by being half in and half out. Keeping one foot on the gas and one foot on the break while in a relationship is unpleasant, unfair, and unkind to your partner. This hesitant kind of love makes you small, cheap, and a coward. Be brave. Be courageous. Real love requires finding someone who is worthy of your trust. Real love means giving everything that you have, even when there are no guarantees.

11. Love is never perfect.

We all have ideals regarding love and relationships. We have this romanticized fantasy that when we finally meet our person, everything will fall into place. Love will be easy, it will be fun, and we will be happy and content. Yes, healthy relationships are for the most part fulfilling, satisfying, and joyful. But that doesn’t mean that they are absolutely perfect. It doesn’t mean that either person is perfect or always acting perfectly and ideally towards the other. No matter how wonderful your relationship might be, you will find yourself feeling annoyed at your partner at times. Your partner will say some senseless comment that will deeply hurt you, even when they had no intention of doing so.

Life is messy. Real relationships are about growing together, learning together, and negotiating compromise. We have to learn to state our needs and wants in an assertive, but non-threatening and non-blaming manner. If we expect our partner to read our mind and somehow know what we need and want without us having to say anything, we are dooming our relationship to failure.

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We also have to release our preconceived notions regarding how our ideal partner will be and how it should feel. We need to be open to the experience and let things unfold naturally. We need to practice patience and self-compassion, so we can be compassionate, forgiving, and empathetic towards ourselves and our partner when they inevitably disappoint us at some point. A perfect relationship exists when two people are not willing to give up on each other. Either you accept your partner just as they are, or you let them go. Don’t fault-find.

12. Love is about being with someone you can be yourself around.

Find someone who you can relax with and feel comfortable enough to be yourself around. Find someone who brings out your best. Find someone who loves you, who likes you as a friend, and accepts you just the way you are. Any person who makes you feel like you are small, less than, or not good enough you need to run away from. Immediately. There’s this quote I love that ties in perfectly with this advice: “In a dating and courtship relationship, I would not have you spend five minutes with someone who belittles you, who is constantly critical of you, who is cruel at your expense and may even call it humor. Life is tough enough without having the person who is supposed to love you leading the assault on your self-esteem, your sense of dignity, your confidence, and your joy.”

13. Love feels like deep caring, friendship, respect, and admiration for another person.

We often wonder what “true love” should feel like. Well, it isn’t as hard as we might make it out to be. Love is that feeling of deep caring, friendship, respect and admiration for another person. Love takes time to develop. Love requires getting to know someone’s character and really liking that person. Ask yourself, if you weren’t dating your partner, would you still be good friends with him/her? Find someone who you love spending time with and who makes you want to be a better person.

14.  Love can take you by surprise…

…And it often does. Love usually happens when we least expect it. Love does not happen according to our schedule. We cannot just decide one day that we are going to fall in love on Tuesday at 4:21 PM. We can’t just order love to happen at this moment in our life. We can do this with career changes, with moving into a new home, or changing our activities and hobbies we enjoy. We cannot force love. We cannot rush love. Love almost certainly will not happen at the time that you want, in the way you want, and with the person that you expect that it will.

15. Love is commitment.

Real love requires commitment by both people to make it work. There will always be other tempting options and attractive people out there. There might be the little question in the back of your mind wondering, “What if there is someone BETTER still out there?” However, real love happens when two people are ready to commit to each other. Love happens when both people are emotionally mature enough to ride the bumps, to grow, to learn and to build trust with each other, rather than always wondering if it might be easier with someone else. It isn’t. Real love requires work, commitment, patience, and perseverance. There’s a quote by Cheryl Strayed, author of the book TINY BEAUTIFUL THINGS, which summarizes this concept perfectly: “You cannot convince people to love you. This is an absolute rule. No one will ever give you love because you want him or her to give it. Real love moves freely in both directions. Don’t waste your time on anything else.”

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Last Updated on November 17, 2019

40 Amazing Date Ideas for Valentine’s Day

40 Amazing Date Ideas for Valentine’s Day

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, starry-eyed lovers worldwide are getting ready to celebrate their love and planning the perfect date for their partner. However, there are many loving, caring, and generally great people out there who simply can’t think of a single romantic thing to do, let alone create the ultimate Valentine’s Day experience for their loved one. If you are looking for some great date ideas that will put a smile on your partner’s face and melt their heart, then just keep on reading. I’ve got a pretty big list of choices for you. Here are some great ideas ranging from tried and true classics, to the fun and slightly unconventional.

1. Rom-coms marathon

This is a very basic yet highly romantic way of spending the day with your partner. Take a few days to prepare the right playlist and create a romantic atmosphere at home. You can order out some food, open a bottle of wine and cuddle up in front of the TV.

2. Recreate your first date

Rated pretty high on the “romantic gestures scale,” this is guaranteed to impress your significant other. It requires a good memory and a bit of work to make it just right, but it is well worth it. Walk down the same streets where you first kissed and have a couple of drinks in that old coffee shop where you had your first drinks together. Don’t be afraid to spend a bit extra and add a little romantic gift into the mix.

3. Cook for your loved one

Start researching good recipes for a romantic dinner for two, get the right ingredients and prepare a couple of practice dinners to make sure you’ve got your technique and presentation down pat. Cooking for someone can be a big turn on and you can create some incredible meals without spending too much money. Take it up a notch by dressing classy, decorating your dining room and presenting your partner with a printed menu.

4. Organize your very own ancient Greek party

Here’s another one of those creative date ideas for the stay-at-home couple. The ancient Greek private party can be a very fun and erotic experience. You can decorate by using big bowls full of grapes, spreading some white sheets all over the place, placing some plastic vines here and there, putting up a few posters depicting Greek parties and having plenty of wine lying around. Wear nothing but light sheets or costumes and channel some of that hot-blooded Greek spirit.

5. A romantic weekend getaway in the mountains

For those looking for a change of scenery and an escape from the busy city, there is nothing better than a quiet, romantic weekend in the mountains. There are plenty of fun activities like skiing that will keep you active. You can have fun making a snowman or engaging in a snowball fight, and, of course, there is plenty of privacy and great room service waiting for you back at your room.

6. Fun day at the shooting range

A bit unconventional but an incredibly fun and exciting date that will get your blood pumping and put a huge smile on your faces. Try out a number of guns and have a bit of a competition. Some outdoor ranges have fully automatic rifles, which are a blast to shoot.

7. Rent an expensive sports car for a day

Don’t be afraid to live large from time to time—even if you can’t afford the glamorous lifestyle of the stars, you can most definitely play pretend for a day. Put on some classy clothes and drive around town in a rented sports car. The quick acceleration and high speed are sure to provide an exhilarating experience.

8. Go on a shopping spree together

Very few things can elicit such a huge dopamine rush as a good old shopping spree. Get some new lingerie, pretty shoes, a nice shirt and tie, a couple of new video games or whatever else you need or want. This is a unique chance to bond, have fun and get some stuff that you’ve been waiting to buy for a while now.

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9. Hit the clubs

For all the party animals out there, one of the best date ideas is to go out drinking, dancing, and just generally enjoying the night life. Visit a few good clubs, then go to an after-party and keep that party spirit going for as long as you can.

10. Spend the day driving around the city and visiting new places

This one is geared towards couples who have been together for a year or two and want to experience a few new things together. Visit a few cool coffee places on the other side of town, check out interesting restaurants you’ve never been to, and consider going to see a play or having fun at a comedy club on open mic night.

11. Wine and chocolates at sunset

Pick out a romantic location, such as a camping spot on a hill overlooking the city or a balcony in a restaurant with a nice view, open a bottle of wine and a box of chocolates and wait for that perfect moment when the sky turns fiery red to embrace and share a passionate kiss.

12. Ice skating

There is something incredibly fun about ice skating that brings people closer together and just keeps you laughing (maybe it’s all the falling and clinging to the other person for dear life). You can have some great fun and then move on to a more private location for some alone time.

13. Body painting

Speaking of private locations and intimate moments, body painting allows you to spice things up back at your place and add a new element of fun to foreplay. You’ll need adequate body paints and some brushes and the rest is up to you. You can do tiger stripes, paint a t-shirt on your partner, or go for something more abstract—the choice is yours.

14. Model clothes for each other

This one goes well when combined with a shopping spree, but you can just get a bunch of your clothes—old and new—from the closet, set up a catwalk area and then try on different combinations. You can be stylish, funny or beautiful. It’s a great after-dinner show and a good way to transition into a more intimate atmosphere.

15. Dance the night away

If you and your significant other are relatively good dancers, or if you simply enjoy moving your body to the rhythm of the music, then a night at salsa club or similar venue is the perfect thing for you. Alternatively, you can set up dance floor at home, play your favorite music, have a few drinks and dance like there is no tomorrow.

16. Lock the doors, turn off the phones and have the whole house to yourselves

This one might seem a bit obvious and kind of redundant seeing as how I’ve already mentioned a bunch of stay-at-home date ideas that require this step as a prerequisite, but when I say, “Have the whole house to yourselves,” I literally mean turning the whole house into romantic stage where you can explore your fantasies. Decorate each room a bit differently, have a lot of snacks and drinks lying around, put a bunch of blankets and pillows on the floor and go from room to room throughout the day. You can start off with a steaming shower, have a romantic meal, then watch a movie cuddled up on the couch and eventually make your way to the bedroom.

17. Organize a nature walk

Being outside has many health benefits, but what you are going for is the beautiful view, seclusion, and the thrill of engaging in some erotic behavior out in the open. You can rent a cottage far from the city, bring some food and drinks, and explore the wilderness. This is nice way to spice things up a bit and get away from the loud and busy city life.

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18. Act out a fun scenario wearing costumes

Some role-playing may be just the thing you need to spice up your love life after a few years of being together, but it can be a very fun experience for new couples as well. Work on the scenario together (wounded soldier and nurse, a female cop arresting a robber, etc.), buy the right costumes and accessories beforehand and find a good setting. You could also rent a hotel room to add to the forbidden-fruit vibe.

19. Travel abroad

This takes a bit of planning in advance and may be a bit costly, but if you can afford it, there are very few things that can match a trip to France, Italy, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, or a number of other excellent locations.

20. Go on a hot-air balloon ride

These are very fun and romantic—you get an incredible view, get to experience the thrill of flying, and you’ve got enough room for a romantic dinner and some champagne. Just be sure to wear warm clothes, it can get pretty cold high up in the air.

21. A relaxing day at the spa

Treat your body, mind and senses to a relaxing day at the spa. You and your partner will feel fresh, comfortable and relaxed—a perfect date for the more serious couples who don’t get to spend as much time with each other as they’d like.

22. A trip down memory lane

This one is great for long-term couples who will benefit from reminiscing about all of their fondest memories together from the start of the relationship through to the present, reliving some of the most significant moments they shared.

23. Fun times at a karaoke bar

A great choice for couples celebrating their first Valentine’s Day together—it’s fairly informal and inexpensive, yet incredibly fun and allows for deeper bonding. Once you have a few drinks in your system and come to terms with the fact that you are making a complete fool of yourself, you’ll have the time of your life!

24. Helicopter tour of the city followed by dinner

A modern equivalent to the hot-air balloon ride, the helicopter tour is among the more reasonably priced date ideas and is incredibly romantic and exciting. After about half an hour or an hour of sightseeing you can finish off the upper-class experience by dining in a nice restaurant.

25. Horseback riding

Horseback riding is incredibly fun, especially if you’ve never done it before. And what girl doesn’t dream of a prince coming to take her on an adventure on his noble steed? It evokes a sense of nobility and is a very good bonding experience.

26. Plan a fun date night with other couples

Take a break and rent a cabin in the woods, go to a mountain resort, a couple’s retreat, or just organize a huge date night at someone’s place and hang out with other couples. This is a great option for couples who have spent at least one Valentine’s Day together and allows you to customize your experience to suit your needs. Also, you can always retire early and get some alone time with your partner if you so desire.

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27. Cocktail night

This can be done privately, or with other couples if you are organizing a group Valentine’s Day celebration at someone’s house. All you need is a bunch of different drinks, a few accessories like fruit and spices, and internet access to check out some cool recipes online. Try out all sorts of fun cocktails and mix some brand new ones on your own. Make it a fancy dress night for added fun.

28. Make reservations at an exclusive restaurant

A fairly old school move, except this time you can pick out a restaurant that serves a particular type of cuisine you’ve never tried before. Go for a place that has unusual menus and likes to make a show out of presenting the food, rather than just going for your regular “suits and monocles” type venue.

29. Go to a concert

There are a whole bunch of things happening around Valentine’s Day, so go online and check out what’s happening near you. You’ll surely be able to find tickets for a cool concert or some type of festival with live music.

30. Fancy night on the town

Buy some elegant new clothes, rent a limo for the night and go to a nice restaurant, followed by a jazz club or gallery exhibition. Walk tall, make a few sarcastic quips, and have a few laughs with your partner while letting your inner snob take charge for a few hours.

31. Take a tour of the historical and cultural sites of your city

For the cultured crowd and history buffs among us, a day spent learning about some of the local history and delving deeper into national culture is both incredibly fun and a great way to share a unique experience with a loved one. You’d be surprised to find just how much you don’t know about the place you live in.

32. Live out a James Bond film at a casino

A beautiful lady in a simple yet sensual, form-fitting, black dress, and a strong and handsome, if somewhat stern-looking man in a fine suit walk up to a roulette table with drinks in hand and place bets at random as they smile at each other seductively. This is a scenario most of us wish to play out, but rarely get a chance. It can be a bit costly, but this is one of the most incredibly adventurous and romantic date ideas.

33. Go bungee jumping

People in long-term relationships often talk about things like keeping a relationship fun and exciting, doing new things together, trusting each other and using aphrodisiacs. Well, bungee jumping is a fun, exhilarating activity you can both enjoy; it requires trust and the adrenaline rush you get from it is better than any aphrodisiac out there. Just saying, give it a shot and you won’t regret it.

34. Take a tour of a winery or brewery

Taking a tour like this can be a great opportunity to learn new things about wine or beer (or perhaps whiskey) and how it is made, while at the same time getting a chance to taste some excellent drinks and get a few bottles for later in the evening.

35. Make a fun music video

Meet up earlier in the day, take decent camera, and start shooting a music video. Rehearse the lyrics (you can even make up your own silly song), dress up, and start filming. You’ll have tons of fun doing it and you can edit the video later and have a cool memento.

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36. Play some sports

Some one-on-one basketball, a soccer match against another couple, a bit of tennis, or even something as simple as a table tennis tournament (make it fun by stripping off items of clothing when you lose a game). You can combine this with date idea #13 and paint team uniforms on each other and play in the nude.

37. Visit a club with live music

A great option for just about any couple—pick a club that has live performers (whether it’s jazz, rock or even a poetry reading) and dress up for the occasion. Be sure to make reservations in advance to avoid the Valentine’s Day rush, and focus on making your date feel comfortable.

38. Take skydiving lessons

Another adrenaline-filled date, skydiving is sure to get your heart racing like crazy and leave you with a goofy grin for the rest of the day. You can offset all the excitement by ending the day with a quiet dinner at home.

39. Go for some paintball

Playing war games is an excellent way to get your body moving, focus on some of that hand-eye-coordination, and engage your brain in coming up with tactical solutions in the heat of the moment. It is also a great bonding experience, adrenaline-fueled fun, and role-playing all wrapped into one. And when you get back home, you can always act out the wounded soldier scenario (see #18).

40. Fill the whole day with random fun activities

Just say no to plans, reservations and clichés—take your partner by the hand, have your credit card ready and just go out and have some fun. Bowling, followed by a drink at a coffee shop and then a romantic movie? Sure, why not? Going for lunch at a nice restaurant and then organizing a double-date game night? Go right ahead. Going for a long walk in the park, visiting a museum, followed by romantic meal at home and then going out to a club? Hey, who am I to say no? You can use some of the ideas from this article and mash them up together to create a fun-filled Valentine’s Day you’ll both remember.

There you go, a whole bunch of useful date ideas for all you loving couples out there. You can pick out any one of these, make some adjustments or even combine different options to create the perfect Valentine’s Day date for your significant other. Plan ahead, have fun and celebrate your love proudly.

Featured photo credit: Relevante design via unsplash.com

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