Thursday, March 29, 2012

How Do You Know if You Are In Love?

    When I was a young woman, I asked my mother "How do you know if you are in love?  She proceeded to give me a long talk about real love.  She related that real love starts with puppy love.  This stage of love is evidenced by the squirrelly feeling you get when that special someone walks in the room.  You feel giddy, your hands get sweaty, and you can't quite get your mouth to form actual words.

   The next stage is called lust.  The symptoms of this stage are evident in the fact that you cannot keep your hands off of each other.  There are kisses when you arrive.  There are kisses whn you leave and there are lots of kisses in between.  This, combined with puppy love and time, can work into a loving relationship. 

   First comes love...then comes marriage, then comes baby in the baby carriage.  Her third stage was family love.  You feel love when, you walk down the aisle.  You feel love when you buy your first house.  You feel love when you make up after a big fight.  A big love happens on the day your first child is born.  This continues with the birth of each subsequent child, as well as, each of their accomplishment.  "The way to be a good dad is to love your child's mother".  This goes both ways.

   Then, you enter into empty nest love.  This includes learning to love each other again.  All those family years might take a toll on the love relationship.  It is alot of fun to rediscover each other.  Trips on adventures, long talks about the future.  goal-setting, and learning how to take care of each other. 

   The empty nest stage is where my hunky hubbie and I are presently learning about.  Its the little things that we forgot to appreciate about each other.  Things like hanging out the clothes.

   The final stage of real love is "the Golden Years" love.  She said that this is the stage when you realize what real love is.  It is the thought of dying and not getting to spend time with this special person that you have spent 50 plus years learning how to love.  Worse yet is the thought that they might die first and you will be left alone.  Real love happens when you care for each other for a lifetime and would rather be dead than live without them.

I have been working on "Real Love" for thirty-one years.  I hope I get there someday!