True Love…What it is – REALLY?

Posted by Delaine - January 25, 2011 - Longing...and Learning, Loving & Trusting, Relationships, Social Barriers & Change - 11 Comments

What is true love?  This is a question I bet millions of divorcing people ask themselves, myself included.  After all, we all thought we had it…yet it slipped away.

Ever since I was little girl this concept of true love was sold to me everywhere: the movies, TV, church, within my family.  It seemed the most magical thing,  the perfect matching of Yin and Yang, the Ultimate Goal.  But I learned true love also required one other essential ingredient: TIME.  Not just a few years years, but a lifetime.

There is something brave and romantic in the idea of witnessing and sharing one’s entire life with another, through better or worse.  But still, with over two million divorces being filed worldwide each year, I can’t help but wonder:  Is it time for a new definition of true love?

I know I ‘truly’ loved my ex –  deeply and abundantly.  I know I’ll always love him in a special way, even though its nature has changed.  Somewhere in my bones I FEEL that he and I were meant to come together and share and learn all that we have.  The teachings have been immense.  And for that, I am profoundly grateful.  I refuse to denigrate our love, call it anything less than true, simply because it didn’t last forever. 

I don’t believe that the millions of people who divorce are just ‘immoral’ folk who ‘gave up too easily,’ like many argue.  Nor do I think it’s a sign of our social denigration.  I believe two vital messages are being plastered across the heavens for us all to wake up:  1) the real nature of true love and 2) how to accept and process death. 

The Real Nature of True Love: 

I wonder if love is not so much something we find within a relationship, as much as within ourselves.   I wonder if we cling – sorry, ‘love’ – our spouses as much out of fear as we do true love.  “It’s a big bad world out there after all,” we’re taught.  Don’t we find comfort in knowing our partner HAS to stay with us?  They made the vows, they made it ‘legal’, therefore they have to love us regardless of our  weaknesses and flaws.  We may not be happy with him on a day-today-basis, in fact, he may even disgust us, belittle us, ignore us…but having ‘someone’ reassures us we aren’t alone.  So little do we think of ourselves that we stay where we are, inert, captive…but safe.  

I think love of oneself is the ultimate kind of love.  Not arrogant or egocentric love, but a deep, caring, spiritual awareness and acceptance of Self.  If we were to individually achieve such a state, we’d love others more abundantly and unconditionally, not just one partner, but everyone: our extended families, our communities, the divorced children of our neighbors…  This kind of love wouldn’t be exclusive, it would be ALL-INCLUSIVE.  It would look humanity in the face and see the connectivity of all, instead of hiding behind a spouse and one’s children  to feel a sense of identity, purpose and peacefulness.

circle-black-white-smAccepting and Processing Death:

Death is something we’ve been taught to fear in our culture; we run from it, avoid it, resist it, even though it is intrinsic to all life, even in the dawning and setting of each day. Maybe divorce has become ‘pandemic’ to make us globally confront our beliefs about death and ‘endings.’  We are so AFRAID of it that in a crisis situation like divorce, our fears and anxieties rise up to take centre stage and control our feelings, thoughts and actions.  But if we were taught to manage endings - which are TRANSFORMATIONS, death and rebirth all rolled into one – we’d be more skilled to handle the process from a higher and natural place within us.   We’d put our children first, no matter what.   We’d have more compassionate for our partners.  We’d give ourselves the time and space to GRIEVE, and understand that that grief is not only normal, but an important part of letting go.

I don’t have anything figured out.  Maybe none of this makes sense to anyone but me.  But at the end of a lifetime, whether  ‘love’ happens with one partner or five, one things is for sure: change.     You can run and scream and protest as much as you want.  But when your higher Self comes knocking with a big life lesson, you can’t hide.



  • Sig says:

    I pray there is true love and a forever! I hope my children never get use to divorce as a state we live in.
    I pray for healing hearts and emotional bonds.

  • Animator says:

    don’t stop thinking. love, real love, to me…it has no conditions or boundries. i would have die a thousand horrible deaths in the worst torturous way for real love. real love is poetic, never forgets good, causes us to do the foolish, breaks our will, brings us to our knees, makes us unselfish, kills are pride, our greed, our murderous nature.
    if we were to hold our breath, real love would give us enough faith and patience to cause us to wait for it to breathe for us.

  • Free Me says:

    true love doesn’t hold hostage those it loves
    it only creates more love.
    I occasionally feel such a feeling

  • Angie says:

    I don’t think that ‘clinging’ to another person for the rest of your life is true love. That being said, if that’s the kind of love that is felt between two people, then it isn’t true love.

    True love is freeing…’re aren’t bound to the other person…you walk freely beside them, knowing that they are on the same path as you are, knowing that they will be with you (and you with them) through whatever trials, tribulations and joys life has to offer. There is no fear of them walking away from you. True love offers both people mutual respect, kindness and caring. Sure, there are disagreements, but true love allows for that and encourages free thinking.

    When I think of what fairy tales, media and our own society has fed us as ‘true love’, we were sold down the river! Those depictions show no difference of opinions, the woman usually being the one who ‘gives in’ and no troubles through life. So whenever we, realistically, meet those challanges, we think…oh, we weren’t really in love….thus the divorce quotient!

    We need to readjust our thoughts of true love if we’re going share in someone else’s life or experience any iota of happiness ourselves.

  • Curious says:

    As someone who has been cheated on I know true love isn’t going behind your partners back to try and find something that is lacking. True love isn’t being deceitful and lie to cover up mistakes or avoid conflict. True love isn’t seeing if the grass is greener on the other side and Oh, if I find out it’s not then maybe I’ll stay.

    True love is a choice that a person makes to commit to a relationship and be open and honest enough to communicate to their partner if there are problems and don’t

    let it go until it is resolved.

    I think the current state of divorce and infidelity can be summed up in one word… selfishness, and love is not selfish. So the issue is can people who are selfish become unselfish? I like to think so but that again is a choice they have to make. No one can force it on them or persuade them to do it. They just have to make a choice to be unselfish.

    True love is putting your partners feelings, thoughts and well being before yours. Not that you don’t take care of yourself too but true love is willing to sacrifice for their partner in a healthy way and hopefully is reciprocated so the other partner will do the same.

    Infidelity I have read is the cruelest form of hurt a spouse can inflict on the other and I agree. I don’t know how so many people can throw their wedding vows out the window, particularly when the statistics show that usually they don’t find what they are looking for (usually something that can only be found from within).

    I know there is true love out there probably even exists in bad marriages where infidelity has taken place. People have to make the choice to really look at themselves and find that personal joy that only they can give themselves and then share it with their partner.

  • Dock says:

    Good Post. I’m not sure if I believe in true love. I think it is something to strive for but we are people who are inherently flawed. We create walls and boundaries our whole lives to project what we want the world to see and to protect ourselves from our deep rooted fears and insecurites. Unfortunately, I think if we walked around without these walls, this world would take advantage and eat us up.
    After what I have been through, I would be happy finding someone who builds me up rather than breaks me down. Has their own dreams and goals and encourages me with mine. It also makes me think of Robin Williams in “Good Will Hunting” when he is desribing his wife that had passed away. Not being all about the easy stuff but the small idiosyncracies that he loved.
    Not sure if I want to love who I am, I strive to accept who I am and acknowledge where I have been and I hope that I have learned enough to know where I want to go.

  • Brian says:

    Even with everything I’ve been through, I still believe in true love… I’ve seen it with several of my relatives. My parents have been married 51 years and still gaze into each others eyes when they talk. I have several relatives that are still like that after years and years of marriage.

    I thought I had it. Even up until a year ago, I thought I had it…. It wasn’t till she said she didn’t love me any more than I started wondering if I really did still love her…. otherwise, I don’t think I ever would have questioned it….

  • 123 says:

    True love should not be so complicated. It should just, be. Thats what I want.

    I enjoyed your blog. I do agree with how important it is to deal with “all kinds of death”. I think that a lot of us think that “death” will not happen. It has and I wish I could have been a lot more graceful.

  • bear says:

    you are right divorce is very hard on the children. i wish divorce would take the kids into consideration, but its up to us to change and make the kids have a smooth transition. i also pray for one day to have true love.

  • Delaine says:

    Thank you all for your comments on my blog post. I’m glad it made sense to you cause my thoughts still don’t make total sense to ME. *grin

    But as time moves forward, we’ll all hopefully find a few more missing pieces of the puzzle. I guess that’s the thing about this whole divorce journey – it is not a final destination outside ourselves, but an ongoing cataylst from within that we’ll continue to revisit, and hopefully further understand and learn from, as time moves forward.


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