A Question of Love

The Eskimos had fifty-two names for snow because it was important to them: there ought to be as many for love.” – Margaret Atwood

Yesterday in the car, Miss O asked me who she should marry. Off the top of my head I said, someone who is kind, honest, funny and smart and then stopped to ask what she thought. She added, “Someone who is sweet and who likes to kiss.”

I started laughing and she explained that not all boys like to kiss which I’m sure is accurate in the 7-year-old world.

But it made me think of all the times I’ve wondered who I should love and the answer started with loving myself.

And it made me think of that WHO I should love is also an acronym for HOW I should love which I found is best with conviction, patience and kindness.

It reminded me that sometimes the answer to the question isn’t who I should love but am I brave enough to try.           

Finally, I landed on what is with age becoming clearer to me is that when I tap into the Oneness of things, I find it easier to love everyone, even the people that get my goat because when I look closely there is something about them that reminds me of me.

Miss O has about 20 years until she reaches the average age of brides in this country. I hope that in that time she learns a little about love, especially self-love, before she does.

What’s your list for what to look for in a partner? And your best advice about love?

(featured photo from Pexels)

53 thoughts on “A Question of Love

  1. I might not go so far as to say love yourself before you love another, but at the very least know who you are as a person in your own right and keep that person firmly in the forefront as you explore connections with others. Compromising who you are to be with anyone else romantically and long term may only lead to resentment later on. This is lived experience on my part.

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  2. What a wonderful scene you’ve shared with us, Wynne; thank you so much. I think Miss O added a great point!

    Your advice, though, (“I hope that in that time she learns a little about love, especially self-love, before she does.”) is so insightful. I think so many people become accustomed to believing that the source of their love lies with “another:” therefore they suffer when that one departs, for whatever reason. The pain can seem unbearable, for who are we, then, without them?

    The journey to knowing recognition of true Self solves all of that. My list, well, I’d have to include Miss O’s advice!!! 🙂

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    1. I agree! From the mouth of babes 🙂

      I love the positive outlook you shared, I often thought of it as the (less positive…) old maxim of “you can’t run away from yourself.” A new city, a new job, a new haircut, a new social circle, you’re still you, there’s no running away from ourselves 🙂

      I would add someone that you trust.

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  3. Perfect post in many ways. Miss O is right about kissing, lol. This resonated with me:
    “It reminded me that sometimes the answer to the question isn’t who I should love but am I brave enough to try…what is with age becoming clearer to me is that when I tap into the Oneness of things, I find it easier to love everyone, even the people that get my goat because when I look closely there is something about them that reminds me of me.”
    Wise and true, dear Wynne 💜

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  4. This is beautiful, Wynne. Learning self love first before loving others. Such an important lesson to learn and one I am certain Miss O will learn in the next two decades with your guidance.

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  5. Someone who likes to kiss?! I am cracking up and also worried about the handful you’re going to have with Miss O. I guess if that’s what she’s looking for at 7 my best advice is find someone who likes to brush their teeth and wears chapstick.

    I think my best advice about love is that love is not always enough. I’ve loved many people that just were not right for me. As for what I look for in a partner, that has changed a lot over the years. But at the end of the day it always comes down to gut feeling. How does my gut feel? Sometimes I can’t put into words what’s right or what’s wrong but somehow my gut always knows.

    I think it’s important to find a partner that challenges you to be your best self but still someone that supports you when you fall short. A partner that not only listens but desires to understand. A partner that embraces your flaws and your annoying behaviors. Actually let’s change embraces to tolerates lol. A partner that doesn’t put up with your sh*t and will call you out on it – sometimes support is tough love. But also a partner who knows that sometimes it’s best to just let a mean word or bad act to go without acknowledgement because they know you don’t truly mean it, are in a bad space and it’s not personal even if it hurts. A partner who knows that true forgiveness is letting go but also has patience to give the process of letting go time. A partner who takes an interest in your life, sometimes will suck it up and participate in your hobbies but maintains their independence. A partner who wakes up everyday and chooses you even if it is sometimes begrudgingly. And most of all a partner who you are excited to share your life with because without the excitement it’s just a lot of work. And of course, all this needs to be reciprocal and let’s be honest, that’s the hardest part!

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    1. Wow, you have me laughing too! Brushes their teeth and wears chapstick. That’s awesome.

      But your list – wow, that is a great one! My favorite part – a partner who wakes up everyday and chooses you even if it is sometimes begrudgingly. That’s pure poetry! And the gut feel – there’s a lot to be said for what our bodies tell us! Love this comment my friend!

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  6. I forsee many future ‘interesting’ discussions RE Love with Miss O Wynne 😊

    Be it child, adult or our Creator, Love is best evidenced by another 4 letter word’s commitment to it . . . Time.

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  7. I believe the starting point in finding true love is not to look for another person to “complete” you. When I hear someone say their partner “completes” them, I cringe. We need to be whole and also to look for another person who is whole before getting involved in a relationship with them. It really isn’t about each person giving 50% but each giving 100% and serving each other. That sort of ties in with finding it easier to love everyone (as you you stated) … warts and all. Knowing who we are and that includes self love as you also stated, Wynne, is A great point too. There’s so much more I could add but I’d end up writing a book. So this is just a little of my 2 cents on the subject 😊

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    1. Omg I agree the whole they complete me is very cringeworthy! And I also agree that it’s best to know yourself/be whole to have a truly good partnership. But I also think relationships can be tools to help you get to know yourself and there is nothing wrong with some practice before you get to the real deal.

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    2. And it would be a great book Nancy! I love how you say each giving 100%. That’s a wonderful way to not only state the commitment but also account for the times that we need to step in for each other. Love you 2 cents!

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  8. It is a big topic, but I will give only a short answer. Don’t give up, learn from your experience and do expect the other to transform your life forever, but to be a good and loving partner.

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    1. There’s a lot packed into that short answer, Dr. Stein. I especially like the last be – to be a good and loving partner. It puts the focus back on what we can control. Beautiful wisdom!

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  9. After my unfortunate experiences with marriages, I best answer to your question is a quote from a cartoon conversation between a couple of friends chatting over coffee. One says, “I want a man who is loyal, faithful, patient, attentive, forgiving, unselfish, even-tempered, and a good listener.” To which her friend replied, “You want a dog.” Yep. That sounds about right!

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    1. Oh, I’m laughing! You’re right – dogs are the best! And we are planning to get a puppy in the next few months so perhaps that is what Miss O will learn from that experience.

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      1. Ha, ha, you’re right about the juicy material. I’m sure we’ll be a mess while we figure out how to incorporate a new member of the family. But that’s the meat of life, right?

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  10. Oh my goodness my friend! You’re in for a world of trouble LOL! I think it’s super sweet that she wants someone who likes to kiss though and I’m glad you have this all written down because she’s going to have some really special moments to look back on.
    I got married at 18. FAR younger than the “average age” but we’ve been married now for almost 17 years. I’d say the best things to look for in a partner are that they put your interests before their own (and that you do the same for them). I also think that when you know someone is right for you… listen to your gut and if there are red flags… run.

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    1. Hee, hee. Maybe I am in for a whole of trouble. I like to think that maybe we are getting some of these conversations started early. 🙂

      17 years – that’s awesome! I’d say you know a lot about love. Your point about a partner that puts your interests before their own – and you do the same. That sounds like a wonderful recipe!

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  11. Thank you for sharing!!.. in the end, only the heart has the answer…. “You don’t love the person you can live with, you love the person you cannot live without” (Author Unknown)…. 🙂

    Until we meet again…
    May the sun shine all day long
    Everything go right, nothing go wrong
    May those you love bring love back to you
    And may all the wishes you wish come true
    (Irish Saying)

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  12. So sweet! I’m confident she is smart enough to figure it all out within the next 20 years. To love “with conviction, patience and kindness” is a terrific summation, especially since sometimes love isn’t a feeling but a decision.

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