Love… To most this word has a simple meaning. Love is a feeling. It’s something you express to someone else. Unfortunately the three word phrase, “I Love You” has become less meaningful. It won’t be long before that wonderful phrase is nothing more than a filler in conversation. Do people really understand the role that love plays in relationships? Do they see how it has the ability to change and grow as the relationship matures?
I have been in a relationship with the same guy for four years, and I can tell you that in my own life love has taken on an entirely new meaning. Throughout my life I have witnessed different types of relationships. High school hookups that last one night, semi-serious romances that last a several months and lifelong partnerships like the one my grandparents have. In each one love is expressed differently. The younger you are the more unaware you’ll be about the true meaning behind love.
Love isn’t just something you say. It’s something you feel. There can be trickery in love. People can fake this emotion for nothing more than a physical or emotional benefit. Fortunately for me, I’ve never been deceived in love. My boyfriend and I have gone through many stages of love throughout our four year relationship.
We began our relationship when we were 16 years old. Our love was a mere infatuation or “puppy love” as some call it. We were inseparable. In the first several months of a relationship a couple usually spends all their time soaking up information about one another. This “honeymoon” stage is a great kick-starter for any relationship.
Then as time goes on the relationship’s love deepens into passionate love. Physical and mental steps are taken by the couple. The relationship is no longer mere infatuation. On the downside, passionate love is host to arguments and issues. This is the time when the couple is learning to accept each others flaws while still balancing their love.
Finally after you’ve dated the same person for longer than a year or two you’ll become acquainted with compassionate love. This is, hands down, my favorite kind of love. This is the point where a friendship within a relationship has been established. You accept each other completely and can operate without spending every minute together. In addition, the physical and emotional aspects of the relationship are in balance.
My boyfriend and I entered this part of our relationship last year when we began our separate college journeys. I stayed in Kansas to attend junior college while he moved to Nashville to study music. Being apart for the first time was extremely painful, but it transformed our relationship. We found ourselves able to grow more independently. You know the phrase “distance makes the heart grow fonder”? Well, it’s true! Being a part for months at a time has made us cherish the time we’re together.
If I’ve learned anything during my relationship it is that there is no one type of love. Love changes, matures and transforms within any relationship. Being in a relationship has not only allowed me to get to know my boyfriend, but has also provided me with the opportunity for self-discovery.