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A Better You
by Jo Ann Fore

Secure Love

I love you.

A sweet, romantic sentiment. Most people long to hear it. Three little words make a powerful implication. They epitomize the intimacy of a relationship.

But have you ever said those words prematurely, incorrectly, or even manipulatively? Have you ever wished you hadn’t said it? Sometimes – propelled by a fear of losing someone they’re in relationship with – people may feel a need to rush love. A strong need for one’s emotions to be reciprocated may prematurely accelerate a mere infatuation. The drive persists to ignore red flags indicating ‘maybe this isn’t the one.’ A growing fear of rejection demands the relationship be taken to a new level: one of professed love. However, the relationship has now evolved from an insecure foundation, and that can be a big problem.

Insecurity is one of the biggest contributors to poor relationship choices. A lack of confidence to let the relationship play out naturally creates a premature union, often plagued with self-doubt.

Contemplate retrospectively for a moment. Choose a relationship that failed. Maybe you loved the person, maybe you didn’t, or maybe you just thought you did. Was the relationship allowed to mature naturally? If not:

» Were you happy or sad most of the time?

» Did you feel good about yourself, or were you critical?

» Were you confident or insecure?

» Overall, did you enjoy life more or less because of the relationship?

Odds are, if the relationship was a negative situation, it was rushed. The sweetness of I love you pales quickly when mixed with emotional pain, uncertainty, or cutting words. If a relationship makes you feel worse about yourself, something is not right.

So, what is real love?

Let’s turn to one of my favorite, and most reliable, tools to take a look at the meaning of the word: The Dictionary. Love – according to – can be defined in many ways. (love. (n.d.). Unabridged (v 1.0.1). Retrieved October 21, 2006, from website:

» a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person

» a feeling of warm personal attachment

» sexual passion or desire

» affectionate concern for the well-being of others

» strong predilection, enthusiasm, or liking for anything

» to have a strong liking for; take great pleasure in

» to need or require; benefit greatly from

Yet, I don’t know that even the dictionary has defined our subject to my satisfaction. Over the years, I’ve discovered that actions do speak louder than words. So, linguistics aside, love – to me – is more of a behavior. An action word rather than a noun. The words of a lover are sweet to our ears, but the actions of one who loves us are pleasing to the soul. When our mate is kind, compassionate and gentle, a sincere love is possible. Where there is trust, faithfulness,, and commitment, a true love is probable. And when you have a mate who supports you unconditionally, believes you, and always has your best interest at heart – you are tugging at the heart strings of genuine love. Contrary to popular romantic notion, love isn’t always easy. It is often a conscious choice. Ironically, the one who makes the choice to love in this manner is often a very romantic person.

Love is patient
Love is kind
It does not envy
It does not boast
It is not proud
It is not rude
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
(1 Cor 13:4-8, NIV)

Note: The A Better You column will be on hiatus during December, but will be back again starting January 6, 2007.

Jo Ann Fore welcomes your comments about this article or suggestions for material you would like to see in future articles. Email her at: A Better You is published every Saturday.

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