Love & Relationships

That Special Feeling You Get When You Meet Someone Is Not Love

brutal truths about life

If you’ve seen Disney’s Bambi, you are sure to remember the scene where Friend Owl explains to a perplexed Bambi, Thumper, and Flower what it means to be “twitterpated.”

“Yes,” explains the owl, “Nearly everybody gets twitterpated in the springtime. For example, You’re walking along, minding your own business. You’re looking neither to the left nor the right when all of a sudden you run smack into a pretty face. Whoo-Whoo!

You begin to get weak in the knees. Your head’s in a whirl. And then you feel light as a feather, and before you know it, you’re talking on air. And then you know what? You’re knocked for a loop, and you completely lose your head!”

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We can all laugh at the funny scene from a beloved children’s classic, but our chick flicks and romance novels sometimes paint love in much the same way. Love is “butterflies in your stomach”…in short, love is described as a feeling, and in doing so, love is cheapened.

When we believe that love is only “falling in love” we are just as likely to believe in “falling out of love.”  If you want your marriage to last, however, you must quickly change your definition of love. Love isn’t just a feeling. You’re not going to feel  “twitterpated” 24/7 through all the different seasons of life. You see, love is a commitment.

Love is a Commitment

It’s relatively easy to fall in love. It is the staying in love that poses a problem for so many. Initially, feelings draw us toward our mate. They’re powerful, wild, passionate, and exhilarating. They are the glue that pulls you together, but they won’t sustain you forever past your wedding day.

Real love, is committing to another imperfect human being. It is taking your marriage vows seriously, choosing to love someone who has just as many issues as you have. Someone with their insecurities, quirks, and imperfections.

That euphoric feeling of love you experience initially draws you to your partner, but it will never be enough to sustain you through a lifelong partnership. A deliberate choice to love does that. It is a voluntary commitment that enables you to stick with each other for better or worse, in sickness and health, and for richer or for poorer.

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Love is a Decision

Too often we are caught up on the overbearing emphasis on feelings. Feelings are a very fickle thing to use as your compass though. How many marriages are shattered and families destroyed when one or both parties decide to follow their feelings into adultery?

Do those who cheat have genuine feelings of attraction and passion, and “love” with whom they cheat? Sure. They are caught up in the initial rush that’s exciting and compelling. But are those feelings to be trusted? No.

Love is a decision to be faithful. It is a choice you have to make, and take steps to execute. When you actually love someone you know that feelings can quickly lead you astray. Real love asks you to stay and do the right thing even when you don’t feel like.

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And frankly, there will be a lot of times when you won’t feel like it. It’s hard to forgive, support, heck even to just like your spouse at times. But real love is much more beautiful than a flimsy foundation of feelings.

Love is an Action

Think of it this way: we love our children unconditionally even when they aren’t their most lovable selves. Those feelings of euphoria when snuggling that precious newborn aren’t likely to be present when your 4-year old has their 3rd meltdown of the day. But the love is there in action. You don’t fall out of love with your children, so why is your marriage any different?

You see, the power to love is within you. You have the authority to shape, influence and develop your love. You aren’t preying to chance, feelings, and destiny. Your love is a choice; its commitment, it is an action.

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