Yep!  It happens every year. Hallmark reigns! Candy, flowers, jewelry, Victoria’s Secret(s) – and for those who can actually stick it out for many a decade, like I did, a beautiful  brand new shiny —- Juicer!

The men get cards, kisses and  — if they’re lucky, they get to use their Viagra. And all of this is predicated on the existence of “love.”

OK. I’m talking about what is sometimes referred to as “romantic” love, not parental or filial love,  (that’s for another column)  not love for a pet, or a football team, or a bauble or ice cream.

For Lo! these many years, I have been seeking a universal  definition of that word. And in response to my many queries, no two have been identical. Seems there is no real consensus when it comes to a definition of the word. Some people experience love with longevity  and manage to sustain “it” despite some of “its” most ruthless challenges. Others experience love as a temporary high, and do not look for sustainability, but satisfy themselves with one day at a time.  And still others live out “its” fantasy and find themselves devastated  by “its” mercurial nature. They accept the ups of “it” and  “give up” at the first sign of “down.” And then there are those who slog along on the tail of disappointment and live in a constant state of hurt, anger and resentment. Woe be to them.

And so, in the interest of serious research, I went to the website for the “scholarly” ( not so ) definition of the word love. Here is the ho-hum result: “a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.”   That’s it?  Nol! It proceeds to give 27 repetitions of the same concept, neglecting, I note, to indicate anything about the waxing and waning complexities, and changing characteristics that exist within a very volatile time-line.  In other words, it doesn’t tell you how the very nature of love mutates and grows and changes or diminishes with time. THAT is the discovery of “Everyman.” (generic for “humankind “)

In my further research into the commonalities of a sustainable “love,” I found this most illuminating book which I highly recommend to anyone about to embark on a new “love journey,” as well as to people who are already ensconced in one. It’s called, “Conscious Loving,” by Gay Hendricks and Kathlyn Hendricks, married family therapists.


Here, from the Amazon review:

"…. Through their own marriage and through twenty years’ experience counseling more than one thousand couples, therapists Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks have developed precise strategies to help you create a vital partnership and enhance the energy, creativity, and happiness of each individual. You will learn how to: Let go of power struggles and need for control; Balance needs for closeness and separateness; Increase intimacy …;  Communicate in a positive way that stops arguments; Make agreements you can keep; Allow more pleasure into your life. Addressed to individuals as well as to couples, Conscious Loving will heal old hurts and deepen your capacity for enjoyment, security, and enduing love….”

Go to the library, or order it on Amazon (their used books are cheaper) . Let me know how it works for you.

Meanwhile – have a Happy Valentine’s Day  — and give it all your “lovingness.”

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