I have a clear memory from when I was growing up of a book that my mother owned called Confucius Says. It was my introduction to the philosopher, and among other things, there was one page entitled “Confucius Says, Love Is…”. It bothered me in my late teens and very early twenties that I couldn’t remember what Confucius had said that love was. What was it? What was I searching for? Was it compromise that caused a pang of sadness when a boyfriend told me yet again that I was not welcome to go out and socialise with him? Was it sharing, like the boyfriend who seemed much more interested in my professional opinion of how to manage his staff than who I was without my work hat on? Then, when I was 23 years old, I met (or re-met really, but that’s another story) my husband. And I realised that it didn’t matter what Confucius said. This is what love is to me.
Love is… holding hands.
Love is… supporting each other’s passions and interests, even if you don’t always share them.
Love is… trying hard to remember each other’s colleagues names so that you can keep up with work chatter.
Love is… changing the sheets because you know your other half loves fresh bedlinen.
Love is… sneaking a chocolate bar into your other half’s work bag because you know they have a tough day ahead.
Love is… calling on your way home and asking what take-away they’d like.
Love is… watching a romcom (or any other film genre that wouldn’t normally make your list) because that’s the kind of day it’s been, and it might not be your cup of tea but it’s theirs.
Love is… making a cup of tea, just because.
Love is… doing the dishes, even when it’s not your turn.
Love is… telling them a joke to make them laugh.
Love is… printing a photo of them, because you adore it.
Love is… worrying about them when they come home late and the ‘Find Friends’ app on your iPhone says that their location is “not available” (or perhaps even worse the time that it suggested my husband was in the local river for 30 minutes…).
Love is… getting cross with them for doing something stupid because you couldn’t imagine a minute of your day without them in your life.
Love is… knowing when to say sorry.
Love is… knowing that sometimes the best way to respond in an argument is to give them a hug.
Love is… searching for an ‘incognito’ tab on your Internet browser so that you can spend hours looking for the perfect gift for them.
Love is… buying that gift outside of Christmas, birthday, Valentines day, an anniversary, and giving it to them ‘just because’.
Love is… taking a detour through a drive-thru to pick them up a meal.
Love is… talking it through, and never going to sleep on an argument.
Love is… being there for each other.
Love is… being the calm one when they need to cry and wobble and shout and scream about something.
Love is… unplugging the phone and running them a bath, because they bloomin’ well deserve a night off.
Love is… sitting in the same room to work, just so that you are close to each other.
Love is… being friends.
Love is… knowing when to be silent.
Love is… knowing when to step back.
Love is… knowing when to take over and let them have a moment of rest.
Love is… building each other up.
Love is… being a team.
Love is… staying hopeful, together.
Love is… knowing that you can always talk to them, no matter what the subject.
Every relationship is different. What would you add?
Love is… being a tripod…
The Tale of Mummyhood