In common conception, love is an event. It’s an experience you "fall" into and out of. This is both a magical and intimidating way to imagine love – uncontrollable, powerful, romantic, and consuming. When it happens, we’re afraid we’ll lose it. When it's lost, we feel adrift, unsure of how to navigate back.
But I wonder what it might be like if we shifted our perspective. What if we saw love not as an event or a state of being, but as a continuous process; a verb rather than a noun? To love is to attend, to nurture, to give effort toward continuously and consistently. A journey rather than a destination.
I want to encourage us to approach love with the same dedication and commitment that we approach other aspects of our lives. Instead of passively waiting for love to happen to us, we actively participate in its cultivation and growth. Shifting our perspective in this way opens up possibilities. It allows us to see love as something within our control or something we can actively shape over time. It empowers us to take ownership of our relationships and invest in them wholeheartedly, knowing that the effort can lead to deeper connections and greater fulfillment.
"What if we saw love not as an event or a state of being, but as a continuous process; a verb rather than a noun?"
Embracing Love as a Verb
So how can we embrace this view of love? Here are a few suggestions:
Take the time to reflect on your feelings and experiences in your relationship. Notice the small gestures of love and connection and appreciate them for what they are—building blocks of a strong and enduring bond.
Share your thoughts and feelings with your partner openly and honestly. Create a safe space where you can express yourselves without fear of judgment or criticism and listen actively to each other's perspectives.
Instead of waiting for love to happen, set intentions for how you want to show up in your relationship or the type of relationship you want to build. What actions can you take today to nurture your connection with your partner and deepen your love for each other?
Take the time to express gratitude for your partner and your relationship. Acknowledge the ways in which they enrich and bring joy to your life.
Let's recognize love for the ongoing process it is and approach it with dedication, effort, and commitment, knowing that the rewards of deeper connection and intimacy are worth every step.
If you are facing relationship challenges that feel insurmountable, don’t hesitate to reach out for support. This perspective shift can feel radically new and relationship counseling can offer space and strategies to help partners transition into this way of understanding and loving.