What Is Love?

I heard a great quote recently that defines love very well to me: “Love is the difference between loving the idea of who you need someone to be for you, and loving who they really are.”

This is a concept that usually trips us up when we are young. We feel so needy and desperate for someone else to save us from ourselves that we give ourselves away far too easily. We do not yet value ourselves and what we have to offer others.

We also have a terrible case of projecting onto others what we need them to be for us because we are not there for ourselves. We dream them up in our own heads and hope that dream can come true somehow. Sorry, but this can never work!

This is desperation and dreaming, not love. Unfortunately it often takes decades (I’m speaking from experience here!) for us to find a way to truly love and appreciate ourselves, and therefore not need so much from others.

Eventually, when we have ourselves a bit more together, we will be ready to actually love another person for exactly who they are, with all of their faults and weaknesses. This will only happen after we have accepted our own.

This process took many years of personal work for me and didn’t really happen until I was 49. Now I’ve written about how you can succeed at finding genuine love at any age. Please take a look at my books.

Laura Lee Carter, MA Counseling Psychology, the writer behind the popular online magazine Midlife Crisis Queen,has been helping others turn midlife difficulties into opportunities for personal change since 2007. Besides working as a psychotherapist, Laura Lee has authored a number of books and e-books on midlife transformation.  Don’t miss her new book: Find Your Reason to Be Here: The Search for Meaning in Midlife.Follow her on Twitter: @midlifequeen


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