Sometimes, it seems, we make loving our mate too complicated. Yes, being in a healthy marriage, a truly thriving one takes effort, skill and a huge capacity to love and forgive. Yet in all the moving parts that keep our love life growing and with the curve balls life brings each of us, it can help to simplify some of our thoughts and ideas about love and connection.
One way to think of this involves a close look at the lens through which we see our lover. There are several.
One is the lens of need -- what can I get from you. After all, you're my spouse and I deserve to be treated with love and respect. Might call this the "selfish" lens -- the "what have you done for me lately" perspective.
Another is the lens of complacency. Here we don't work on much in the marriage but just expect it to go along smoothly. Never works.
Yet another is the lens of mutuality. Here we focus on give and take. We expect to be loved but realize it's a two way street. Good bonding and connection come from this perspective. This would be the healthy lens -- where mutual love and values and deep bonding emerge over time.
But what about a simpler way to love? A simpler lens to guide us? A new way of thinking of how to create a soul-mate connection and depth with your lover? How about loving your mate "just because?" May sound simplistic but what if we spent time focusing on our lover for who she is? Who he is? And then love them just because of who they are?
Let's look at how this might work. Here's a short list of ideas. Share them together. Create your own list.
I love you just because:
1. You're a cool chic, a neat guy
2. I love your smile
3. You make me smile
4. You're sexy
5. You enjoy simple conversations with me
6. You laugh at my silly jokes
7. You try hard in life
8. You stand for something
9. You fight for the right things
10. Of your flaws. We all have them and I'm choosing to smile at yours
11. You tell me you are sorry
12. You put up with me
13. You want the best for me
14. You want good things for me in life
15. You're a great mother
16. You're a great father
17. You like me naked
18. You like me dressed
19. You like me -- period
20. You tolerate my insecurities
21. You encourage me to tackle life
Wouldn't it be great if somewhere in the front of our brains and tips of our tongues, we carried around an "I love you just because" list? In other words, we looked into the eyes and heart of our mate and just remembered all the ways we love them and accept them. For who they are. Not for what we need them to be. For their personalities, quirks and all. Even for the quirks that sometimes annoy us. Where we can say, "I see you. And you are great." And "You do it for me."
Can love be made more simple? You decide. Give it a try. Try out a new lens. Create your own "I love you just because" lists and see where you go with your life partner, your mate. You may just find yourselves on the ride of you life.
And may be even simpler than you think.
Follow Doug and Leslie Gustafson on Twitter: www.twitter.com/authentictrue