Recently I have been exploring the concept of “love”. It is a small four letter word but it can have many, many meanings. The Greeks and Romans had multiple words that we all lump together in the word “love”. Yet we seldom ask, “What do you mean by “I love you” when you say it?” And the few times I have asked the person I am seeking clarification from, they often get offended. This is not going to be another writing comparing the types of love as the ancient cultures understood them or even as modern cultures try to. This is going to be a writing about the three steps of love that I have found in my own life and how they apply in my relationships
I have discovered three steps of love exist in my life. One of them is a completely involuntary reflex; the other two I have control over. Here are the three steps of love I have found:
Love the emotion
Love the decision
Love the action
Love the emotion is easy, easy to do, easy to feel easy to explain. It’s a warm fuzzy somewhere in the abdominal cavity. It creates a glow and a joy. Love the feeling can be for anything or anyone. It can be love of a person, moment, flower or even a pizza. I suspect everyone has felt love of this sort at some point in their lives. I feel it multiple times a day.
Love the decision takes time. At least for me it takes time. It is an intentional, deliberate, mindful decision on my part. It’s my commitment to learn to see an imperfect person or thing perfectly and to accept them and their perfections and flaws as a whole. It is a promise to try to see that person always in the way a loving creator does. It’s a commitment to the third kind of love. This is where I will commit say “loving you” rather than “love you”
Love the action is an ongoing never ending thing. It is here where love languages are used and learned. Here’s where acts of service, words of affirmation, gifts, time and every other thing that is done in the name of love with the hope of making the other person as happy as possibly comes from. It is an exploration of the person or thing that is loved in an effort to always find the beauty and best of them. It’s sharing, exploring, creating, adoring and time consuming. It is actively giving of yourself for them. It can take on very different appearances as you learn how the other person/thing can receive and feel your love and also as they learn how take it and how you give it.
Here is something else I have learned about love the action. I’ve learned if after I make the decision, if I am prevented from taking the actions of love, I start to lose the feeling of love. I feel instead the pain of not being permitted to act out of love and I have to deal with and accept that pain. The pain of deciding to love someone and of deciding to try and find ways to show them I do love them and being told “no you can’t love me that way”.
Love is unconditional. Relationships are not. The emotion of love is unconditional. The action of love can be but isn’t always. The decision of love is personal. And the decision can be revoked. As painful as it is to admit that, I can revoke the decision to love and choose not to take the actions of love.
Will the feeling of love remain? Yes. For me it always does. But it ends up paired with a hurt and agony of knowing I had to choose to stop loving them with the action and choice. Choosing not to love causes great pain to me after deciding I would love. I don’t revoke that decision easily or gladly. So far in my life there has only been twice I have revoked my decision to love someone.
There have been those who decided to reject my actions of love before and thus unmake my choice for me yet I still choose to love then even though I also choose in my love of them to respect their limits on how I show such love.
When entering the realms of relationships, consensual relationships, we can feel the emotion of love without any concern. We can also choose to make the decision to love. What we cannot do is force someone to accept the actions of love.
With my husband, we have 14 years to practice how we give the acts of love to each other. I cook for him; he gives me head scritches. He lights a candle for me at night so I don’t have to sleep in the dark (yes, I am afraid of the dark). I make sure there is a breakfast ready for him to take to work. Regularly if we are facing a challenge in our relationship, it boils down to one or both of us not understanding or wanting the actions of love the other is giving. So we talk and figure out how to give and receive love in ways that work for both of us. Even managing our finances has become an act of love that we give the other.
We decided to love each other years ago and we are still learning how to do that well. It is fun and crazy yet our commitment to love each other stays, even if the emotion of love fades for a while due to the other stresses of life.
With my Master of Origin, I still do love him in all three ways though because the nature and form of our relationship has changed, the actions with which I express my love of him have changed drastically. We have discussed what is and it not acceptable actions on both of our parts towards the other and we now have a very warm and loving friendship which we both treasure and we often share our joys and triumphs of our lives with each other.
With my old Lover Turned Owner for a few months, the feeling was very intense when we met and compounded exponentially with lust as well. For eight months I was able to enjoy all three steps of love with him as well. When that ended, I was not permitted to take any of the actions of love with him. I still choose to love him and in my choice I respect his decision and the only actions of love I take are to respect that. Because of my inability to act upon my love for him in any way that has meaning and is fulfilling for me, the feeling of love is no longer there and in the past two plus years the decision has dated as well. The feelings I have when I think of him are melancholy, sadness and loss. We had so much and I believe we could have had even more if he had chosen to continue our relationship, in any form, yet he didn’t.
I hope you enjoyed my “brief” exploration into the steps of love as I have discovered them and how they can play into relationship, including PE relationships. If you ever have any questions about consensual slavery, poly or PE relationships, please reach out to me and I will try to help you find answers.
Dedicated Service and Excellence Always