Quick Key version


by David Truman

What is love? The simplest and truest definition is this: Love is that in us which honestly tries to make others truly happy. Note two key words there: others and truly.

True love is for others. We all want love, obviously, and there's nothing wrong with that. Even so, when you love truly, you do it for the benefit of those you love. Many a selfish person has wanted a mate for their own little purposes -- someone to have, to use, to exploit. But as everyone knows, when the primary motive behind love is selfish, it isn't really love.

Love is much more than mere selfish wanting -- it's the opposite, really. Love is being sincerely, happily, unselfishly oriented to the beloved -- their needs, their welfare, their furtherance, their happiness -- not just our own.

As a lover, you constantly ask: "What could I do, should I do, that would benefit them most?" And, when you don't do something that would be truly loving -- something that would best serve the interests of the beloved -- you ask yourself WHY NOT (and you're looking for the real reason, not just a handy excuse). Then, if you find the real reason was narrow self-interest, you change what you're doing. You can't be and remain a lover if you're primarily motivated by personal self-interest.

What's great about love is the fact that it always gets tested, eventually. Inevitably, we will have to choose between love and self-interest. For example, you have a friend who's an alcoholic. What do you give them for their birthday -- a trip to rehab, or a case of vodka?

Interesting choice! Which would you choose, and why? Would you choose what makes them happy in the long run, or what makes you popular with them right now?

Obviously, the path of short term self-interest is not the way of a true lover. For love to be true, small selfishness must take a back seat. And of course, if we find that unacceptable, we'll quit.

That's why not many people get far in love. Love is for those who can look the real requirements of love in the eye, overcome the challenges -- and thus love for real.

And needless to say, you want to be a truly loving person; because only then will you be who you really are -- a natural-born lover, by God!