Love Is…

Like many other women recently my new favorite show on television is OWN’s Love Is… It is based on the love story of Salim and Mara Brock Akil producers behind hit show Girlfriends, The Game, and Black Lightning.  The show covers various relationship topics such as, financial differences, children, exes, intimacy, religion, and black love just to name a few.

Watching Love Is actually inspired me to go to social media with a few questions of my own. One of the things I asked was for people to describe love in one word.  I discovered that there is no one word answer for what love is.  Truth is love is a complex emotion that carries with it different descriptions and meanings based on what each individual needs and requires. Most people described love in terms of acceptance, sacrifice, loyalty, and of course as just love. These descriptions reminded that as individuals our definitions of love are based independently on our own personal needs, beliefs, and requirements. So what do we do when we meet and fall in love with someone that has an entirely different belief system and carry a whole separate set of needs than what we are used to? How do we learn to love each other to that we are both receiving what we perceive as love?

So the next question I decided to ask was: Do you love how you would want to be love or do you love how your partner wants to be loved? Interesting enough most people stated that thy love their partner the way that the partner needs love. However, there were still a few that said that they love the way they need to be love as an example of how they want their partner to love them. In both love styles people are loving the best way that they know how. So the discussion continued to when is the appropriate time for us to tell someone that we are dating about our love needs. Some say this is a great discussion for the first date, some say to wait awhile until you two have been dating awhile, and some say to just wait it out and just see what happens. I’m an advocate of having this conversation sooner than later when dating someone new. Most women over 30 agree one of the worst things that we can do is to waste our time waiting quietly for someone to love us without giving them the tools that they need. Or just wasting our time with people that are just not equipped enough to love us the way we need to be even with armed with all of the proper information. A very valuable love lesson learned.

In a current society where most people like their relationships the way most like their food (fast, hot, and easy). Love is… is a refreshing reminder of what it is to find a love worth the work. It also beautiful to find a show that is able to open up exploratory conversation about what love.  Hopefully, you are able to watch and also ask some of the probing questions that each episode brings to the surface.

Lou Hargrove


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