Last week in How
do You Know You are Really in Love with Someone? we provided
some modern and classic answers to this age-old question,
then asked readers to share their own answers.
One thing did NOT surprise us about the answers we received
... because this question is as deep and wide as human
experience itself, we anticipated a wide range of answers
and got precisely that.
the other hand, one tenet ran through the responses far above
and beyond any other: the willingness, the desire, to sacrifice
for the other.
Below is a small sampling of the responses we received. Whether
you agree or not with their claims, you will find they are
all eloquent in their own way. We close with the response
of Cathy Viergever, a SixWise.com reader from Shelby Township,
MI, whose response, as you will read, seems ideal to end this
"Love is a choice. The chemical feel-good reaction can
always be there but is not to be trusted. Find someone whose
moral values are the same as yours and if you love yourself,
you will be in love with that person. Commitment is the next
step and love follows."
-- Pat Zietlow, Cashton, WI
"You can never "know" you are in love, you
can only feel it inside with your heart. The mind is a separate
matter. Only when mind and heart become one in the enlightened
man do you know love of the Self, of Another, and then of
"I know that I am in love when I experience the tension
of strong longing mixed with loving feelings. I am feeling
love toward another when I feel warmth and openness with a
confident melting sensation."
"I am a truckdriver. Driving through a forest in California
I had to get out of the truck and climb up a ways on a hill
and lay on the ground and connect with the earth. I think
we become more connected with everything when we are in love."
"When you like to do anything for him or her, without
thinking right or wrong, then you really love him or her."
"Love takes the initiative and acts sacrificially to
meet the needs of others. When I am thinking more about him,
and what he needs than myself, then I know I am loving."
"Love is the intense absence of Fear."
"Although there must be some form of attraction in the
beginning, when you are contemplating sharing your life with
this person forever you must step back and look at the whole
picture he/she represents. Love is really a choice!"
"Life is either wonderful or terrible, depending on
whether your love is returned."
"When you are in love, life becomes very embraceable.
All that you encounter is rationalized without effort. There
is an undeniable completeness when you become one with your
"Love is not the fluttery feeling you get when you've
only known someone a few months. Love is the fluttery feeling
you still get when you've been with someone 10, 20, 30 years.
Love is kindness, respect (for yourself and your partner),
honesty, trustworthiness, integrity, boundaries, growth. Love
is admitting when you're wrong and rectifying the situation.
Love is knowing when to fight and when to let it go. Love
is doing things you may not want to do but know it's important
to your spouse so you do it for him/her.
"Love is never wanting your spouse to do something that
is emotionally or physically damaging to him/her or against
their moral beliefs. Love is knowing that even after the huge
fight and the present anger, you still want to be with that
person. Love is being able to be angry but still respectful.
Love is agreeing to disagree. Love is all this and so much
more. How can anyone possibly describe all that it is?
These things are only the tip of the iceberg, and yet they
-- Cathy Viergever, Shelby Township, M