The Many Faces of Love: The Personal Side

A young woman and young man posing for a picture before heading off to their senior prom. 

A bride and groom standing on a beach reciting their wedding vows.

A mother of a new baby getting up at all hours of the night to feed, change and rock her new baby.

A kindergarten teacher giving every student a hug on the first morning of kindergarten.

A father of a physically disabled son who bathes, clothes and feeds his boy every day.

A man who helps his friend and family pack and move a house.

A woman who drives her friend to every single chemotherapy treatment. 

An elderly woman caring for her husband of 60+ years who has Alzheimer’s.

Here are just a few definitions of love that come to mind when I try to envision what love looks like to me. The truth is, as I have grown older, I have come to realize that love is so different and so much more than we see in movies or read in books. For example, romantic love may start out Hollywood style all shiny and new on a beach where two people commit their lives to each other. But deeper love will be forged in sickness, late nights spent working, financial stressors and family struggles.

And with kids. Love starts sweet and easy with a precious new baby, but develops into something different and richer over time. Memories are made and new challenges are faced as children grow from toddlers to tweens and then young adults. Parental love does not wane, but continues over time to develop and strengthen with the ever-changing seasons of parenthood.

How we give and receive love evolves depending on our relationships and accompanying life seasons.  Most likely, a couple who has been together for many years will at least in some ways give and receive love differently than they once did. And that is just fine. The important thing is to realize what season of life you are in and what love looks like to you there. 

One final thought. The constant variable of love—no matter the person or the season—is that it does. Love does. Love goes, it stays, it works, it gives, it listens, it asks, it holds and it lets go. Love is an action word. At the end of our lives, I believe our relationships are what will have mattered most to us. So, how are your relationships doing? Are you struggling with communication, facing a major life stressor or just wanting a deeper level of emotional intimacy with your loved one? An Orlando licensed mental health counselor can help you learn how to give and get the most out of your most valued relationships. Call Life Enhancement Counseling Services today at 407-443-8862 to schedule an appointment.


Yolanda Brailey