Throughout my sessions with T, the topic of love has been touched upon. Last week I felt I was finally ready to ask the dread question to my T: “Do you love me?”
I sought out some advice first. I got the typical responses encouraging me to ask my T this question. But then I got a different response. This person started to explain to me a little bit about the different concepts of love: how there are different types of love.
Through this, I realized that while the concept of love is extremely important, the actual word “love” didn’t have much meaning. I realized that the fact my T cares about me is more important than a word. I was still determined to ask her the question though because I wanted to try to understand what love actually looked like.
So last session, I asked my T: “Do you love me?” I knew she wasn’t going to give me a black and white answer (she almost never does). But her answer had so much more meaning. Her response addressed the bigger picture: not our relationship but myself; my life. She doesn’t want me defining love based upon her definition or her perception. She wants me to discover love for myself and to not limit it. That is more meaningful than hearing “I love you”.
I am learning that real love is a choice and not a feeling. Feelings of love will come and go even if you choose to love someone. But it’s the times you don’t feel love and still choose to love them that define true love of a person. We all have flaws and make errors. The people who love us are the people who SEE these flaws and still love us anyways. They don’t give you the answer you want to hear, they give you answers you need to hear. They respect you, care about you, and appreciate you. It doesn’t mean that they will place your needs above theirs, but they will try to meet your needs.
I have also learned that I feel the most loved by quality time. I express love the most by the giving of self. What I need to work on is finding relationships that provide me with quality time. If I can build on that, then I can build on myself. I also learned that acts of caring are more important to me than the word “love”. I don’t need it to be said, and I don’t need to say it. And lastly, I have a very stable, safe, secure, and caring relationship with my T, and that is what is most important about our relationship…not some word.