The basis of human existence is love. All any of us want is to love and be loved back. “I love you to the moon and back,” we say and expect the same in return. But what does this mean for us in sustaining long-term relationships? Let’s learn more below by reading about what we must do so that we will receive the love we constantly seek.

I once read a quote that said, “Love me and I’ll move mountains for you. Hurt me and I’ll drop those mountains on your head.” I think this basically sums up two aspects of our lives. One, how love, or lack of it, can make us feel about someone (or ourselves) and two, how we have mistaken self-gratification for love. Does love really mean that you will always be happy in a relationship? We are naturally miffed when things don’t go our way or when the other person doesn’t behave the way we expect them to.

I get a lot of emails from those who are hurt in love and I meet many more who are unhappy because their relationships are not working out. Some keep complaining yet stay together, some rare few work it out and many just part ways to restore peace in their lives. “Why is it so hard for men to understand us?” an influential woman speaking on behalf of a group said to me once. “All we want is to love and be loved back.”

I didn’t mean to but I ended up chuckling. It sounded so simple — to love and be loved back. That’s what everyone wants. More or less. But, love is anything but simple. And what does it mean — to love and be loved back? If you ask me, it certainly doesn’t mean that you will be entwined in an eternal embrace with the one you love like two serpents locked in a love tangle (not the best visual, I know). A sunset walk on the beach with two people holding hands may be seen as loving and being loved back. Then again, I don’t think it’s doable every day, unless you are a lifeguard perhaps.

A candlelight dinner, maybe a vacation, a lot of attention, empathy, understanding, forgiveness, security, togetherness, loyalty, commitment and appreciation — this is how most of us see love. Many of us believe that in love you always feel secure, you feel wanted, happy, cozy and complete. That the other person is always there to fill your cup up (as if he’s an eager server at the Tiffany’s waiting to refill empty cups). All of this may be possible for all you know, but not at all times.

Ask those who have been together for decades and they’ll tell you that’s not how they see love. Ask those who have figured out the secret of life, those who are happy, and they’ll tell you that’s not what love is about. It never was. No one has ever found the “always” in love. Because, often how you see love is not how the other person sees it too. Their definition of loving may be different to yours. And, true love is reconciling the variance. It is about finding a common ground. Love is synchronizing your heartbeats, so you may both be comfortable with each other’s dissimilarities. In the absence of this mutual understanding, love remains a mere abstract and a quixotic definition.

Loving is not changing the other person but accepting the change that comes in your life with their entry. Love makes no attempt to make the other person want what you want. That is best left to possessiveness and ego.

To love means to find out what matters to the other person, to appreciate their efforts and to care about what they care about, because this shows understanding, it shows respect. It is love, for loving someone is not possible without understanding them first. To love someone the way you want to love them is not really love. To truly love means to love them the way they want to be loved. If you are loving him or her the way you like to be loved then you may not be loving them at all. You may just be giving love according to your preference and perspective. Know the difference. Learn to love if you want to be loved back.

The foundation of an everlasting relationship rests on a fundamental question two people ask each other: “What matters to you?” Once you find out what matters to the other person and begin to care about it, you are then “loving” him or her. Peace, respect, harmony arises naturally in such relationships.

Saying I love you has no meaning if you don’t know what matters to the one you love. If you have not cared to find that out or if you can’t support them in what they care about, you are mistaking attachment for love. It should not be I love you then. Instead, it should be I want you. I want you because you fulfill certain needs of mine. I need you because you make me feel a certain way. This is certainly not love but a misconception of love.  Such relationships where one partner has his or her way just because they can are dangerously unstable, toxic and taxing.

When you love the other person their way, you fill them with happiness, joy and a sense of security. And then something amazing happens. What you have filled them with, flows back from them to you. This is the way of love. If you love truly, you will be loved back. The only condition is to satisfy the condition of love itself. That is, to love is to care about the other person in the way they want. If they like spaghetti and you take them to an Asian restaurant for noodles, it’s not love.

Besides, love is a universal phenomenon and not an individual acquisition. Your account of love is not only linked to the one you love but everyone else too in the creation. When you commit to a life of love, Nature will flood you with love. You’ll be loved back. There is no other way. And then, sometimes love shows up from the most unexpected quarters. I’m reminded of a little joke someone emailed me a while ago. Quoting verbatim:

‘My grandmother told me how she ended up marrying Grandpa. She was in her 20s, and the man she was dating left for war.

“We were in love,” she recalled, “and wrote to each other every week. It was during that time that I discovered how wonderful your grandfather was.”
“Did you marry Grandpa when he came home from the war?” I asked.
“Nah, I didn’t marry the man who wrote the letters. Your grandfather was the mailman”.’

Hopefully, your love won’t show up as twisted. But then again, love is a strange visitor who knocks on the most unexpected door, at the least expected time.

Let me ask again: does love really mean that you will always be happy in a relationship? No. Love means that you share your joys and sorrows, that you grow together and accept the vulnerability that comes with being in love. You will get hurt at times and you will be unhappy sometimes. As long as you care about the other person, you are still in love.

If you are aching to love and be loved back then begin by asking the most important question to the one you love, “What matters to you?” Thereafter, listen to them and pay attention. Align your thoughts, speech and actions accordingly. And then wait to be loved back. You will receive love in return. For, the only thing true love attracts is love. You love someone the way they want to be loved, and you will be loved back the way you dream of. As you continue to love, your own dreams and ambitions will change over time. This new change better positions you to receive grace and love. Be patient though.

Love is but your own reflection in the mirror of your consciousness. You take one step towards it and it takes two towards you. You move away a step and it moves away twice as many. You stay still and it remains still. At any rate, a great deal depends on you.

Love like you’ve lost yourself. It’s only in that loss that you gain anything significant. Besides, loss or gain, either way, you grow as a person — spiritually and emotionally. It’s worth it.

Peace.
Swami

 

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Most of us have experienced intense love with another person, the kind of love that makes us tell the other person, “I love you to the moon and back” and long to hear the same in return. Yet, there are many layers to this kind of love. Read on to understand what it means to grow and sustain love so that we may feel fulfilled and content.
Is the “I love you to the moon and back” kind of love feasible in a marriage?

Forming relationships or breaking them is rarely a black-and-white matter. It is not always easy to just call off or put up. Your state of mind is greatly if not constantly, affected by your relationships. Both partners need to accept that they have certain expectations from each other. When you say, “I love you to the moon and back” when you give your heart, body, and soul to an individual, it is natural that you expect something similar in kind.

That should be the primary basis of your analysis, whether your partner is there for you when you need him and vice-versa. If you are not there for each other, you are not married.

Marriage is about growing together, being together, exploring together, working together, loving together, crying together. It is about togetherness. Read more here.

Is telling someone “I love you to the moon and back” the same as unconditional love?

Does selfless, unconditional love exist? The “I love you to the moon and back” kind of love? Yes. It is a rarity, though. Selfless care is more common. When you want someone to love you the way you love them, you are asking for a little too much. Because, for them to love you back the same way, they would have to be exactly like you, they would need to want what you want, they would need to lose their own identity. When you want someone to love you the way you love them is also not unconditional love. Because you still have a condition.

The young and rich widow says to Mulla, “Will you always love me this much?”
“The sun may rise from the west,” said he, “but my love for you can’t go down even by an ounce.”
“Well, my in-laws have filed a suit against me, and I’m likely to lose all my wealth.”
“That doesn’t bother me,” Mulla said confidently, “I may never see you again, but I’ll never stop loving you.” Read more here.

My partner and I shared the “I love you to the moon and back” kind of love but we are drifting apart now. How can we bring back what we used to feel?

When love is such a fundamental and mutual requirement of human existence, have you then ever wondered that why do people struggle to be together or fall out so quickly? All real and mature relationships undergo a phase of crisis when everything you know is challenged. In fact, it is only in stress that you really get to know how fragile or strong a relationship is.

When something becomes normal for us, we often stop valuing it. We start to feel that we no longer have to work on ourselves or on our relationships, that those good feelings will always remain. What had been a privilege, a blessing, all along is now seen as a right. Soon, such sense of entitlement creates expectations. Unfulfilled expectations, in turn, are the root cause of all sore relationships. Read more here.

Our love was the “I love you to the moon and back” kind but we chose to break up sometime later. Why does love die?

People refer to growing in and out of love and consequently relationships. Some pledge their life and “love” to each other only to separate later on. There are many who find their love fade away with time like the most glittering colors do under the sun. But if it was true love, the “I love you to the moon and back” kind, how could it fizzle away? Truth, while it may not be absolute, is not dependent either. Similarly, true love is not conditional, for what is based on certain criteria is more an agreement.

Pure Love is innate in everyone. It is the cause of your existence and the basis of your being. It is often misplaced at the same time in most people. Love when misdirected takes the form of an attachment and when mispositioned, it promptly becomes an obsession. Till such time that you turn inward completely, you can make an effort to discover your present state of love. Read more here.

My mother constantly tells me, “I love you to the moon and back,” but we are always fighting. I feel she never understands me. What do I do?

The truth is a mother and her child are not separate entities. A child is a part of the mother in every aspect. He literally comes out of her body, they are created from her very own egg, in the womb, he partakes of the same food. A child is a mother’s life walking outside, an extension. In fact, a mother achieves immortality through her child. She lives on beyond her own years through that child. She rejoices in seeing her child outdo her.

“I love you to the moon and back” is not enough. It simply is beyond words. No one is smart enough, no words so profound, no intellect so great to even begin understanding the divinity of a mother’s love, much less encapsulate it. If you have not hugged your mother and expressed your love and gratitude to her, if you have never sat by her feet thanking her for all she has done for you, you have not yet discovered the divine side of love that is latent in you. Read more here.

Are dramatic declarations like “I love you to the moon and back” sustainable in the long run?

The truth is that if you want to make a relationship work, you have to offer space to each other. It has to have a certain degree of maturity where you are able to express your thoughts, concerns, and fears. The need for and nature of communication varies a great deal between men and women.  It all boils down to treating the other person the way they (not you!) want to be treated.

The feeling of love, in other words, is the privilege to exercise your freedom in the company of the one you want in your life. This is the highest kind of freedom and is only possible if the person you love is also allowed the same.

Most people are not waiting for their partners to go out and pluck the stars and moon for them. They simply want to be heard, they want to be acknowledged that they exist in your life, that they matter to you, and are wanted in your life. Read more here.

Read more here.

Is the “I love you to the moon and back” type of relationship based on real love or mere attachment?

“What does it even mean when we say I love you?” I asked a group of people. “It means we have feelings for the other person,” one answered. But what does having feelings mean?

Before I write about unconditional love or even just love, it would help to distinguish between love and attachment. Attachment says you are mine and love says I am yours. Love is not worried about exclusivity, it is about peace, it is about happiness whereas attachment is just another term for possessiveness. Love says I don’t want to hurt you, attachment says I don’t want to lose you.

In our world, love is generally no more than a claim and mostly it has attachment, possessiveness and desire rolled into one. Read more here.

If someone tells me, “I love you to the moon and back,” can I expect that they will always be there for me?

In a marriage, or in any other relationship for that matter, you must take responsibility for your own actions. The other person is not responsible for making you feel happy and good all the time. Give freedom to each other so that you may create a positive environment that’s conducive to mutual growth. In that free environment, love and friendship will flourish like creepers do on strong trees.

While marriage or love is about being yourself, it is not so at the cost of the other person. Love only knows care, it only knows service and ultimately, it only understands freedom, for, freedom is the only emotion that completes you eventually, that makes you feel human. It is utterly liberating. Read more here.

“I love you to the moon and back,” he told me but broke up with me a few months later. How do I move on from this hurtful experience?

Stop looking at yourself as the victim. I know you may not like it but it’s the truth. If you are getting hurt because you are in an abusive relationship, in which case we need to deal with it differently, I agree you are the victim. But, in normal relationships, when you choose to ignore what the other person really wants, and when you focus on only your preferences, you automatically set yourself up for great disappointment.

Nature operates in a wholesome and integrated manner. When you are hurt, you should take a hard look at if you are hurting someone too?

Reflect on the above and act accordingly, and I promise you’ll become your own witness to a powerful inner transformation. Your mind will become like the quiet sea, like the blue sky, like the gentle breeze, like the steady stream. Read more here.