What exactly is “love”? In most English speaking places, if the answer matters to you, it would be a good idea to reflect on that. For example, a person might say: “God is love,” or “I love you” or “I love ice cream.” Same word, clearly different meanings. In America, we use “love” to cover a very broad range of sentiments. The result can be quite confusing.
Nowhere does this matter more than in a close, intimate relationship. Sadly when most people say “I love you,” they don’t mean “I respect, honor and appreciate you for who you are.” (I call this authentic love.) What they more often mean is “I love what you do for ME.” (I call this needs based love.) And if there is any question about it, quit giving them what they want and see how they feel about you. If they still think you hung the moon, then they probably meant authentic love. But if they become angry or have no further use for you, then what they were referring to was a needs based love.
We’ve heard from sources the world over, and throughout history, that love is one of the most powerful forces in the human experience. If you are considering a serious relationship with a person and you want it to go well, it would be a very good idea to understand what love means to them. Then if they tell you they love you, you’ll have some idea of what they’re saying. It can lead to a long road of heartache to find out you assumed you knew what they meant, and were wrong.