Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Boiling Waters PH.

“What is love?”—as funny as it may be, this is one of the most difficult questions to answer. Some may define it as the most wonderful thing or feeling in the world, some say that love is sacrificial, and others might believe that love is what keeps them alive. And some would return you the question—“ano yun?”

IDEALISTIC LOVE. In a generation where love is vaguely defined, unrealistically projected and shallowly found, we sometimes get too idealistic of what the real meaning of love is—easy, perfect, sufficient and smooth-flowing like a river.

BEST FOOT FORWARD. All budding relationships I’ve seen seemed perfect. The unexplained happiness you’re feeling inside your heart, flowing to all parts of your body that makes you feel alive; sharing your firsts, the unending conversations until both of you fall asleep, the “una ka na matulog” and the reply “ehhhh ikaw na”; the excitement and the giddy feeling every time you glance eye to eye; the exchange of heart-melting remarks and hopeful promises for your future; your captured moments together displayed on your socials and always seeing the best in each other; becoming the relationship goal, being part of each other’s milestones, and even being together against the world. All relationships are perfect in the beginning because both of you show your best foot forward.

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ROCK THE BOAT. They say that you will only see one’s character when he is tested. Likewise, quality of love and commitment will only show when the relationship goes through rough sails. After a period of time, when you’ve gotten comfortable with one another and have known each other on a much deeper level, a lot of conflicts arise. It can be that your attitudes don’t go well together, your expectations aren’t being met, it can be a recurring jealousy over a person or something that takes away attention from you, “Exes Baggage,” fighting over small things until both of you explode, unexplained silence out of nowhere, bringing up past conflicts until this becomes an unending toxic cycle. And you arrive at the moment where all things lovable become the opposite.

Happiness becomes pain and sorrow, trust begins to falter, excitement becomes boredom, conversations become bickering, feelings are hurt, you become broken and you become tired—having a circle of thoughts of how you ended up being in that hopeless and loveless situation.

Not all relationships are like Disney movies that end in happily ever after. Some choose to let go to lessen the incurred damage, some choose to stay and take in all the pain and some choose to redefine love and commit to what is imperfect.

WATCH WHERE YOU ANCHOR YOUR HEART. When you love, the first thing to do is to check where your heart is anchored. When it is attached to something that is impermanent, something that is of this world, your heart may easily break. If your love is rooted in human emotions, it will fade with the days. Watch where you anchor your heart, make sure it is fixed on something that is permanent and everlasting and make sure that your love is rooted in its ultimate source—God.

WHY WE LOVE. “We love because He first loved us,” 1 John 4:19. Though we are sinners, though we have imperfections and undeserving hearts, He gave His son to us out of love so that we may be saved from our sins. And by understanding this kind of love, we can extend and share the right kind of love for others as well.

LOVING BEYOND EMOTIONS. Humans can never give perfect love, for only God can provide that. Humans are designed uniquely and have our own differences that we have to accept.

When you decide to love and engage yourself in a relationship, keep in your heart and mind that you have to love beyond emotions because emotions fade. You have to stay committed to imperfections, to things unlovable and give love impartially. So ladies, love him even if he isn’t the most handsome person in the world, love him even if he is not as neat as you are, love him even though he snores disturbingly at night, you love him even if he doesn’t love k-dramas as you do, love him even when you’re mad at him, love him even if he has done you wrong, love him for who he is, stay committed to his imperfections.

Men, love her even when her beauty fades, love her even if she doesn’t look and act like a beauty queen, love her even though she gets angry and impatient at times, love her even if she starts sounding like your mom, love her even if she gets sensitive occasionally, love her even when she rolls her eyes at you and love her even if she has done you wrong, love her for who she is, stay committed to her imperfections.

Love is such a wonderful feeling and I believe that one of the reasons for our existence is to give and extend love to the world. But guard your hearts and make sure that when you love, you love beyond what the eye meets and what the heart feels.

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