Today is my two-year wedding anniversary with Cindy, and wanted to reflect on love. What is love? Why is love important? How is love manifested in a relationship?
The funny thing about my relationship with Cindy: we met totally by chance/randomly.
We both met at UCLA as undergraduate university students, and came from two totally different worlds. We both met at UCLA Kyrie, a Catholic fellowship, and I knew Cindy since my freshman year, but didn’t actually start really interacting/engaging her until my third Junior year.
Why did we start talking? Well, it was my dream/ambition to travel the world, and to backpack through Europe. I knew Cindy traveled abroad in Paris, and I went to her for advice.
Cindy taught me about backpacking, traveling light, hostels, and Ryanair. We started to spend a lot of time together, and realized that we actually had a lot more in common than we thought we did.
Just for your reference, from the outside, we seemed like polar opposites. I was this rude, crude, guy in college who liked to joke, party, and do ridiculous stuff. Cindy was the intellectual poet and scholar.
While Cindy was having wine and cheese parties, I was taking beer bongs and would party in Ktown.
So when people heard that we were first dating, people were just confused.
Find a life partner whose dreams you believe in!
Anyways so the first lesson is this:
You seriously have no way of knowing who you are “compatible” with, or who you will end up thriving together in life with.
I honestly think the best thing about going to UCLA was meeting Cindy. Why? UCLA was a filter: because it’s so hard to get into the school, the students who get accepted are generally hustlers, hard workers, and holistically interesting people. Therefore I don’t think I could have met a Cindy (she’s incredibly smart, talented, intellectual, artistic across many different fields, and hard-working) at a less rigorous to get into school.
I also found that personality isn’t that important for love. More important is sharing the same ethics, the same passions, interests, and a similar life ethic. For example, I’m an “ESFP” while Cindy is an “INTJ”. I’m an extreme extrovert, Cindy is more introverted. Cindy loves structure, I thrive off chaos and randomness and “going with the flow”. However our ethics and life philosophies are on the same page: we both believe in hard work, hustling, making stuff, the value of art, love for family and friends, as well as this spirit of travel, exploration, and innovation.
How does love get manifested in our relationship?
I see love as an action; a series of everyday actions. Not an emotion.
For example, I show my love for Cindy when I get angry at her, and I bite my tongue and don’t say or do anything petty. I show my love for her by being patient.
Cindy shows her love for me by encouraging me, making me yummy morning coffee, and by helping me.
I show my love for Cindy by being a “yes sayer”; encouraging her creative projects, and also assisting her. For example when she makes creative art films (like MISS STEP), I was the cameraman. I show my love by not being a nay-sayer.
Love is action
I also think you can show love to your life partner by small gestures. For example waking up in the middle of the (very cold) night, and getting out of the warm bed to get Cindy a glass of water at midnight. Or by cleaning dishes for her. Or by listening to her, and giving her my 100% attention when I’m talking with her (not looking at a phone, laptop, tablet, or device). Also showing her love by giving her suggestions and ideas on her creative projects, and being a sounding board for her creative ideas.
Define love for yourself
I don’t think there is an ultimate definition of love. I think the great thing about life is this:
We all have the power to define love for ourselves, and we also have the power to show love to our loved ones in a way which we desire to.
In short, I would define love as empowering your partner, believing in their dreams, and working hard to help make their dreams into a reality.
I love you Cindy and will never give up on you, your dreams, and will be the best assistant for your creative projects, pursuits, and moonshots.