What is True Love?



“…true love comes in many colors, not just red.”

Have you ever wondered what true love really is?  As I little girl, I was mesmerized by such fairytales as Cinderella and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.  I dreamed of one day meeting my own prince charming and hence finding true love.

Most of us think of true love as something experienced by a man and a woman, or a person and their significant other.  I mean, after all, doesn’t true love require physical attraction and intimacy?  A psychologist by the name of Robert Sternberg came up with the triangular theory of love which is made up of three parts: intimacy, passion and commitment.  According to his theory, the amount of love one experiences will depend on the strength of these components.  And a relationship lacking any of these components, according to this theory, is less likely to survive.

Well as they say, I must agree to disagree here.  True love doesn’t have to involve sexual or physical attraction.

Sunday was my daughter Erica’s 14th birthday and to celebrate we decided to do dinner and a movie.  Her movie of choice was Disney’s blockbuster hit, Frozen.  Both of my daughters had already seen it but they wanted to see it again as a family.  Although I had heard wonderful reviews and was expecting a good movie, I must say I was pleasantly surprised.  The movie far exceeded my expectations.

Although this film has love as its central theme like so many other Disney animations, Frozen was far more than your kiss me and we’ll live happily ever after fairytale ending.  The plot of the story revolves around the relationship between two sisters.  Anna, the youngest sister is searching for love and companionship while her sister, Elsa, keeps her sister at bay because she is afraid of harming her with her magical powers.

I don’t want to give the film away for those of you who haven’t seen it but in the end Anna needs an act of true love to save her.  But instead, Anna risks her life to save Elsa.  As the film comes to a close, we realize that this movie is not about your typical fairytale ending but rather about the unconditional, relentless love between two sisters.

As I watched the ending, I admit tears fell down my face.  I looked over at my daughter Lia and hugged her as she smiled back at me and whispered, “I knew you’d like it, Mom.”  Afterwards we went out to dinner and the conversation turned to the movie.  “I can see why you two like that movie so much.  True love is not just about love between a man and a woman.  It’s about the deep love you share with anyone in your life like grandma or grandpa.  It’s about the love you share with your sister or the love between two friends.”

Both of my daughters nodded in agreement as we sat at the hibachi grill.  After two weeks of dating my husband, I realized that I was falling in love with him.  Up until that point, I hadn’t told him that I was born with a mild case of cerebral palsy and hearing loss.  I was afraid that he would end our relationship as others had done to me in the past.  But I figured, I had to tell him because I didn’t want to risk being more hurt later.

One night, I looked at John, struggling to find the right words.  “John, I have to tell you something.” But before I could utter any words, tears fell down my face.  John looked at me scared of what I was about to say.  “John, I was born with cerebral palsy.”

I looked down afraid to face him but John quickly took my face in his hands.  “So you are still the same beautiful woman you were before.”  Is this true love, yes, it is.

When I graduated from college, I had a difficult time finding a job.  I was told by one prospective employer that I should get out of the field.  Because of my hearing impairment, she told me that I would never make it as a journalist.  Needless to say I was crushed; I went home and cried in my mother’s arms.  My beautiful mother looked at me and said, “Now Josie, you listen to me.  These people are ignorant.  You can do anything that you put your mind to, Josie.  You can do it.”

I spent the next hour or so sobbing in my mother’s reassuring arms.  Is this true love, yes, it is.

More recently, when a mass was found on my breast, my friend Vanessa came with me for my biopsy.  She took a half day off of work to be there for me.  Although I told her that I would be fine and I would be OK going alone, the truth is I was afraid and didn’t want to be alone.

Vanessa saw through me and took the time to come with me.  Although I was worried, it was an immense comfort to know that I had a wonderful, caring friend sitting in the waiting room.   Is this true love, yes it is.

My point here is true love comes in many colors, not just red.  It’s about the love and commitment between two hearts, not necessarily a man and a woman.  It’s about two people caring for one another and loving unconditionally.  It’s about seeing beyond someone’s faults and imperfections and loving them just the way they are.

Many single people go through the Valentine’s Day blues.  But the truth is you don’t have to have a date on Valentine’s Day.    Seek out a friend, family member or anyone else who touches your heart.  Make it a day to celebrate all the different shades of love in your life.


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