According to merriam-webster.com love the short definition is:
a) a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person
b) attraction that includes sexual desire : the strong affection felt by people who have a romantic relationship
c) a person you love in a romantic way
I have experienced the first kind of love. I feel love for my family and friends. They mean the world to me. I would do anything for them and I know that I can rely on them to do a lot for me as well. But what about the other two definitions?
I don't think I have ever felt the other kinds of love. I have never really dated anyone that made me have those kinds of feelings. Most of the dates I have been on were in high school and were mostly dates to girl's choice type dances. I can count on one hand the amount of dates I have had since high school. All blind dates by the way. I did date the one guy for a couple of months but I never even started to feel those kinds of feelings I'm told come with love. He was a nice guy. We even had fun, I just didn't ever feel completely comfortable even though many of my family members were hoping it would work out. That was about 10 years ago or so.
So why I am writing this? Today is Valentine's Day. The day people dedicate to celebrating being in love. Also, I got a message from a friend wondering if I would be interested in going out with a nice guy she works with.
Let's first talk about this "nice guy." I am sure he is probably really nice but that is always what people tell me when they want to set me up. Let me tell you a little more about a few of my "blind dates." A couple of them were set up by friends and the guy I dated more than once was set up by my Grandpa Palmer. They were all "nice guys" I guess.
One guy was the brother-in-law to a friend and neighbor. She had actually dated him before she dated her husband. We decided to double and go bowling. It seemed like a good idea at the time. However once we got to the bowling alley my friend and my date spent most of the time only talking to each other while I was left visiting her husband and we bowled. Needless to say there was no second date.
Another guy was a client of one of my neighbors. It wasn't necessarily a date, we were just going to go get pizza and hang out. We sat on opposite sides of his living room and mostly talked to my neighbor and his girlfriend. There was really no connection of any kind. I didn't really feel all that comfortable around him and it had nothing to do with the fact that he had a physical handicap. I didn't feel comfortable in the fact that when he looked at me or talked to me it kind of gave me a creepy feeling. For months afterward he would call me and talk and try and get me to go out with him. After several months I almost felt like he was stalking me. I finally got up the nerve to actually be a little rude and tell him not to call me anymore. Up til then I had tried to tell him I wasn't interested but it didn't seem to matter. Anyway that kind of turned me off from dating for a while.
Another friend asked me if I would be okay with writing letters to her brother-in-law. Officially we never dated. In fact we have only ever met two or three times. We did write to each other for a few years, including while I was on my mission. He lived in Idaho and I was here in Castle Dale, Utah. I felt like we developed a good friendship and I even grew to love him, as a good friend. After a few years we kind of gradually stopped writing. I heard he got married and just this week I heard that his son got a mission call to Hong Kong. I am happy for him and hope he is happy.
So now for the guy that I dated for two months. My grandpa had always told me he knew this or that guy that he thought I might like. I always managed to put him off with back-up from my grandma. However when Grandma agreed with Grandpa that I might like this guy I finally let him set me up.
Grandpa always had season tickets to BYU football games. We decided that my dad and I would meet Grandpa and this guy and his son at the mall in Orem, Utah, go to dinner together, and then all go to the BYU Homecoming game where we would split up. He seemed really nice and his son was cute but I could tell he was a handful. We had a nice time at dinner and spent our time at the game talking and getting to know each other. However a warning sound started going off in my head when he asked me to go with them to Texas for Spring Break in March. It was October! I just told him I would think about it but that we should see where we were by then.
The next day the two of them came to visit me on their way back home to Colorado. They spent the afternoon and evening. We visited with my parents and even went and met my Grandpa & Grandma Gardner. They ended up staying the night on the living room floor and leaving bright and early the next morning. We would talk a few times a week on the phone and then he would come up to visit. He even came to a family baptism and was invited to stand in the confirmation circle. I wasn't comfortable with that but many of my family members seemed to like him and I think they were hoping something romantic would develop between us.
On our second "date" he invited me to Colorado during the Christmas break to spend a week with his parents. I felt like he was really trying to rush into a relationship. Mostly I felt like he was just looking for a mother to raise his son and not so much for a wife. I was happy that he loved his son so much but on the other hand he seemed more interested in my qualifications as a mother than he was in me. Whenever he came to town I would get a lot of anxiety and I may have even had a few panic attacks.
Finally after several weeks, he wanted to come visit one weekend and I was going to be extreme busy with family things. I didn't really want him to come. I wanted to tell him I wasn't interested in being anything more than friends but I wasn't sure how to. I have always hated confrontation of any kind even in non-threatening situations. I had been praying about what to do. In many ways I was afraid that if I broke things off I would miss my chance to ever have a romantic relationship. I was very confused and even somewhat depressed trying to decide what to do.
A few nights before he was supposed to come visit he called me. He didn't give me much chance to talk. He said that he didn't think things were going to work out. There were too many things standing in the way including distance. He apologized and I haven't heard from him since. I was relieved. I got what I wanted, an out from dating him, but I still felt bad.
There have been times over the years since then when I have wondered if I missed my chance for marriage and a family. However I know that I was not supposed to be with any of these nice guys, and they were all nice enough I guess. I have had friends of the opposite sex that people ask me about but that is what they are, just really good friends.
On the other hand, I see the things that my friends and family have gone through with broken relationships and marriages and I think maybe I am better off not ever falling in love. I have mixed feelings and it scares me. I am 40 years old and at the moment there aren't any potential candidates. What if I never fall in love?
A patriarchal blessing has two main purposes. The second, guided by the spirit of prophecy, a patriarch will pronounce blessings and may also provide promises, cautions, or admonitions that apply specifically to you. Your patriarchal blessing may point out certain things you are capable of achieving and blessings you can receive if you exercise faith and live righteously. My patriarchal blessing tells me that, "In the due time of the Lord..." I will have an opportunity to be married in the temple for time and eternity. It also says that I shall have posterity and a family here. So I need to have faith that the Lord knows what is best for me and that if I live how He would have me live I can have these blessings.
The greatest desires of my heart are to feel that kind of love that will lead me to someone who will love me unconditionally for eternity. I believe in true love that lasts for eternity and that is a different kind of love. The kind of love I want is the kind of love described in the scriptures, pure Christ-like love. Love that is defined as a feeling of deep devotion, concern, and affection. Our love for those around us increases when we remember that we are all children of God—that we are spirit brothers and sisters. The love that results from this realization has the power to transcend all boundaries of nation, creed, and color. (See: True to the Faith)
I never imagined being alone on Valentine's Day at age 40. In the meantime, I am not completely depressed about being alone. I have the love of my family and friends to get me by. I also have the love of my Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ; "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (See; John 3:16) There is no greater love than that!