Mostly all of us are familiar with the concept of Standard of Living, which generally refers to the level of comfort, goods, necessities, and wealth that are available to a particular class of people. But how many of us even consider our own Standard of Loving?
The Standard of Loving refers to your ability to give and receive love in a romantic relationship.
Love, in a romantic relationship, to me, incorporates the concepts of brotherly love and agape love. You speak to each other and greet each other warmly, even when you’re angry. Love languages are understood and accepted. You support each other mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and when possible, financially. You trust each other and don’t judge each other. You are patient and kind with each other, not jealous or boastful, proud or rude. You don’t demand your own way. You are forgiving and don’t play tit-for-tat. You hang in there with each other and tough out the hard times. (Refer to 1 Corinthians 13:4-7) You are each the best you can be so that love is mutually given and mutually received without undue strain. You each are a friend to the other.
So while I contemplated this concept, I, being the great analyzer that I am, considered my own standard of loving and realized that it had been too low. A lot of what is stated above is not what was represented in my own marriage–whether I “started” it or not–I participated. And in participating in a lower standard of loving, I became responsible for the effects that that lower standard had on me mentally, spiritually, emotionally, physically, and financially. See, when your loving is at a lower standard than you know you require, it eventually affects you on all levels: You may not be right with God, you can get moody or depressed, gain crazy weight, and your money can get funny, all of which happened to me.
So, what can you do?
If you’re not in a relationship, whether single, separated, or divorced, make sure that you take inventory now of what your own standard of loving is and make sure that you are in a stable position (got your mind right and your heart right) to be able to give and receive love. If not, then work on yourself. Work on becoming patient, non-judgmental, more understanding, kind, not jealous, and all the other things stated above. Then, when you are ready for a relationship, make sure you won’t settle for less than what you have to offer.
But, if you are in a relationship, whether dating, engaged, or married, then work on it! The truth is, either way, each of you will only be able to work on yourselves, not the other person! In counseling, coaching, therapy, or whatever, each person is working on him/herself at the same time the other person is working on her/himself. It’s not a matter of “we gonna go to therapy to fix her.” Instead, it’s WE are going to therapy to work on EACH OF US TOGETHER. Many people don’t get that and therefore, problems continue.
If love is important in your life, if need be, raise your standard of loving because no one should have to settle for less than they deserve.
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