“What Is Love?” By HH AlSayyida Basma Al Said

What is true love? Is it red flowers? Or a romantic dinner with candles?

We often hear love songs that make us yearn to be with the one we adore, we watch romantic movies and wish we were the characters. We hear about teenagers in love and get excited about those who are getting married. As people, we are always searching for love. Searching for the person who will love us and care for us. It is our human nature to want to find love and have a loving family – it is the innate ultimate dream of all humans. We are on the lookout for true love and we want to find the one that will truly love us, cherish us and look after us all of our life. It is one of those dreams that we all have as
teenagers and even as we grow up. But what is true love? When I was asked to write an article about love I thought it would be easy. But when I really started to think about it I asked myself “what would someone like me write about love when so many scientists and philosophers have already written about it?” So I decided to write about a different kind of love. One that is inspired by mutual respect. A love-filled
with sacrifices and concessions. As Valentine’s Day approaches we look into the different types of love. Her Highness Sayyida Basma Al Said, Psychotherapist and Clinical Hypnotherapist and founder of Whispers of Serenity discusses the true meaning of love in the 21st century.

So what is true love? Is love only between a husband and wife? Or is it between a mother and daughter? Between a father and his son? Between friends?

“True love” is the kind of love that accepts differences and disadvantages. It is giving the other
party the freedom to express their feelings without boundaries. Because everything each party expresses will be from the heart. I think true love is respect and that to me is one of the main pillars of love. To
me, love is knowing when the other person is happy or sad; it is when you know the other person needs support and you are there to give it. True love is eternal. There is trust between partners that is built over time. Even if arguments and misunderstandings happen, as we all face sadness and challenges in life. But
when you love someone you help them through their challenges. True love is about having a certain level of understanding. Even when you are apart you still hold respect and grateful wishes for the other party.

“I love you” isn’t as easy to say as many people think. When you say it you really have to mean it. It’s not just words. A lot of people use this word flippantly, at the end of a phone call for example. Love doesn’t have to be an expensive gift or empty promises. Love is a sweet and honest world. True love is one that
lasts and it has to be managed correctly. I once read a story by an English writer where a husband tells a love story to his wife about a young woman who falls in love with a man. But when you go deeper into the story, you find that the husband actually is the young man in the story and he is telling his wife who
has Alzheimer’s Disease. Every time she forgets, he reminds her and for me, this is true love. Couples often come to me for advice, asking what the secrets are to a successful relationship. I tell them to
listen carefully to each other and dedicate one day to doing something special together. Remind each other of their importance. Note down any feelings or thoughts you may have in regards to the relationship and discuss them openly. There is a lot of advice I could give however what any steps require is trust – without this, my advice will be worthless.

Time is very important in any relationship and talking is very easy but with time and practice, you will feel
different. There should be no special day for love. The more you invest in a relationship, the stronger it gets, but your feelings have to be genuine and true. As we grow up, we notice that our understanding of love changes at every age. When you are a child you have a certain kind of love and when you are a teenager it grows into something else. It keeps changing as you pass through different stages of life.

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