I saw this key next to a brochure promising, “Real Love,” sitting on a bench this morning when I took my walk. It seemed as if they were ‘planted.’ A little contrived, I thought. And yet? There was no one around but me. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could find ‘real’ love on a park bench? Walk up, read the tract and then. . . just turn the key?
Once, while counseling a couple of almost 40 years, the husband suddenly turned to me and said, “You know? I just don’t ever want to argue with her. I love her too much.” Thousands of songs have been written about love and the platitudes are endless: love is holding hands and not caring if the other person is holding too tight or not tightly enough. It is not having to prove you’re right or prove anything at all because there is nothing to prove. Love is not making the other person happy but sharing in their joy. Love lifts you up. It doesn’t break you down into your lowest common denominator as if you were a mathematical equation or squeeze you into a box. It always has your back—because you matter more than any scale of justice.
And while there is truth in all of those, there is one sign that always resonates with me. I saw it in that couple. ‘Real’ love is being with someone who smiles just because they’re looking at you.