Singles Awareness Day (S.A.D.)…that is how a young acquaintance describes Valentine’s Day this year. There are currently 54 million singles in the United States. I admit I have been out of the loop on the S.A.D. celebration. I married my high school sweetheart after college and have never experienced the ‘single’ tag.
Ours was a five year courtship, separated for two years while attending different learning institutions. We sent letters back and forth while apart and had a few long-distance phone calls which were expensive back then. We shared dreams for a future we knew included each other.
Sustainable love for one another appears to be elusive for many in today’s culture. Or that is what we are led to believe.
Finding that perfect someone has been the hook of online dating sites for 15 years now. A billion dollar industry numbering over a thousand, these dating services use a complex algorithm to determine compatibility. It’s all about the numbers. The hope is they lead to a higher connectivity rate. Of course results are predicated on the level of honesty during the interview process.
“The science of love”, a segment on the most recent edition of CBS Sunday Morning, focused on the use of mathematics as a determinant of compatibility. Here is a link. The question for me is whether these numbers equate to love. Is there something more?
The key to a loving relationship, one that lasts, is the deepest sense of love attainable: a selfless love of God and our fellow man, a spiritual love, what some call agape love. Every successful relationship starts here.
While by no means formulaic, a self-sacrificing love does include some necessary traits: compassion, empathy, listening, forgiveness, generosity, patience, thoughtfulness and activity.
Awareness of these qualities and living them are invaluable to the sustainability of an authentic relationship, romantic or otherwise. And what’s fascinating is the more love you give, the more you get back. That’s a formula I can live with. It’s been my experience and I have proven it time and again.
The numbers actually add up. My wife and I love each other more every day.