I have always interpreted this cliché to mean that if you love someone, you will not see their flaws.
Love is a lot of things to a lot of people. It is often the central topic in poetry. It is interwoven into the plots of countless movies. Thousands of songs tell a story involving love. I think you will agree that, however it is defined, it is essential to life, or at least the enjoyment of life.
Paul McCartney may have summed it up best when he wrote the line, “Love is all you need.” He may be right.
You may love someone for many different reasons, perhaps because of the way they make you feel or for their admirable character traits. The reasons you love someone are personal to you just as your definition of love is personal to you.
My take on love is that the truest, longest lasting love occurs when you love somebody in spite of who they are or what they do. You love them at their weakest moments and you love them when their flaws are on display in full sunlight. In this definition of love, your eyes are open wide, and you see with 20/20 vision. You are not blind, you see it all and you love what you see even if some of what you see is not flattering or exciting.
You may initially be attracted to a person’s looks or talents or humor, but if you are still interested even after you have gone through adversity and difficulty with that person, you may very well have something special. When you take the time to learn as much as you can about the target of your affection, and you experience all of his or her qualities, traits, idiosyncrasies, and bad habits, you will be in a much better position to understand your own feelings, as well as that person’s feelings about you.
In my opinion, it is only when you get to know a person completely and you embrace the concept of being there for someone in good times and bad, sickness and health, that you will truly experience the unshakeable, unconditional form of love.
True love is forgiving, hardy, comforting, and liberating, but it most certainly is not blind!
By Scott Arney, Chief Executive Officer, Chicago Patrolmen’s Federal Credit Union.
This article is part of Arney's new series, entitled A New Use for an Old Cliché.
This installment is part of Arney's educational series, entitled The Serial Decision Maker.