Erich Fromm said, "Immature love says: 'I love you because I need you.' Mature love says 'I need you because I love you'." How do you define mature love?
I copied this prompt at school today because I didn't want to misquote and my phone doesn't like me to copy and paste.
Immature love is what I think of as puppy love. You're just in a relationship and you really really like them.
Or maybe not even them, just the idea of having 'someone.' When we want immature love, the who doesn't matter nearly as much as the what, or the feeling. Chasing a feeling, however, will not lead to a happy relationship (especially a happy marriage) because feelings fade, and the person you are with is simply the means to an end.
In mature love, though, the person you are with is not the means. He or she is the end. In mature love you don't need to seek out a feeling because although the feeling is still there, like all human emotions, it comes and goes. Mature love is where you stick with someone because you love the person no matter what they're like this minute or this week. Mature love does not wane. It does not waver. It is not selfish; in fact, it is selfless.
Love, I think, comes on in stages, not following this system exactly. Maybe I should wrote out my theory someday. Crushes, infatuations, cares, wants to be near because of the butterflies, wants to be near because you're lonely, wants to be near for status, wants to be near as protection, then finally wants to be near because you genuinely love the person no matter what they do or say.
While the first few things on that list are certainly not bad, they signify that you haven't gotten to the mature part of your relationship yet. The next few are red flags that successful relationships cannot be built around or onto, and the final item on that list is mature love. I need YOU and no one else because I love you.
Grow together if you're in a relationship, and if you aren't, I encouarage you just as Sing of Solomon does to 'not stir up love until it pleases.'