Tu B'Av, the Jewish equivalent of Valentine's Day, so it seems like a good opportunity to talk about love.
Love is one of those concepts that is used to describe a wide array of emotions and situations. Of course, there are many types of love, including family love, friendship, and passion. I want to talk about what is called "romantic love", the sort of love that people feel when they want to have an exclusive intimate relationship with each other.
When I think about this sort of love, the most important feature in my opinion is wanting the best for the person you love. Ideally, both partners feel the same way about each other. But if a person loves and is not loved in return, true love should help overcome the rejection and accept that it might be better for the other person not to be in this particular relationship.
Love should not be possessive. When people attack someone who has rejected them, this does not express love. I think it expresses frustrated passion and hurt pride. What is called a "crime of passion" in English is called in Hebrew "murder with a romantic background". I wish this term was no longer used, as there is nothing romantic about killing an ex, or the person that ex is now seeing.
Love should inspire us to become the best people we can be. We should aspire to be worthy of the love we want to receive from the beloved. Anything negative or destructive done in love's name proves that there was no real love involved.
A relationship based on love should bring the couple closer together, learning to understand each other, to communicate with each other, trust each other, and to feel respect for each other. Rather than trying to change your partner, first think about how you could change yourself in the interest of a more harmonious relationship.
I am very fortunate in my relationship, and give thanks every day for the love that we experience. I hope some of our friends can learn from our example and believe in the possibility of a loving marriage.