Back on December 1, 1990 I cut the following Ann Landers column out of the paper and put it on my refrigerator. Mind you I would not meet Steve for 4 more years. It is still on my refrigerator today. I don't know if I've ever shared this on my blog or not, but I thought about it the other day and know it's worthy of posting again:
Essay's Message still as relevant as ever:
Dear Ann Landers: Last weekend while going through some family photos, I found this old column. The message is as relevant as it was 15 years ago.
These days, when divorce is commonplace and teen-age pregnancy at an all-time high, people need tangible guidelines. Please reprint this column.
Here is Ann's Reply: The essay you've asked me to rerun is one of the most frequently requested. I'm pleased to publish it again. Thanks for asking. Is it Love or Infatuation?
Infatuation is instant desire - one set of glands calling to another.
Love is friendship that has caught fire. It takes root and grows, one day at a time.
Infatuation is marked by a feeling of insecurity. You are excited and eager but not genuinely happy. There are nagging doubts, unanswered questions, little bits and pieces about your beloved that you would just as soon not examine too closely. It might spoil the dream.
Love is the quiet understanding and mature acceptance of imperfection. It is real. It give you strength and grows beyond you - to bolster your beloved. You are warmed by his/her presence, even when he/she is away. Miles do not separate you. You want him/her near. But near or far, you know he/she is yours and you can wait.
Infatuations says, "We must get married right away. I can't risk losing him". Love says "Be patient. He/she is yours. Plan your future with confidence".
Infatuation has an element of sexual excitement. Whenever you are in one's another's company you are hoping it will end in intimacy. Love is the maturation of friendship. You must be friends before you are lovers (here I would add and married).
Infatuation lacks confidence. When he's away, you wonder if he's cheating. Sometimes you check.
Love means trust. You are calm, secure and unthreatened. He feels your trust and it makes him even more trustworthy. Infatuation might lead you to do things you'll regret later, but love never will.
Love lifts you up. It makes you look up. It makes you think up. It makes you a better person then you were before.
The only thing I would add to this is that he or she must be a follower of Christ. You must keep him in the center of your relationship.