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?
Spoiler alert: I don't understand this quote. I really want to be all philosophical and what not, really delve into what this means but I don't get it. Would this be as interesting if I had all the answers?
I think the difference between the two loves is certainly maturity- but not the aged-cheese, better wine kind. The maturity that comes from living both of these types of relationships and realizing the one that bends the most, adapts the best and sacrifices daily without expectation is needing because of love.
I'm surrounded by people in my life, and often I find myself pulled multiple directions by each of my relationships.
Be a better friend,
be a better wife,
be a better employee.
Sometimes the obligations clash. Sometimes they coincide. Often times they ask me to choose one over another. But it's the relationships I cherish and love the most that understand my dilemma- you can't please everyone. But that doesn't mean I've failed or become unreliable. It means I am busy being supportive, acknowledging other relationships, encouraging friends and family in their endeavors. It means I am bursting at the seams with love for others...and the people I love the most understand that. I've fought (am fighting...) to put this realization into action. In order to live my life thoroughly, completely and with joy, I am busy surrounding myself with positive people. I have had too many downers, too many complainers, too many extremists taking up my time and energy. I have been exhausted trying to support them, broken-hearted trying to love them.
I don't need that in my life.
I don't need that anywhere, really. No one does.
I've grown up. I've moved on. I've matured and I don't want to let the opinions of others drag me down. I am giving the best of myself to those who want it, who need it and who love it. And that's the best feeling in the world. To come to the understanding that those who love me, know me and support me unconditionally.
I love you, too. I need you, too. How do I define mature love? Acceptance. Support. Understanding. I don't need agreement, or mutual interests, or constant companionship. I need trust, real and deep. I need love without bounds, without terms, without rules.