older couple

older couple

Today on Cup of Jo, we want to feel all the fuzzy, schmoopy feelings. So, let’s talk about love. Here are some of our favorite reader comments that describe love in all its forms…

On acts of devotion:

“When it comes to love languages, I am a words-of-affirmation person, married to a man who lives by the philosophy that he told me he loves me one time and he’ll let me know if anything changes. He is great at giving acts of service, though. Early in our relationship, I was like, ‘Do you even love me?’ and he was like, ‘I just spent four hours on a ladder hanging wallpaper for you,’ and I was like, ‘Oh.’ — Meg

“I will always remember the morning my boyfriend helped my grandpa clean his car. The sight of those two joking and laughing, while carefully wiping the windshield, made my heart burst with gratitude. I knew I was falling for him at that exact moment, and his kindness never ceases to attract me.” — Lizy

On seeing strangers:

“Growing up, I’d often be running errands with my mom, when I’d see a tear rolling down her cheek. I’d ask why, and she’d say, ‘Sometimes you just see someone and they break your heart.’ She’d have noticed someone crossing the street, standing in line for grocery check-out, or fumbling with their bags, and their face or momentary struggle would fill her with love for their human-ness. I love thinking about loving strangers for a moment in time, just like my mom does.” — Alex

“Ten years ago, I was attending grad school across the country from my friends and family. I realized that while the man I was dating was the one for me, I was not the one for him. Such a painful feeling. I drove to Nordstrom to buy lipstick as a pick-me-up, but before going in, I sobbed in the parking lot on the phone with my mom. It was Florida and hot, so my windows were rolled down. A mother parked her minivan next to me, and I was so embarrassed to be crying in front of this stranger and her children. But after putting her youngest in the stroller, without saying a word, she leaned into my car and put a box of chocolates right on my lap. Stunned, I immediately broke out into a different kind of tears – the happy kind. I often think about how her small gesture helped me realize that I was not alone.” — Ariana

On the definition of love:

“A few years ago, I was going through a period of self-pity for being single and childless, mourning the fact that I didn’t have that love in my life. But one day on a walk, it randomly hit me: I was defining love so narrowly when love is actually the opposite: expansive. When I opened up what love meant to me, I began seeing it everywhere in my life: for my family, my friends, my friends’ kids, my students, my colleagues, people I haven’t seen in many years, acquaintances, pets. There was so much that I felt overwhelmed. How could I have ever missed it?” — Jessica

On sibling bonds:

“With Covid-enforced togetherness, my five-year-old twins bicker sooo much. But the other week, my son lost his first tooth — the first for either — and he got teary. When I asked why he was sad, he said, ‘I just wanted to wait for [sister].’ My heart cracked open. It reminded me that, even amid the arguing, theirs is the tightest of bonds.” — Nicole

“My brother is 11 years younger than I am. Our mum died when he was two and I was 13. Between boarding school, college and grad school, life was happening, but no matter what, we always spent his birthday together. On his 36th birthday, he was married with a beautiful daughter and we were unable to see each other due to Covid. I felt horrible, but then he texted, ‘Because of how you have shown me to love others, I am a better husband, father, and friend. You once told me that I was the best gift Mum gave you. You are the best gift she left me.’” — Namie

On appreciating yourself:

“My daughter is two. Every night after reading books, she hugs and kisses me, her dad, and her brother. Then she hugs and kisses herself (she does this in a quick ‘I don’t want anyone to see’ way rather than a ‘look how cute I am’ way, which is all the sweeter). Then she lists everyone she loves and always ends with ‘and myself.’ I always tell her that that is the most important person to appreciate.” — Claire

On taking good care:

“My partner and I have fostered more than 250 dogs over the past 20 years. We currently have three, who are all hospice cases; we will do whatever we can to give them their best lives. I know that the heartbreak will come, but I am holding tight to the belief that they will know what it means to be loved unconditionally. Fostering hasn’t always been easy, but it touches a piece of my heart that is rarely touched. People like to say that we are lifesavers but in truth our babies are the lifesavers.” — Betty

“My husband and I were living in Munich when I discovered I was pregnant. I quickly became quite ill. I stayed in our small rental while my husband worked, and it was a lonely time. Several weeks in, we decided I would fly home to stay with my parents in Massachusetts. The flight home was awful. I could not stop vomiting, to the point where people asked to change seats. Toward the end, a flight attendant told me that I had to be escorted out in a wheelchair. When we arrived in Boston, I was the last to leave the plane, and just as we were exiting the plank, I began to violently vomit into my small paper bag. The crowd of people waiting at my terminal was disgusted, and my escort loudly announced over the crowd, ‘Who does this lady belong to?’ I then heard the voice of my mom, loud and clear, ‘She’s mine. She belongs to me.’ While everyone else pulled away, she walked right up and claimed me. I’ll never forget that moment.” — Tara

What about you? How has love shown up in your life lately? We want to hear.

P.S. More reader comments on dating and friendship.

(Photo by Ameris Photography Inc./Stocksy.)