Broken Daughters

Picking up the shattered glass of fundamentalism

About… love.


Some days really have me frustrated. Some days just push my buttons and have me depressed and wondering. I’ve had a bunch of those days lately.

One of my friends got together with another friend a little way ago. They have been friends for years and just now realized it might be more between them. Of course, as this is something to be happy about, it is the hot topic nr. 1 in my group of friends. How good they are together, how happy they seem, how lucky they are to be in love with a good friend and so on. And, of course, how everybody “knew” they’d end up together eventually. Of course. I’m not jealous of their happiness, but I am jealous. That they seem to know what love is, how to define, recognize and live it.

When all my friendships here were still new and developing, my friends asked me a lot about my former life. One of the questions was “But you certainly had a secret boyfriend?!” No. “But you had a crush on SOMEBODY?” No. “But, you weren’T in love at all when you courted?” …No.

I asked them how I would know love. And they told me. Love is when you feel like you’re missing something without the other one. Love is when you can laugh and cry with that person. Love is when you can do things for the other person without worrying about yourself, your loss, your time, or what you get in return. Love is when the whole world is buring and dieing and so are you, you go looking to find that one huddled piece of person through your pain just to ease his pain. Love is, love is, love is. Lots of talk, very little hard facts. But the ultimate answer, the one that always shuts me up is: When it is love, you know it’s love. You just know.

I don’t think this helps me. If I was trying to make a fire and you would put a whole range of instruments in front of me, and only one would make fire, would I “just know” which one it is? Given, my comparison lacks a bit of logic and in fact I would be able to tell the lighter, but anyways. I can’t imagine knowing something is something when I don’t know what to look for. When I have never seen what it is. I know partially what it’s not, but I don’t believe one person will ever know what love is not in just one lifetime. Sometimes we think it’s love for a long time before we realize it’s not.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13, 4-7.

I’m afraid what my future brings in this area of my life. What if I miss out on something great because I can’t see it? Because I put it into the wrong category? What if I make the wrong decisions and end up with more hurt and damage than need be?

I understand why the people in the movement argue so strongly against emotional connections. They are scary and unpredictable. You have to blindly trust… whatever it is! It’s like jumping into really really really cold water, not knowing how deep it is and if there’s a way out.

I was told that a heartbreak is one of the worst things in the moment, but that it wears off eventually. Again this whole topic is another thing that seems filed under “Just believe it”. That’s terribly familiar. I just don’t know!

I’d love to hear you guy’s experiences, definitions, descriptions, good or bad.


PS: Talking about cold water… I love Antarctica. (Yes, I have been doing a lot of research on my own lately because it’s so fascinating! I’m hooked!)



19 thoughts on “About… love.

  1. Don’t feel like you have to force anything. Someday you’ll meet someone, and the feelings will be there. Love is so hard to define, as you point out! It’s all the little things together.

  2. interesting post … I’m all about thinking through things … so I think it is so wise that you are processing what love is and how you will now what it is.

    I don’t have any answers for you … other than take one day at a time. Don’t be afraid and/or stress about what you might miss … live each day to the best of your ability with what you know right now and allow tomorrow(s) to take care of itself. Your natural curiosity (like your interest in Antarctic) about life and how it works will guide you.

    emotions can be scary … I’m still recovering from too many years of being a good-little-strict-mennonite-PA-dutch-conservative-evangelical girl … but today I breathe easier. Life is good and I plan to live each moment as fully as I can πŸ™‚

    here’s some insight into my renewal …

  3. I think love is something unlooked for but found. For me, I could not imagine ever being without the man I am now married to. I would rather have fallen asleep for the next 70 years than live without him. It happened quickly, over a period of maybe 6 months. But at one point I realized that I did not ever want to live life apart from him and that I could not imagine any future that didn’t include him. I was willing to do whatever it took to make him a part of my forever. He felt the same way about me (though it happened for him even more quickly). Here we are, 15 years, 4 kids and a mortgage later, and we are even more in love than we ever have been. I’m sorry that isn’t any more specific than the other things you have been hearing. I guess love is like everything a friendship is, but multiplied exponentially.

    • “I guess love is like everything a friendship is, but multiplied exponentially.”
      Oh that is so pretty! I’ll put that on my facebook!

    • Very well said. πŸ™‚

      I was so much like this once, too. I obsessed about what love is, and over analyzed absolutely anything that I thought might be love. I developed crushes with a vengeance. πŸ™‚ Through it all, I got so angry at people that said “you just know”- what did that MEAN?

      As it turned out, I married my best friend- the one that I had spent endless hours talking to about everything during my college years. And it was true- I just knew. There was such a deep peace and confidence- we never had a moment of doubt. I really like Stacey’s quote- it’s so, so true!

      Hang in there- you’ll figure it out in time- just don’t be hard on yourself, and enjoy everything along the way!

  4. Don’t feel bad! I’m older than you, and all my friends are married with kids, and I’ve experienced the same frustrations, and heard the same stories as you have, both from fundies, and normal people. Even so, there’s a few girls I’ve liked, had a crush on, or whatever you feel like calling it, but there hasn’t been one I couldn’t live without. Like I said, I’ve given up trying. I have lots of friends that are girls, and that’s just fine with me. For company, I have my Pit Bull/Boxer mix, Princess, and I’m saving anything physical for when/if I find the right one. Not fundy choice, that was my own.

    • “I’ve given up trying.” Well I think that’s good! To me is seems like “looking for a relationship” is a bit too much forcing it. Like, I wouldn’t want to say to anyone that I was “trying to find someone, and I found you and managed to fall in love”. Seems forced in some cases. I definately want to be found, but not in a fundamentalist “sit at home until prince charming picks you up” kind of way. I definatly believe you actually need to do something in order to be found. A you reap what you sow kind of situation.

      • Yeah. Galatians 6:7’s not neccessarily a bad verse always, contrary to the fundy rhendering of it. It can be a very good thing. You just keep doing what you’re doing, be sweet, and you and the right one will meet, as my grandma used to say, “Somewhere across a crowded room…” But I digress.

  5. I think everyone else has said it pretty well. Love is not something you can describe. Love is when you know this person leaving your life would rip your heart out and you wouldn’t get it back. It’s having them tell you they are moving 1,000 miles away and you feel like you’ve been kicked in the stomach. It’s when you want to do something for that person just because they breathe.

    Love isn’t always easy and it isn’t always kind. Sometimes you are heartbroken. Love makes mistakes. The best thing you can do at this point is to be yourself and make promises to yourself about where your “limits.” Do you accept rides from men? Do you accept kisses? Do you hold hands? And if you do, under what circumstances? Those are promises to yourself so that you will live with no regrets and promises to the husband you may eventually have.

    I wish I could tell you how to recognize love the way you would recognize a lighter or matches in the midst of other tools but I can’t No more than I can promise you that you won’t get your heart broken. For that matter, I don’t think the movement can promise you that either.

    Be honest about who you are to everyone and let relationships of all kinds happen as they will.

  6. When I was looking for love, I was looking for someone who accepted me and loved me unconditionally, no matter what. I wanted to find someone who loved me for being me.

    When I found someone who did, she captured my heart forever. I was scared to death the whole time that she would reject me like I had been rejected before, but every time I opened a door to a nook in my heart, she embraced that part of me with whole-hearted acceptance.

    It wasn’t difficult falling head-over-heels in love with her. What was difficult was trusting her with the most fragile parts of my heart. When she accepted them with open arms, I gladly entrusted them to her care forever. πŸ™‚



  7. I like the way Ben put that!

    My husband said this about love:

    “It’s having your emotional needs met, and simultaneously finding joy in meeting the other’s emotional needs. It’s feeding and feeding off of the other person in a constant cycle that perpetually deepens the bond of affection between you.”

  8. Seek out the company of people who make you feel good and reject the company of people who make you feel bad. If someone makes you feel so good that you want to spend the majority of your time with them, consider doing so. If, after a couple years of doing so, they still make you feel that good, you’re in love.

    Don’t worry about making a mistake. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it’s sad, but there’s no sense stressing about it before it even happens. Just keep surrounding yourself with people who make you feel good and you’ll do fine.

  9. Pingback: About love « notetc

  10. Ah love !! If only it were that easy to describe!!

    My husband and I met ‘on the mat’ training in Aikido – a Japanese martial art. We knew each other for a year or so before he asked me out to dinner – and we laughed and talked as if we had known each other forever. Still .. not love. Time passed … we went out and were boyfriend and girlfriend for a few months when one day in December – the 12th we went shopping together in a newly opened Japanese shop in London – just to enjoy the things there really. We both loved it .. and both spent ages in there .. picking up this and that and adding them to our rapidly filling baskets. Then we both spied a beautiful set of rice bowls!! They were expensive and neither of us could afford a set of 6 … but as we went to put them back down again .. we both said ‘Well if you buy 3 and I buy 3 we can afford them!!’ .. grinning we put them in our baskets … paid and left the store. We were crossing the road when we both grinned again … simultaneously … “You .. do know what we just did ?” he said. “Erm .. yes .. erm …!!!” …… Looking at him … I felt this aching warmth fill my heart .. my chest .. my soul … and I knew…. just like that! We got back to my room in the nurses home where I lived .. and he said ” Are you going to make me ask you then ???? ” … I smiled and said … “OH YES !!!” So … he did !! This December we will have been married for 34 happy years. I am sure .. we were ‘nudged’ that day … we were almost oblivious to the love between us as we were so happy as friends … !! Obviously our subconscious and/or God had other ideas!

    We have two now grown children a girl and boy, the girl is married too now and we have two grandchildren – a boy of 6 and a little girl of 2. SHE was born on OUR wedding anniversary!

    Love – is gentle and kind. And it has been – between my husband and I, and between our children and us too. Not to say they didn’t yell and complain. Not to say WE didn’t either sometimes! But we all know we are here for each other on this journey through life. And none of our children or grandchildren were hit to make them ‘learn’ or obey. We wanted them to ‘do the right thing’ because it IS the right thing .. not out of fear. Jesus didn’t/doesn’t want children [or us adults] to fear – He wanted them to come to Him. Willingly because they wanted to. Not out of fear of retribution. He loves … unconditionally.

    Sorry about the rambling … but love will find you …. and when it does …. you will feel warmer and greater and stronger than you ever have before !!

  11. I’d say love is having a friend that’s closer than a best friend could be. He makes your heart, mind, and nether-regions swoon. He treats you like a friend, not because all he cares about is getting in your pants, but because he cares for you. You compliment each other. Your strong points are stronger together. Where he is weak, you are strong and vice versa. You are not madly jealous when he talks to others because you know he is yours and that he cares. Your friends see you together and wonder what it is that you two have that they don’t. He is someone that you never knew before, but felt like you were meant to be with. He gives you your space and you give him his. You nurture each other. You care for each other. You do not obsess over each other in an unhealthy way. Your highs are not super-high and your lows are not super-low. There is harmony.

    There is love.

  12. Oh, and one other thing… (sorry for the double post)

    You can’t love someone until you love and respect yourself. If you do not see qualities in yourself that are worth loving, then you will doubt his intelligence and/or sanity for loving you. This can be difficult to get over.

    But don’t sweat finding love. Love requires effort, true, but the stepping stones just happen on their own. Do not look for love. It will find you. Don’t actively seek to fend it off either though, lol.

    If you haven’t found love, it’s okay. It is better to be single and sane than dating someone that makes you want to pull your hair out. Or someone that manipulates you.

    As much as I detest religion, I’ve always maintained I’d not be the one to immediately jump into the sack with a guy. Make them wait. If they do, then they actually like YOU. Guys who are only in it for the sex will not wait.

    We all make mistakes in finding Mr. (or Mrs!) right. But we all live and learn from them πŸ™‚

    A good place to start is to hang around with people who share your passions and sense of humor.

  13. You will know love just as you knew you did not love the boy who courted you.

    For me, there was a small part of me screaming though I couldn’t hear what it was saying. Several years together, many hardships and happy memories later the screaming had subsided, all the conflicting thoughts and emotions had quieted and I could finally hear myself, I was saying stay. So simple, yet that single word changed everything. In retrospect it was telling me go with my ex, but I wasn’t listening I didn’t want to. I craved love so badly and I was scared I would miss it so I jumped on the first thing that came close. With my husband I was scared of what I would find, I learned a lot about myself being with him. It made me want to be best me I could possibly be and I can’t imagine not wanting him in my life.

    Love is what you make it.

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