Day 24 – How Do You Show Love?

note: this is part of #bloganuary where each day in the month of January, there is a prompt that we can write on.

This a great question and instead of just answering, I believe I will provide some personal context. I will also give the credit to Dawn. It is she that helped show me what love is.

I am sure, just like all of you, how I show love has evolved over the years. I was raised by parents who had solid values and a code of conduct. There was little visible affection shown in my house or with the people in our circle. I can remember it being something that was out of the ordinary when people held hands. Back in the day, public displays of affection were not really a thing. In fact, all through my high school years, just holding hands with another person as you walked to class was not allowed. Visible, physical forms of love or affection were not part of my upbringing, not part of the era in which I was raised. And while this is something that sounds ridiculous now, it really helped to shape my idea of love. I often tell the story of when I started hugging my dad and saying “I love you” just a few years before he passed away. I was the only man, that I know of, that had that interaction with my dad, but I’ll be damned if I was going to wait for that until he was gone. Now, it is common for men to hug and I take advantage of that.

As we all do, we are not sure what love is and we are awkward, at best, at the outset. I have been married once before, and just like now, I thought love was a part of it. And it was, for a while I suppose. But soon love was not enough in my first go around. There needed to be more.

When I met Dawn and we started talking, we would go on long walks after work and just chat. About her life, my life, just stuff. We each had our own kids that we could talk about that as well. There was no real intention to the walks on my part. I was not looking for anything, just a friend that I enjoyed sharing time with. I am not sure why she walked with me. She will tell you that my work attitude sucked and she thought I was an A-hole. Her words, not mine. HAHA

But all that changed during one of our walks.

It was not unlike any of our other walks. We were just chatting and walking side by side. At one point, my hand brushed against hers. Yes, it was an accident for all you doubters out there. But it was an amazing brush of her hand. As I write about it here, it sounds silly, and yet it was so special. Perhaps it reminded me of when I saw my parents hold hands. I could feel the connection they had during that simple and timeless gesture. For me, that is when there may or may not have become an intention to the walks. It was no longer just about chatting about our lives, I was wanting to spend time with her.

At some point she felt the same way and one night, as I am approaching my vehicle, there is a note on the windshield. As I approach with excitement to see what she wrote, I am caught off guard and unsure what to make of it. Inside the note she had written,

“I am deeply in like with you”

WHAT?! Deeply in LIKE. What the heck does that mean? What’s next, I love you like a brother.

UGH. I am doomed here.

See, up until that moment, “like” was not really part of what I thought love was. Look, you’re either in love or you’re not. But I had to admit that this “like” thing felt really good. In fact, it felt better than any love than I had ever felt. It was amazing! I was just hoping it was not the “like a brother” type of “like” she felt for me.

This one note with seven words disrupted my belief of what love was and turned it upside down. And thank goodness she did. When we were married, her daughter became my instant daughter, and with my two kids a family of five. Being in a blended family, I have come to understand that love is just a word. A word meant to describe a deep, unbreakable bond that people have. It does not matter whether the bond is with glue, or tape, or blood,

or with “like”…..The bond is still strong.

When did I know I was in love with Dawn? It started with an accidental brush of her hand and solidified when I understood that I too was also deeply in like with her.

How Do I Show Love?

By being kind, being honest, being loyal, being a good person. Except perhaps when I am being an A-hole on the highway. HAHA

Besides, Dawn is not the “buy me flowers cause you messed up” kind of girl. That does not cut it in the “I am sorry, I love you” category. There is no amount of flowers or jewelry that can get me out of the dog house. But, buy her flowers for no reason at all except to celebrate her; show her that no matter what, I truly appreciate her, always. That is the “love” that has gotten us through 23 plus years together and helps to minimize my “doghouse” penalty time. When it comes to relationships with a significant other, at some point the passionate nights and romantic dinners wane. We get older, and while not gone, that part of your love life shifts. It constantly shifts. But I have always known that the key to my relationship happiness was finding that person that I can sit in silence with on a front porch swing, enjoying an afternoon cocktail and reading as we watch the sun set or our grandchildren play. I am overcome with “like” that this is my future.

I show love to people I know, and people I do not know. A sincere thank you, a real hug, a firm handshake, looking someone right in their eyes. Thank you for being in like with me and me with you. I believe that it is a genuine care for people that manifests as a visible and invisible feeling that we name “love”.

I will forever be grateful for those words, “deeply in like”, as it has shaped my understanding of how to show real love. Be deeply in like with someone and you can’t help but show and feel real love.

May y’all be happy, healthy, and safe.


8 thoughts on “Day 24 – How Do You Show Love?

  1. I think you nailed it right there. You buy her flowers and show affection on normal days – not just when she’s upset with you about something. I also loved reading about how you started to form a connection. Sometimes those can take time – what can seem like a friendly conversation can suddenly turn into a “Wow I really really like them” moment. Thanks for sharing. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Sara for taking the time to read and to leave such a thoughtful comment. It means so much to me that you left this note. Have a fantastic rest of your day. t.t.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. What a moving, gorgeous post, Tommy!!! I feel so privileged to have read your thoughts on love and “deep liking” which made me smile and like you and Dawn even more. Every day, you two are growing on me. I love that photo of you both looking so happy, too. My heart lit up seeing your faces. I’m so happy because YOU’RE HAPPY, my friend. I love this for you!!!

    Having recently lost my Dad, I cried reading about you hugging your Dad and telling him you loved him. Omg. My heart couldn’t handle how pure and lovely that was. I’m betting it meant a lot to your Dad, too.

    This post is one of my favourites ever. You opened your heart and seeing that was like seeing the petals of a flower unfold. Breathtaking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I so appreciate you reading and then thoughtfully commenting Janet. You are correct, my dad always looked forward to hugs. Such a simple gesture that when done with intention and real meaning, no words need to be spoken. I have learned much from reading your posts and I enjoy our support and blogging friendship. I so appreciate you and your kind and beautiful soul. Dawn has told me on more than one occasion that she really likes you and appreciates your posts. Soon it will just be you two talking and I will be ole what’s his name. HAHA. Your the best Janet. Hugs to you from beautiful snowy Ohio.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello, Sara! Yes, Tommy & I aren’t into the “Hallmark holidays” as we call them here in Ohio; we raise each other up every day of the year, not just the ones marked on our calendars ๐Ÿ˜
    And Janet, yes, “ole what’s his name” wears his heart on his sleeve and he has really enjoyed the daily writing to these prompts – they have challenged him in many ways, but he has taken to the task at hand, A+ for effort!


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