I recently read an article that spoke to the amount of things you can love about a person. I can’t remember the exact wording but it came to mind when I readied myself to pen this post. In this article the exercise was to write down everything you love about the person you’re with. You could also do this for someone that you used to be in love with as well. Most of us when we write out this list will try and fill the page. The list will be endless. We can’t imagine having enough space to write down all the things that we love about our loves.

The author then introduced the concept that many of us search for plenty of reasons why we love but in reality it’s a short list. It’s true. When you think about it it’s almost impossible to love as much as 10 things about a person, this list is really closer to two or three. That’s perfectly fine too. Although we may not want to accept the shortness of our list it’s actually accurate.

It’s important to acknowledge that we’re not talking about everything you like about a person but what you love about them. That makes it easier to reduce the list down to a lesser number. I thought about it from the viewpoint of the things I simply could not live without. I could say, “I love her laugh” but in actuality I would be just fine if I never heard her laugh again.

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Therefore, when we think about the things we love about someone and are careful not to let the list run away from us we find ourselves with those substantial qualities which we think we could not live without. A few examples that come to mind would be that you loved a person because of their ability to be caring despite the way others cared for them or you loved a person for their perseverance. As the list shortens you realize those qualities that form your emotional type. You’ll notice a common thread among the people you fell in love with in your past.

Maybe it helps to consider what we want people to love about us. Is it our drive? Is it the way we love? Is it the way we provide and protect? What is it about us that makes people fall in love with us? Do we ever take time to think about that? Or is “in love” something that isn’t analytical? Is it an part of humanity that can’t be assessed? And do we think about how we want people to love us? Do we want to be loved for all our quirky traits and none of the ones that we spend the most time developing?

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When I think about what I want someone to love about me it makes it easier for me to identify what I love about others. It wasn’t an lengthy list, over the years I have loved people and they didn’t all share a lengthy list of the same qualities. I realize that love is seasonal and things I loved when I was younger aren’t the same things I love now. I challenge you to evaluate your love for your loved ones. Is it a short list of items that you can talk about for hours or do you need hours just to list all the items?