My kind of love #10 Holding on to love

James Jebson Photography

Who doesn’t love being loved? And who doesn’t love having someone to love? We all do, it goes without saying. We would be inhuman if we didn’t. But love is such a funny thing. It’s not tangible, so we can’t grab on to it with both hands, but somehow when we find it, we have to keep a hold of it and try to never let it go.

Bloody hell. Love certainly is complicated.

Even right at the start when we find love, it’s not all easy peasy. How do we know it really is love, when love itself is so difficult to measure and no one person experiences love in the same way, in the same depths, at the same rate?

And of course, love has so many different stages.

Finding love

For me, finding love means I can’t breathe. It means I get nothing done. If I am working, I am not really working. I am staring at a blank screen and thinking of my love. If I am with friends, I’m not really with them, I am with my love, in my head. When you find your love, your time stands still whilst you wait for them. It means listening out for them and watching for them. And you are not restful or content until you are with them..


Those days when you cannot take your eyes off of each other. Photo by Owen Farrell

For me, finding love means a physical aching in my heart, where I am certain I can feel a pain there, when I am not with my love. Love is a dryness in the mouth, the quickening of the heart and it’s pounding on your chest. I love this stage of love, the part where it takes over your entire life.

Once when I first started seeing my husband, on my day off, I lay on my sofa and listened to Minnie Ripperton’s Inside My Love, on repeat, for the whole day. That is all I did, no exaggeration. Love can do that to you.

In fact Louis de Berniere, whose book Captain Correlli’s Mandolin, gave birth to one of the most popular wedding readings of all time, sums it up perfectly with this once sentence.

Love is a temporary madness,

It certainly is.

Embracing love

So when we have found what fits our definition of love, we swallow it whole, without a moment’s hesitation. That feeling that our love gives us is so addictive, that we want it in our life all of the time. But after the craziness of discovering this love, we find we have to bring our love into the real world, so that we can function like normal human beings again ie not lie around all day listening to the same love song. I also love this time, when we are learning to live with love and learning to have such a powerful emotion present within ourselves all of the time. Falling into a pattern of oneness and togetherness, so that it becomes second nature and all the new discoveries that come from opening your heart to someone.

Best man at a wedding

When a look is all that’s needed. Photo Owen Farrell

Accepting love

This is when love is at its deepest. It is at our very core. It’s not just a state of being, it’s actually a part of what make us. This is the love that has endured. The love that has seen you through right from the start to where you are now. The love that has seen you through being your worst and for some has become stronger for it. This is the love that does not need verbal affirmations (although of course it’s nice to get them), but knows just with a glance, or a touch of the hand that the love is deeply felt and acknowledged.

This is the love that has your back one hundred percent. The love that sees you through the days where you do not like your partner very much, but your love for them never wanes. The days when they have irritated and annoyed you beyond belief, but your heart still skips a beat when you hear the key turn in the door. Because your love has come home to his place in your heart.

Another extract from Louise de Berniere, says it all, once again.

Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away

If you are lucky enough to have that strong, enduring love that is left behind once the heightened, intense new love has burned away, then you are on the right course for maintaing a successful and loving relationship. The stronger your love is, the more equipped you are to deal with all the stuff, especially the crappy, shitty stuff, that life throws at you.

Holding on to love

It seems crazy to think that the intensity of love that we feel, can fade as quickly as it came. It reminds us that love can come and go, at whatever stage we get to with it, no matter how hard we try. Sometimes, we find the most amazing love but with the wrong person, or with the person with whom we couldn’t connect everything that needed to connect in order to with to keep the love alive. Sometimes, it just doesn’t work out, for whatever reason but hopefully, we can move on and find the right love with the right person.

James Jebson Photography

Hold on to your love and never let go! Photo by James Jebson Photography

Here is the full extract from Capitain Correlli’s Mandolin by Louis de Berniere

Love is a temporary madness,
it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides.
And when it subsides you have to make a decision.
You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together
that it is inconceivable that you should ever part.
Because this is what love is.
Love is not breathlessness,
it is not excitement,
it is not the promulgation of eternal passion.
That is just being “in love” which any fool can do.
Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away,
and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.
Those that truly love, have roots that grow towards each other underground,
and when all the pretty blossom have fallen from their branches,
they find that they are one tree and not two.

Yes. Yes and yes.

Marriage is our way of saying ‘hey world, we’ve found love and we want to hold on to it for as long as we can.’ I think it’s lovely that people come to that conclusion. That desire to publicly celebrate and declare their love for one another. And even if a relationship or marriage sadly doesn’t work out, at least the intention to hold on to love was present and genuine at the time.

So no matter at what stage of love you are with your love, everyone’s ultimate goal is to keep holding onto that love and to keep it alive. Love comes easily, but the relationship that provides the foundation to support love, that’s what needs to be worked at, nurtured, cherished and respected. Things we all need to remember from time to time.

So here’s to love, everyone. Love life, love your love and live happily.



About the author

Natasha Johnson

Natasha Johnson is an experienced Wedding Celebrant, blogger and writer on all things related to weddings, in particular wedding ceremonies. Her mission is life is to encourage couples to see the importance of their wedding ceremony and to get married in just the way they want to. Make sure you catch her on the Engaged and Ready Wedding Podcast, here or on iTunes and Stitcher.

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