I have been thinking lately about the person I would like to be when I am in my future married relationship. Here is one of the effects that I hope true love will have on me.
Real love, to me, only expands. When people have love in their lives, they don't just save their compassion and affection for their partner, but become more loving toward everyone. I hope that the love I experience in my future marriage will give me an anchor from which I can share my increased love. I know that in my life when I have been blessed with wonderful loving friends, their love provides a sort of security that allows me to take risks in other areas of my life that I wouldn't have done before. I want my attitude to be something like, "It doesn't matter if I fail at this attempt, because he still loves me." I think this will give me confidence and freedom to share with and serve others.
Some couples, on the other hand, seem very into themselves. Their focus turns inward to the point where they become what my friend calls "boyfriend-boring": they are boring to their friends because they are so focused in on themselves. While obviously every relationship needs nurturing and people who love each other share intimate expressions, I don't want to have the kind of relationship that is so ingrown that I hardly notice people around me.
I hope to use this as a key by which I can recognize if a relationship I am in is a worthwhile relationship or not. I hope that you, my readers and friends, will let me know if this is an appropriate way to judge relationships and that, assuming you agree, you will hold me to it.