What is (romantic) love?
The importance of this question is very significant. What TRULY is love? Well anything I say is my own personnel opinion but let me try and give you an idea. Even though I experience love and "know" what it feels like, it's still a very complex issue. Love is not a constant feeling of happiness and perfection. Love needs as much separation as it needs closeness. Love needs romance but play. And you must give up, stress, and sacrifice, to love. love is a balance. You need independence, space, and friendliness because that's what makes a relationship strong and not too close. You need each other, a lot of time together, and romance, to make the relationship work. A relationship is a dance between balancing these opposites for it to work with you and them.
Lovers need to be independent from each other to be close. The more dependent you are with one another the less you feel like it's love and the more you feel like it's a roommate that you need for yourself to sustain. Love does not mean to incarcerate your lover and make it impossible for them to realistically leave. Many marriages end up too dependent of each other causing the two lovers to slowly lose interest. Trying to keep our lover to ourselves, instead of having full faith in them, and making them a prisoner in our war of love, is a very big problem in relationships. If you think your lover will leave, you must talk to them or must stop dating them. If you can manage to make you and your lover independent, you will feel much more prouder that this person still, after everything, wants to be with you.
Lovers need their space. This might sound very odd but it's true. Let me put it this way: The space between a hug makes it feel nice. You don't want to be smooshed together too tightly but you still want to feel contact. Just like my analogy, you need time off as much as you need time together; You need time by yourself to truly feel the effects of being together. But too much space and you lose connection and with too little space you get annoyed. You need that space to feel the most comfort, but you need to be together to feel. That's why love is so confusing because it relies on balancing and opposites mixing.
Lovers need to be happy and love themselves to love someone else and be loved. Both sides must be happy with themselves, feel good and proud of their own work, and feel happy in their own skin, before being able to feel love. It's totally reasonable to start feeling better about yourself because of your lover. But in the end of the day you will not be able to love if you can't love yourself.
Lovers must remain true to themselves and not change themselves for each other. Instead, lovers must separate and find someone else if they are not compatible with who the other person is. Lovers should NEVER change each other, or themselves, to force it to work. If the puzzle piece doesn't fit, it won't fit no matter how much you push it in. This doesn't mean you have to find the perfect match, there is no such thing as the perfect match, this just means that you must forgive the small things, and break up for the big problems. If something is a deal breaker you should never try to change it if it's a part of them.
Lovers must be open to each other. They must talk to each other about all things. Maybe one side wants to have more or less sex, or has kinks. Maybe one side feels like things are too close. Maybe one side feels like things are going too fast or too slow. The point is: a relationship can't work, and won't work, if the two sides are to scared of being abnormal to talk to each other about fundamental and little things. Not talking to each other is the big cause of cheating.
Lovers can't feel awkward or weird while being together. If something feels weird when you're with them, then something's up. It's true that you might have butterflies in your stomach at first, but after a while of feeling too distant and weird, something's the matter.
Lovers must understand that love is not perfect and they will never find the perfect person. In love there will always be misunderstanding, difference, and imperfection. Little things that your lover does might annoy you, there will be fights, there will be strife, there will be problems; but love is understanding someone and being there for someone. It is truly feeling and understanding as much as you can to another person even though it may not always happen. You do this because of the immense emotions you feel towards them.
Lovers must expect to gain some things and have some sacrifices be made for them but more importantly, must expect themselves to be selfless and give as much to their partner. Giving to your lover and having to deal with many things is frustrating at the least. But lovers need to do this in order to make sure that their relationship remains strong. No side should have too much or too little. This is why both side's must try as hard as possible to give. They'll receive because both side's must do this.
Love is a tricky thing. No relationship will exist without frustration and problems but love is very rewarding, in all senses. Love gives you happiness, wholeness, tenderness, pleasure, and fulfillment, even if it also take's a lot.