Readers may recall that in July 2020 I wrote about being separated from my boyfriend for several months because of the Canada border being closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. From March 17 until Oct. 1 of last year, we were unable to see each other. On Oct. 1, that changed.
Because my boyfriend Austin has dual citizenship, he gave up his job and life in Canada to return to the United States to live here with me in the islands. I recognize that not everyone is so lucky or privileged to have the ability to move between countries — especially amid a pandemic — and I’m beyond thankful that he’s here now.
For me, love is spending hours with my boyfriend — my best friend — doing absolutely nothing important. Just being in the same room together is enough. It is knowing he will always be there for me when I need support, encouragement and empathy. It’s compromise and personal growth — together. Beyond romantic love, there’s compassion for, and loyalty to, friends, family and pets. Love is the invisible force that keeps me going from day-to-day.
We asked readers to tell us what love means to them. Here are some of their responses:
• Caring about someone else’s well-being, happiness, sense of contentment and safety as much or more than you do for yourself.
• Love is the beginning and the end
Life begins with an act of love,
And to love we return like a messenger dove.
Love is the means and the ends.
Love is the path and the destination.
Love is the muse and also the creation.
Love is the fuel in the throes of passion,
Love is the wonder in a newfound fashion.
Love is the familiar smell of home,
Love is what drives us to go out and roam.
Love is forever ours, and hers, and his,
Love is a smile, a nod, a kiss,
Love is all there is.
• Love to me means, we honor each other for who we are, we trust and dream together, and are willing to say yes to the unknown. Love is choosing to be a friend, even when it is difficult to show up. Love is hard, surprising, and completely worth the risk.
• Love is when I’d jump out in front of a car to save their life.
• In this world of social distancing, air hugs and online discourse, finding love feels more elusive than ever. Someday, I tell myself, that will change and love will find the path to my door. In the meantime, I enjoy the love of my cat, the love of my community, coworkers, friends and family all the while reminding myself I am, indeed, a loveable soul. Until then, there’s chocolate and sunsets.
• The deepest of love doesn’t always mean wild excitement or fireworks. Passions might begin that way, yes. But real love grows and grows …
• My family is the very essence of love. One can never get or give too much love.