He makes me happy.
She makes me a better person.
I can’t imagine life without them.

What about the day that he stops making you happy? At some point he’s going to irritate you.

She might make you feel like a terrible person down the road. Are you strong enough to be a better person on your own?

You might have to live life without them. We never know how much time we have left in this world.

Knowing all that and seeing the uncertainty life has to offer, are they still the one you choose to love?

We live in a broken society where commitment is our greatest fear and we always have an exit strategy. Being happy is thought to be the greatest goal in life and if something or someone doesn’t make us happy, then we should move along and try to find happiness elsewhere.

No wonder divorce rates are so high.

Real love is vulnerable. It is putting another’s wants, needs and desires before our own. Real love is sacrificial.

I come from a broken home, as do statistically about half of you reading. My parents divorced when I was nine and I struggled to understand what love was growing up. Don’t get me wrong, I have the most loving parents in the world and I know they would do just about anything for me. However, when it came time for me to date or be in a relationship with someone, I couldn’t quite grasp the concept.

I wondered, how does someone tie themselves down to another person… forever?? I can’t even pick a favorite color let alone a husband!

While witnessing the marriage of family friends this summer, my favorite priest shared in his homily that “We are not responsible for making each other happy; only to love each other.”

So what is real love, and why are we so afraid of it?

Real love is vulnerable. It is putting another’s wants, needs and desires before our own. Real love is sacrificial.

There is no better example of true sacrifice than the cross. It is only in seeing and knowing the love of a God that would freely offer his only Son, just for you, that we can begin to understand the depth and beauty of true sacrificial love.

I pray that no matter the background you come from or the pain you’ve experienced, that you find what true love is in a relationship with God.

I pray that you learn to love yourself and then find that you’ve fallen in love with another on the journey.

I pray that in finding that love you also find the courage to be vulnerable and make sacrifices. Those sacrifices may be denying physical desires until you can make a true gift of self to each other in the sacrament of marriage. It might mean a higher cost of living while you live separately from your significant other until they are your spouse. It might be in making the commitment to love each other forever, even when they are acting impossible to love.

I pray that you can love another’s brokenness and see the beauty of being known and loved the way you are intended to be.

Saint John Paul II said, “Genuine love is demanding, but it’s beauty lies precisely in the demands that it makes.” Are you ready to answer to these demands?