Don’t be fooled, dear daughters.

Don’t let the world tell you what love looks like.

Don’t fall into the trap that love is measured in the size of a ring or how much you spend on a vacation or the type of car they drive.

Don’t get caught up with someone who only talks about your beauty. 

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Don’t get sucked into professions on social media or late-night whispers or apologies after a fight.

Don’t fall for a person whose words and actions don’t align.

Watch how a potential partner treats their parents, waiters, the delivery guy. Watch if they lose their temper over little things. Listen to how they speak when someone makes a mistake.

Remember how they talk about others when they aren’t in the room–because you won’t always be in the room.

Grandiose gestures are great. Flowers on special occasions are sweet. Compliments can make you feel warm and fuzzy inside.


But this, dear daughters. This is what love looks like.

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Love is getting up an hour early before work so your family can get out of the driveway.

Love is getting the brakes checked on the car before a big road trip.

Love is offering the delivery man a bottle of water on a hot day and helping a neighbor move a couch and rescuing a baby bird from a basement well.

Love is doing the dishes most nights to show that housework doesn’t fall on only one person’s shoulders in a relationship.

Love is admitting you are wrong—and apologizing for it.

Oftentimes, we mistake the words we want to hear for love, and that can be a grave mistake. We see what we want to see, make excuses for what makes us uncomfortable.

But this, dear daughters, is what love looks like.

Don’t forget it.

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Originally published on Whitney Fleming, Playdates on Fridays 


Whitney Fleming

Whitney is a mom of three teen daughters, a communications consultant, and blogger. She tries to dispel the myth of being a typical suburban mom although she is often driving her minivan to soccer practices and attending PTA meetings. She writes about parenting, relationships, and w(h)ine on her blog Playdates on Fridays.