A healthy relationship is one in which love is not doubted and the expression, proof, and enjoyment of love is what is desired. Love yearns for the fellowship with its beloved.

As the author of Sonnets of the Portuguese, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, did when she spoke her feelings to her beloved. It was obvious that her vulnerabilities in sharing fostered in herself a sense of security, peace, and satisfaction. She knew that the easiest way to experience this shared love is in the stating of vulnerabilities and the naming of the loved one’s attributes clearly and often!

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways,

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height

My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight

For the ends of being and ideal grace.

I love thee to the level of every day’s

Most quiet need, by sun and candle light.

I love thee freely, as men strive for right;

I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.

I love thee with the passion put to use

In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith

I love thee with a love I seemed to lose

With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,

Smiles, tears, of all my life, and, if God chooses

I shall but love thee better after death”

How about for this year’s Valentine’s date, do something poignantly simple. Sit under “a tree” and as the writer of Song of Songs in the Bible does, revel in each other’s presence. Read to each other Elizabeth’s sonnet and put your own embellishments as answers to its instructions! Now, that’s a date night for you!



How do you love your significant other, your best friend, your loved one?

I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys. Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the young women. Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest is my beloved among the young men. I delight to sit in his shade, and his fruit is sweet to my taste.

Song of Songs 2:1-3

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