There seem to be plenty of counterfeit options out there that offer a fleeting glimpse but nothing deep and lasting. And while love may mean different things to different people based on their own experiences, I believe there is a common thread--sacrifice.
In my experience love develops through consistently offering yourself to someone else. Offering your time, your talents, your emotions, your soul, your will, your patience, your forgiveness, your temperance, your encouragement, your gratitude, your support, your loyalty, your life. Selfishness cripples it. Vanity suffocates it. Judgement, fault-finding, and criticizing will destroy it.
If you are willing to make the sacrifices required it can produce deep meaningful joy and it can last forever.
So, how about you? What does love mean to you and what have you learned about it through your experiences?