Ah, love and relationships. There’s nothing better than butterflies in your stomach when you see that special person you’ve fallen in love with. And with work, luck and the right partner, many times the relationships grow into something precious and lasting. Some, however, do not. What makes the difference? Is it luck? Fate? Karma? The word ‘love’ is easy. Most friends will end a call or text with “I love you,” or “Love”. It’s become a word easily said and frequently used. Yet love is not a word, not a noun, it’s a verb. Many relationships are built not on loving the person as he/she is, but their potential. It’s not unusual for two people to ‘fall in love’, get married, and then try to change each other. Maybe that’s why it’s easier to love a dog than a human. You get a puppy, train them to do what you want them to do, and live happily ever after. That is, unless they mess up. Then you can chastise them and move on. A dog’s purpose is to please its owner/human. Always forgiving, always trying to please, always loving. Isn’t that what we all want in another person? But are we willing to give that in return? People are much more complicated than pets. We can get out feelings hurt, become angered or disappointed, hold onto resentment for what a person did days or even years ago. Yet the key is to a good relationship is to love the other person as your dog loves you. Ready to smile, slow to anger, always forgiving, living in the moment, being accepting – no matter what – and expressing our love as much as we can. To truly love is to accept other people for who they are. How you want your loved ones to look or act may not be the highest and best good for them. Your desire is simply your opinion. Practice really loving today by letting go of your prejudices about others, allowing them to be who they are and accepting them completely, whether they fit your picture or not. That is love.