We often think of love as “loving the other person.” I love you because you’re beautiful, talkative, smart, kind, or possess other characteristics that I love. It’s as if I’m loving you for what you do for me. For what I admire. For what I get from you.

Then, when I’m not happy with you or we’re in some sort of conflict, I ask myself: “Is this the person for me? Did I make a mistake? Should I have picked someone else?”

But suppose we looked at love in a different way. Suppose we looked at love as something we created—separate from any qualities the other person possesses. Something that keeps growing over the lifetime of our relationship because of what we’re doing together. How we’re interacting. The experiences we’ve had.

And, more importantly, how I have acted in those experiences. What kind of relationship I have contributed to creating? Do I think and act in ways that make me the opposition or the ally? Do I see our relationship as good, bad, or with indifference? Am I being open to love? Am I being open to the other person? True to myself? True to them?

What am I doing to create the kind of love I am looking for?

This, ultimately, is the only question to answer.