Loving because they're essential
One man proposes and says "I want to marry you because you’re better than every other woman I've dated". Another man proposes and says "I want to marry you because you're essential to me, and I can't imagine living without you."
I see at least two ways to think about choosing a partner and loving others. There's one way, the one that I think is most common in my circles, and it sounds like "finding the best partner".
Thinking in this mindset this has been my first reaction for a long time, but it no longer makes sense to me:
I think about my mom. I love my mom because she's essential to me, not because of an assessment that she's "better than every other mom I could have". (What could that even mean?)
Similarly, I love my dog as he is, and not because he's "the best dog".
Moreover, I can't know that the woman I choose to marry/ the dog I watch/ the friends I have are optimal for me. And, probabilistically, I doubt that they are! But I still love them.
To love without comparison.
To love because they're essential to me.