I just read an article by Polly Young-Eisendrath entitled "The Training of Love." I found the article on Integral Options Cafe, a blog dedicated to discussing "all things realted to a Buddhist, integral worldview." The blog can be found at http://integral-options.blogspot.com/.
The article discusses the Buddhist perspective of love. I'm particularly interested in this topic because I've had such poor luck in love in the past and I'm hoping that by trying something different I will get a different outcome -- I'm hoping this but, of course, am trying to remain essentially non-attached to the outcome of my endeavors:-) Anyway, here are some of the ideas from the article that I found helpful:
*To love means to be willing to get hurt.
*Love requires knowing the other person -- seeing him (or her) for who he is (including flaws) and loving him for these reasons. Love is NOT loving a person for how he or she makes you feel -- that is attachment, which is loving someone because of how that person can fulfill your needs.
*All things are impermanent. When you love someone you do so with the knowledge that all people get ill and all people die. Love requires a committment to loving someone while these things are happening.
*To idealize is to ignore the ups and downs of life that inevitably occur. When you idealize someone you think that by being with this person you can escape suffering -- no one can escape the ups and downs of life.
*There are good feelings and bad feelings -- everyone experiences them and no one is exmpt. Acceptance is learning to experience all feelings equally and without judgment. Love requires acceptance.
*You never "arrive" where you want to be in life. When you reach a high point in life you might think, "I've finally arrived. I'm where I want to be. I have what I want to have. I've achieved what I wanted to achieve. I can be happy now." Things will inevitably change, however, because nothing is permanent. In life there will be highs and there will be lows.
*Acceptance allows you to maintain your balance through the ups and downs of life.