As you might guess from the unglamorous name of this love pattern, Custodians know that real love is hard work. It’s often messy and without external rewards. Custodians take pleasure in doing the unglamorous dirty work their lover might not like to do, including mopping the floor, washing the dishes, cleaning closets, and grocery shopping. Custodians are willing to work the night shift anonymously. They know that love is best defined as an action, not a feeling. Custodians offer a disciplined love that is based on commitment, not emotions. They understand that feelings come and go, so they perform acts of love even when they no longer feel “in love.” Custodians are secure in themselves, so they don’t get jealous of their lover. They don’t perform acts of love in order to be praised for being thoughtful, or for choosing the perfect gift, or for being a paragon of virtue. Custodians aren’t in the love business for fame or recognition. They don’t seek to change their lover to fit their selfish desire of what they think their lover should be like, but rather the Custodian seeks to fulfill the desires of their lover. The Custodian knows that love requires a certain degree of vulnerability, but at the same time, they know when to draw the line. If they find someone who abuses their love without regret, Custodians wish them well and move on.
This is the path to true love and it is realized as commitment, contentment, and abiding joy. Where others seek the drama of conflict, Custodians seek shared pleasure; where others need thrills, Custodians thrill in discovering their beloved’s soul; where others grasp desperately to acquire love, Custodians find that, paradoxically, the more they give the more their needs are satisfied. It’s the unconventional truth that when we are seeking to possess a lover, love will forever slip through our fingers. But when we seek to give rather than get, to love rather than be loved, we will find the road to true love open up before us.
Michael McLean celebrates the custodians of love.