Man is the only animal for whom his own existence is a problem which he has to solve.” ― Erich Fromm
Today I woke up thinking about love. It is a wonderful way to wake up. I think the entire world will be a better place if everyone woke up thinking about love.
Love is great. Love is empowering. Love is life’s greatest fuel. If you love or you are loved, then you know what I am referring to.
I woke up today thinking about love, because I feel loved. I have someone in my life who knows how to love me. And that is a beautiful thing.
Love is an overwhelming feeling we feel for another person. We cannot explain it, and we cannot get rid of it. Love makes you want to be with a person, always.
Relationships are directly related to love. You can also say that love is directly related to relationships. Humans seek comfort. We seek comfort and validation about ourselves. We seek relationships to help us accomplish this. Deep inside, we are uncertain about ourselves. We want to know that we are ok and that we are accepted. If you are shaking your head in disagreement, then you are not true to yourself. We have all done it, we all do it.
Love plays a paramount role in our lives. Love has an undefeatable amount of definitions and applications. There are countless books on love, loving, and how to love. I have read a few but never learned much from them because the information does not apply to the reality of relationships. The only book on love that left a mark in my life is The Art of Loving, by Erich Fromm. I highly recommend it.
So, what the heck is love and how do you use it properly? How do we love our partners in a manner that helps them feel that ‘comfort’ we all pursue?
We form relationships to affirm our place in the world. We seek others to help us navigate through the uncertainties of our lives. We let them love us and we love them back. Making it a long-lasting affair is what is tricky.
So, here are 10 amazing pointers to follow in the pursuit to properly love and be loved.
1. LOVE YOURSELF
If you don’t love yourself, you cannot love another person. It’s that simple.
Many people find this concept challenging. Perhaps you believe in yourself, or even respect yourself, but loving yourself? You don’t do that kind of sissy stuff. Then how can anyone love you if you don’t love yourself?
Loving yourself is the foundation of a well-adjusted personality. If you are having relationship troubles, look to yourself to find the troubles. Fix them. Learn to love yourself. Don’t love yourself too much, I don’t want you to become a narcissist either.
2. ALWAYS GIVE LOVE
Love is all about giving. If you give love expecting the same in return, then it is not love, for love is about giving rather than receiving.
Love is an amazing energy that grows out of our desire to give much more than we can receive. If you are not equipped or ready to receive the love that is offered to you, it will swiftly die like a fish without water. If you’re thinking of an amphibious fish, then your love will be short-lived, for it will eventually need water. You cannot cut corners with this one: give love, always.
Focus on your love contributions to your partner. Make them durable and memorable.
3. DON’T BE A SISSY, SAY “I LOVE YOU”
Perhaps the most important, yet the least used pointer – tell your partner you love them.
I am not talking about buying your man a new set of tools, or buying your woman flowers. I am referring to those three words most people seem to fear as it they are a contagious disease.
Saying “I love you” to your partner puts it out there, plain and simple, so there is no doubt in their mind. This, of course, needs to be on a volunteer basis. Answering “I love you too” is not going to fly. Saying “you know I do” will not cut it either. You must verbalize it, and you must do so first. Do not mumble it either.
Say it loud and clear so that your partner fully understands where you stand and there is no doubt in their mind. Come on, repeat after me “I LOVE YOU BABY.” See? That was not all that difficult.
4. FEED FROM YOUR POWER
Anyone who loves or has loved knows that people in love are emotional beings. The secret is to continue being the person you are.
Tap into your soul to extract the power to love [located within yourself]. If your love is fueled by the power within it will be invincible, just like you are.
Although we all change as we age, you must strive to remain the same person your partner fell in love with. Our partner finds excitement in our strength. If this strength comes from within and is laced with love, then we are in business baby!
5. THE PAST IS GONE, LET IT GO
If we dwell on the past, it will dictate our present. Do not use past situations to judge your partner. This is a sick twisted tool that will never yield positive results and will only hurt your partner and your relationship.
If we want our relationships to be strongly bonded, we must let go of the past. We all screw up. Things can go wrong. Living in the past will not erase the damage done. Ever. What is done is done. Living in the present with the lessons of the past ensures a better future. Remember, knowledge is power. Knowing not to dwell on the past is an incredibly powerful moving forward tool.
6. PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR PARTNER
Humans crave attention. They say women need attention all the time, but I believe men love attention just as much. You know you do, guys.
It is imperative that you understand that your partner needs attention. We all have our strange attention seeking tactics. We do it for a reason: we want attention. Don’t shake your head, you do it too; stop being in denial.
Be mindful of your partner’s odd habits. Pay attention to them. They mean something. Don’t lose yourself in what you are doing and neglect your partner. Find an equilibrium that shows your partner you care, all without losing the scope of your task: love.
7. GET TO KNOW YOUR PARTNER
Knowledge is power. The more you know your partner, the better you will be able to love them. Stop nagging about your partner not understanding you. Focus your energy on understanding them.
Everything in life is better with knowledge. Love is not different. Love breathes and expands through understanding, and this understanding comes from knowledge. Do not aim to know everything about your partner. Heck, your partner does not know everything about themselves.
Love takes tolerance, resolve, work, and knowledge. Lots of it.
8. LOVE YOUR PARTNER FOR WHO THEY ARE
Nobody is perfect. Not even you. Your love for your partner must be unconditional. You cannot love your partner because they have a nice behind, of great breasts, or because they know how to make you coffee. You must love your partner because of the whole they are. You love them.
This was the problem in my previous relationship. For fifteen years, I was expected to be someone else in order to receive the love offered to me. Please learn from me: you do not need to change who you are, just be you, learn to know your partner, and everything else will fall into place.
You cannot love your partner because of what they represent in your life. Every person has qualities others love. Your partner has the ones you love. It cannot be that they are smart, or strong, or funny, or sexy, or rich. These are not reasons to love someone. You must love them because of them and nothing else.
In loving your partner for who they are, you encompass and celebrate all the things that attracted you and made you fall in love with them. Your partner needs to know that you love them, no matter what. This is very important.
9. BE GRATEFUL TOGETHER
If you both analyze the things you have achieved and accomplished together, as a couple, they will have a deeper meaning.
Being grateful together should form part of your daily routine.
10. TREAT EACH DAY AS A NEW
Life gives us the wonderful gift of a brand new day every day. Treat every day as if it was the first date.
If you said I love you with flowers yesterday (or tools if you are the gal), then find some other way to say it today. Then tomorrow. Keep doing it.
Refreshing your love daily will keep it buffering the outside noise. Outside noise has the uncanny capacity of affecting relationships, especially those that are not strong enough. Refreshing your love every day will strengthen your bond as a couple, and will become an intricate part of your life together.
Go ahead, love a little, love a lot, but please, love every day. Whatever you do, love and allow yourself to be loved. But, above all, love yourself.