“Love isn’t something natural. Rather it requires discipline, concentration, patience, faith, and the overcoming of narcissism. It isn’t a feeling, it is a practice.” 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 am not loved, at least not by a romantic partner, but that doesn’t mean I can’t think about love.
Love is an overwhelmingly warm 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. Well, almost 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 undefeated 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, drive it, or operate 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, the good times, and especially, the bad times.
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.
Don’t worry, you can disagree and still be loved.
1. LOVE YOURSELF
If you don’t love yourself, you cannot love another person. It’s really that simple.
Many people find this concept challenging. Perhaps you believe in yourself, or even respect yourself, but do you love 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 beloved a new set of tools or 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” after they profess heir love for you is not going to fly. Saying “you know I do” will not cut it either.
You must verbalize it, and you must do so freely. Do not mumble it either.
Say it loud and clear so that your partner fully understands where you stand and they don’t wonder how you feel about them.
Come on, repeat after me “I LOVE YOU.” See? That was not all that difficult, was it?
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 braided 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 and what kind of attention they are seeking.
We all have our strange attention seeking tactics. We do it for a reason: we want to be noticed.
Don’t shake your head, you do it too; stop being in denial.
Be mindful of your partner’s attention seeking habits. Seriously, pay attention to them; they mean something.
Don’t lose yourself in what you are doing and neglect your partner. Find an balance that shows your partner you care, all without losing the scope of your main 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. No one Your love for your partner must be unconditional. You cannot love your partner because they have a nice tush, or great breasts, or because they know how to make you coffee (although that earns points).
You must love the wholeness of your partner. You must love them or it won’t work.
This was the problem in my previous relationship. For a long time, 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 to be loved and accepted. Just be you, learn to know your partner, learn to love your partner and other vital component of your relationship 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.
Gratitude is an extremely powerful tool and it’s contagious. Gratitude in a relationship helps couples understand the value of generosity.
Being grateful can prompt you or your partner to think and act in positive way. It will not be a fix all recipe, but it will increase satisfaction, and increase genuine moments of positivity.
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, the first time, the first moment.
I actually know a couple who does this and they are truly inspiring.
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 and keep in mind that not every day requires a gift.
Refreshing your love daily will help to buffer the hurts and sorrows of the outside world. Outside noise has the uncanny capacity of affecting relationships, especially those that don’t have a solid foundation.
Refreshing your love every day will strengthen your bond as a couple, and will become an intricate part of your life together.
By all means, I am no expert in love. But I do know how to love, and I know how I want to be loved.
So, 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, as without it, you cannot earnestly love someone else.