WHAT IS LOVE?
AND WHAT IS NOT LOVE?
Know what it is and what it isn't.
Test yourself on your love of the other and how you are actually affecting the other!
THE DEFINITION OF LOVE
Love: A strong or passionate affection for a person; a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a friend, parent, child, etc.
Affection: A settled good will or zealous attachment.
Good will and personal attachment seem to be what love is.
It is not the same as the feeling that is idealized. It is not infatuation, for infatuation is just infatuation, foolishness and silliness that is unreasoned. [Definitions: Infatuate: To affect with folly; make fatuous; to inspire or possess with a foolish or unreasoning passion, as of love. Infatuated: Made foolish by love; blindly in love. Fatuous: Foolish, esp. in an unconscious, complacent manner; silly; unreal; illusory.]
It is not to feel a need, as in “I need you,” for that is merely neediness.
To have love in actuality, it takes first a strong good will that is settled and based upon some form of admiration and/or liking (regarding with favor). Then it takes a decision and then a commitment (if we are to have anything that is solid) to whatever is good for the one I love.
If I am to do that, then I would simply ask "What will serve that purpose?" (and how will it be shown in action, since if nothing shows up in action there is no evidence of any actuality in existence).
PUTTING LOVE INTO EXISTENCE
What can I do that is good for the one I love?
Kindness to and consideration for what makes the loved one feel good and have good.
Supportiveness in the form of something good for the loved one, including encouraging the loved one to do what is right and good for him/herself.
Everything that is the opposite is not love
Abuse, spewing anger all over the other, punishing, blaming, resenting, etc. are definitely not manifestations or causes of love.
The fostering of closeness, connection, and feeling appreciated are part of the supportiveness.
We do not build walls of self-protection along the idea of “good fences make good neighbors”. Instead, we do the opposite, exposing ourselves regardless of our fears, never using fear as a justification or excuse. Fear is not love. Instead you are either acting out of fear or love, but not both at the same time.
The sharing of our deepest feelings and thoughts is love. The withholding is the opposite of love. Complete honesty and openness is love.
We shine light onto the other person in terms of supporting good things said about them or done by them, showing appreciation and letting them know you believe them to be worthy human beings. Anything that doesn’t do that is not love.
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST OBSTACLE TO LOVE?
Pain. When we are in pain we are self-absorbed and not able to express ourselves fully. Since we can control our “suffering” (roughly defined as thinking that perpetuates pain or creates artificial pain), it is our obligation to learn whatever is needed to control our own suffering.
However, regardless of the pain, it is never justified to do anything harmful to the partner. You simply must commit to a standard of doing nothing harmful, period, now and forever. You can never use the justification that “other couples” or “normal people” have those very human problems – mediocrity is no standard to have. And justification is no way to live. We simply must do our best and be committed to that absolute standard.
HOW DO YOU MEASURE LOVE?
The only way it can actually be measured is by something showing up in reality, which would, of course, require some action to make that happen.
So, love is measured by the number of positive actions times their impact on the other (minus the number of negative actions times their impact on the other).
HOW IS YOUR LOVE SCORE?
The scorecard for love: Which have you done in the last week/month/year?
__ Assure he/she is given a net benefit
__ Playing win-win __ Giving empathy
__ Displays of affection – physically
from a smile to pleasuring the other
__ Listened to the other __ Encouraged, praised other __ Gentle, kind
__ Honors agreements with the other
__ Acknowledges good in the other __ Deeply shares feelings, thoughts
__ Giving a symbol of love that is
meaningful to the one you love
__ Taking a 100% responsibility for
your own emotions
Count the negatives and double the score, for it has a multiple subtracting effect from the good in the relationship. Subtract the negative from the positive.
If you don’t score well on the above, you are in the relationship to have your needs filled.
If you didn't answer the very first item on the positive side, based on the truth and on actual honest feedback from your spouse, you have flunked the test and should do all that is necessary to repair and recover the benefit for your spouse (not just for your own selfish interests, convenience and conflicting "needs").