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While many of us may have sensed it intuitively, there is now science behind the statement that “Love is all you need.” A 75-year longitudinal study by Harvard researchers suggests that love is indeed key to a happy and fulfilling life.
While love seems to be a universally valued attribute, defining it in behavioral terms can be a challenge. As the Harvard study’s lead researcher, George Vaillant, wrote of his team’s findings, two essential ingredients are proven to correlate with a happy existence: “One is love. The other is finding a way of coping with life that does not push love away.”
While many of us believe we would like to be in love, we face many hurdles in taking the actions that allow love to flow freely throughout our lives and relationships. We have many ways of defending ourselves against love and can struggle to give and receive love with ease, openness, and vulnerability.
With love being so closely connected to meaning and fulfillment, it’s valuable for each of us to define love as an action or series of actions we can take to bring us closer to the people we value. In a romantic context, some essential characteristics that fit the description of a loving relationship include:
- Expressions of affection, both physical and emotional.
- A wish to offer pleasure and satisfaction to another.
- Tenderness, compassion, and sensitivity to the needs of the other.
- A desire for shared activities and pursuits.
- An appropriate level of sharing of possessions.
- An ongoing, honest exchange of personal feelings.
- The process of offering concern, comfort, and outward assistance for the loved one’s aspirations.
Love includes feeling for the other that goes beyond any selfishness or self-interest on the part of the loved one. As such, love nurtures and has a positive effect on each person’s self-esteem and sense of well-being. Love never involves deception, because misleading another person fractures his or her sense of reality.
So how well do we meet these standards for being loving? When we think about a relationship that is meaningful to us, we have to ask:
- Do we both behave in ways that nurture each other?
- Do we take actions to make the other person feel good?
- Do we consider what lights that person up, separate from our own interests?
Too often, we think of love as an almost passive state of being, as opposed to a conscious choice we make. When we regard love as something we simply fall into, we can easily slip into routines with the person we value or lose a sense of separateness and respect. Instead, we view that person as a part of us. We then run the risk of creating a fantasy bond, an illusion of fusion in which real feelings of fondness and attraction are replaced by the form of being in a relationship. In other words, we come to see ourselves and our partner as a single unit. We then fall into roles rather than appreciating each other as individuals and experiencing the exciting, loving feelings that result.
A fantasy bond offers a false sense of security—the illusion that we are no longer alone. However, when we connect to someone in this way, we lose our sense of vitality, and we give up significant aspects of our relationship. The behavioral operations of love are replaced with a fantasy of being in love, which does not nurture either partner.
Relationships tend to go south when we stop taking actions that our partner would perceive as loving and instead start looking to our partner solely to meet our own needs. It’s important to distinguish emotional hunger from real love. Have you ever witnessed a parent hugging a child and wondered whether the hug was intended to comfort the child, offering reassurance and care, or to soothe the parent, taking something from the child? When we reach out to our partner, it can be valuable to examine whether our behaviors are for them or for ourselves. Are we looking to them to fulfill us in some way that is unfair to them? Are we hoping they will make up for an emptiness or hurt from our past?
A couple I worked with recently recognized an example of this dynamic. The wife would often compliment her husband, but he rarely felt acknowledged by her words. When she recounted some of the recent comments she made, she noticed that they were less of a reflection of him and more a reflection on her. Statements such as, “Aren’t I married to such a handsome, well-put-together man?” and “Haven’t I picked a winner?” didn’t capture qualities that were important to him. They were traits she valued in a partner that reconfirmed her own self-esteem and sense of worth.
Love should never be an act of manipulation. It is not a mark of ownership over another person, but the exact opposite—a genuine appreciation of a person as a separate individual. When we see a person this way, we allow ourselves to fully value them for who they are and for the happiness they bring to our lives. We are driven to be generous toward the person, to show compassion and kindness in a way that both they and the outside world would view as loving.
Of course, there are many barriers we put in place that not only keep us from finding this type of relationship but from achieving it with the person we love. One reason we wind up in less-than-loving relationships is the ways we were treated in our past. We may have become familiar with family dynamics in which we were rejected or intruded on, in which case we tend to seek out or recreate these same dynamics in our adult relationships. To become more loving thus means recognizing ways we self-sabotage: How are we recreating past hurts in our current relationships?
As we reflect on these behaviors, we learn a lot, not only about how we interfere with our naturally loving feelings for others but about the negative ways we feel about ourselves. It’s difficult to express love outwardly when we don’t feel our own sense of self-worth. One of the biggest reasons we shut out love is because we feel unworthy or self-denying. Therefore, to have a loving relationship, we must challenge our negative self-concept or critical inner voice. When we do this and take the loving actions that contradict our critical self-image, we enhance our own sense of worth and are able to get closer to the people we love.
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Intimacy can be downright terrifying.
Intimacy can be downright terrifying.
I have had dozens of clients over the past few years who have described a sense of fear in allowing someone to see them emotionally. They feared getting close. They feared being comforted. They feared laying their heads down on their partner’s chest because the “what ifs” in their minds wouldn’t quiet down for a moment to let them enjoy themselves.
As a personal survivor of a few awful break ups, this resistance to intimacy makes complete sense to me. Our minds go to great lengths to avoid repeating past pain. If the script in your mind is telling you “Remember the last time you opened up to someone? It really didn’t end well for you…” then you will have a natural reluctance to opening up to anyone else.
For your emotional fulfillment, and that of your partners, you have to learn how to let people in.
You can amass a perfect structure of health, wealth, and personality… but if it is all a front to keep people at arm’s distance then you won’t ever be truly fulfilled.
Maybe there was an awful break up. Maybe someone cheated. Or someone made you feel not good enough.
And you’re afraid to let someone in.
By learning to choose vulnerability and let someone see you for who you are, you will gain access to a world of fulfillment, joy, creativity, and blissful love.
3 Ways To Let Someone Love You Deeply
1. Figure Out Your Emotional Patterns
Everyone has them, but few people are aware of what they are.
Maybe you’re a child of divorce. Maybe someone broke your heart. Maybe your parents had such a perfect marriage that you’re afraid that you can’t live up to it.
Whatever lies in your emotional past, there’s a good chance that there are a few stones left unturned.
Our thoughts and beliefs are largely run by our subconscious mind. It’s what I call the “Iceberg effect”. You’re aware of the 10% of the ice that’s above the water line, but in reality, it’s the 90% of the ice that’s hidden from view that runs the show.
How do you figure out what these blind spots are? You may need someone to help you with that.
Whether it’s a highly attuned and emotionally skilled lover, a therapist, or a specialized coach, some external perspective on your situation is the most effective way to see what’s really running your emotional life.
Once you figure out what your fears and emotional patterns are telling you, make sure you let your partner in on them.
Communicate with your partner early and often so that when your “thing” comes up, it isn’t as much of a surprise and you’ll both feel like you have more control over the situation.
If words are too difficult to use when you start to feel vulnerable, establish a signal between the two of you that means “my insecurity/fear/thing is coming up right now and I need you to love me through it/be patient with me/give me a moment of space.”
There are no hard and fast rules about what intimacy should look like so figure out the road map that makes the most sense to the two of you.
Make an effort to become experts in loving each other in the way that each of you needs.
3. Let Them Love You When You Need It The Most
There will be times when your fear/insecurity/thing will come up and you will want to push your partner away. This is your shame speaking and it is up to you and your partner to help you navigate these sometimes scary moments.
Let your partner help you you when you feel at your weakest… they want to help you through your old pain.
Shame whispers in your ear “If I let them see me at my weakest, then they’ll find out how unworthy of love I am and they will leave me.”
Love says “I can tell that my partner wants to help me right now, and I also want them to help me. So I will let them.”
Your partner isn’t turned off by your moment of “weakness”. In fact, being able to let your partner see you in this state actually makes them feel more trusted and close with you.
Why Is Intimacy So Scary?
What we desire the most, we often fear.
You want to be loved so deeply and seen so completely by someone that you feel like they can read your thoughts just by looking into your eyes… but you also fear that when they find out all of the things you’ve kept hidden from people all of these years that they won’t like what they find and they will abandon you.
But just like courage is about acting in spite of your fear (as opposed to not feeling any fear), true intimacy comes from letting someone see you despite your reservations (as opposed to not having any reservations in the first place).
Nobody is immune to the fear of letting someone in. And those that deny it’s existence are generally the most firmly entrenched in their denial.
Love will always be a risk. But you can either risk letting someone see you for who you are, or you can risk not having ever experienced a true intimacy.
If you don’t put yourself out there and make mistakes in life, you will eternally ask yourself “What if I had tried? Who could I have loved? Who could I have been if only I pushed myself that extra step?”
So take a deep breath…tell your trusted lover what you need…and then have the courage to receive it from them.
“At the end of life, our questions are very simple: Did I live fully? Did I love well?”
We all grow up with some healthy stories about love and some unhealthy ones. I learned some beautiful, life-giving ideas about love, ideas like these:
- Loving people means believing in their potential.
- Love means treating people with kindness and gentleness.
- Loving the people in your life means celebrating their successes and cheering them on.
But I also grew up with some stories about love that I came to see weren’t so helpful. Those ideas about love bred problems in my relationships.
One of those stories was: Loving someone means always being available to them. (Turns out, it’s not true, and living as if it is breeds resentment.)
Another was: Loving someone means always having space for what they want to talk to you about. (Turns out, not true either!)
Another myth about love: If you love someone, you do what they are asking you to do, out of love, even if it feels difficult. (I can tell you, that doesn’t work so well.)
I’ve developed my own guidelines for loving the people in my life, guidelines that express how I want to relate to the people around me.
These are some of my guidelines for loving:
1. Tell them about their brilliance.
They likely can’t see it and they don’t know its immensity, but you can see it, and you can illuminate it for them.
2. Be authentic, and give others the gift of the real you and a real relationship.
Ask your real questions. Share your real beliefs. Go for your real dreams. Tell your truth.
3. Don’t confuse “authenticity” with sharing every complaint, resentment, or petty reaction in the name of “being yourself.”
Meditate, write, or do yoga to work through anxiety, resentment, and stress on your own so you don’t hand off those negative moods to everyone around you. Sure, share sadness, honest dilemmas, and fears, but be mindful; don’t pollute.
4. Listen, listen, listen.
Don’t listen to determine if you agree or disagree. Listen to get to know what is true for the person in front of you. Get to know an inner landscape that is different from your own, and enjoy the journey. Remember that if, in any conversation, nothing piqued your curiosity and nothing surprised you, you weren’t really listening.
5. Don’t waste your time or energy thinking about how they need to be different.
Really. Chuck that whole thing. Their habits are their habits. Their personalities are their personalities. Let them be, and work on what you want to change about you—not what you think would be good to change about them.
6. Remember that you don’t have to understand their choices to respect or accept them.
7. Don’t conflate accepting with being a doormat or betraying yourself.
Let them be who they are, entirely. Then, you decide what you need, in light of who they are. Do you need to make a direct request that they change their behavior in some way? Do you need to take care of yourself better? Do you need to set a boundary or to change the relationship? Take care of yourself well, without holding anyone else in contempt.
8. Give of yourself, but never sacrifice or compromise yourself.
Stop if resentment is building and retool. Don’t do the martyr thing. It helps no one and nothing.
9. See their value.
Remember that everyone you encounter was created by divine intelligence and has an important role to play in the universe. Treat them as such.
10. Accept this as your mantra and try to live as if it were true: Everything that I experience from another human being is either love or a call for love.
With this mantra as your guide, you’ll keep growing emotionally and spiritually for the rest of your life.
What are your guidelines for loving the people in your life?
We see God’s love demonstrated in the way Jesus treated others, especially those who mistreated and hurt him. If Jesus exemplified this sacrificial and limitless love, why then, is it so hard for us to love those who have wronged us? My favorite philosopher is Soren Kierkegaard and, years ago, he shared the following parable.
The Girl With a Broken Life
There once was a king who fell in love with a humble peasant. She came from a simple family. In fact, she didn’t have the royal pedigree befitting of a woman who drew the king’s interest. She dressed in rags and lived in the slums. Hers was a broken life.
For reasons no one understood, the king fell head over heels for this girl. He tried to subdue his feelings for her but conquer them he could not.
The king wanted a relationship with this girl in the worst way, but that seemed impossible. How could he reveal his devotion to her, and also win her love? Perhaps an even more significant challenge, how could he bridge the cultural and societal differences that separated them?
The Need For Intimate Love
The king’s advisors suggested that he order the girl to become his queen. He could command her, and she would tremble. He could force her to move into his palace, but he couldn’t make her fall in love with him. Yes, he would have her presence with him, but what he wanted most was her sincere love in return.
We see God’s love in the way Jesus treated others, especially those who mistreated and hurt him.
The king’s advisors could have suggested that he bridge the chasm between them by elevating the girl to his standing. He could overwhelm her with gifts – beautiful jewels and silk gowns. He could shower her with the outpouring of his wealth and greatness.
Admittedly, she would be moved, forever grateful. But how would he ever know if she truly loved him or only loved all the gifts he gave her? Did she even know that he would have cared her even if she had stayed a poor peasant?
The King Who Became a Peasant
The king’s advisors proposed that he find a more suitable woman, someone more worthy of his love and the position of queen. But the king couldn’t do that. Every suggestion resulted in nothing. The king realized there was only one way.
One morning the king left his throne, took off his crown, and laid aside his wand and royal robes. The king left the palace and took on the life of a peasant. Like the girl he loved, he dressed in rags, worked hard, and lived in a slum. He didn’t just take on the appearance of a peasant, it became his life.
He became as ragged as the one he loved, in hopes that they might be united forever.
The God Who Became a Human
God always existed in heaven. He was God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. The Bible describes how Jesus (who is referred to as “the Word” and “the light”) was with God, and was God, from the beginning.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him, nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all humankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:1-5).
God lived in a perfect community of love, and did not need anyone, but chose to create humans with whom he could share his passion.
God created these humans, and he loved them. More than anything, he wanted a relationship with them. How could he reveal his love to them? How could he win their respect? Perhaps, the more significant challenge, how could he bridge the vast chasm that separated them? God realized there was only one way.
John 1:9, “The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.” Jesus left Heaven to come to the world. He became one of us, and he became “Emmanuel,” God with us.
Seeing God’s Love in the World
God loved the world, so he sent his son. His son came to love the world. When you look at the life of Jesus, you see God’s passion coming through. We see God’s love:
We see God’s love in the way Jesus dealt with those who mistreated him.
Love Revealed Through Our Actions
Soren Kierkegaard had a saying, “Love is the works of love.” When you love, it shows itself through action. Love always leads you to do something.
Take time and reflect on the affection that led God to come to earth for us. Love showed itself in the way Jesus loved others. Loving others IS the works of love.
There are times in life when the giants seem too big and game gets too intense. We want to throw in the towel, preserve ourselves, and hide. But we are called to more! In Don’t Give Up, Pastor Kyle Idleman explores the seasons of life where we feel as if we are hanging by a thread. Through relatable stories and Biblical encouragement, he encourages us to cast our concerns on God, trust in his love and timing, pray for patience and strength, and seek out support in the family of God. Don’t Give Up is available for preorder now!
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Vince is the teaching pastor at Verve Church in Las Vegas, Nevada. Vince became a Christian out of a completely non-Christian background, which has led him to start two churches for people who don’t like church. Vince is the author of several books, including God for the Rest of Us.
One thing that I’ve learned over the years, through lots of relationships both good and bad, is that one of the most important factors in relationship success (or failure) is balance вЂ” balance of commitment, balance of desire, balance of love. Relationships take work, so you both have to be equally invested if you’re going to be happy and if you’re going to go the distance. So when you love someone more than they love you, itвЂ™s time to ask yourself if that’s really the kind of relationship that you want. Is this person really the right fit? Do I deserve more?
If this sounds familiar, know that I’ve been in your shoes, and it sucks. Maybe you’re telling yourself that you love them enough for the both of you, or that they love you too but just need to catch up. When it comes to matters of the heart, anything is possible. But is it likely? To answer that and more, I reached out to the experts to get their take on being with a partner who loves you less than you love them. I asked if this kind of relationship is even healthy, and if it’s one worth fighting for. Here is what they had to say.
Why are we sometimes willing to accept a partner loving us less than we love them?
Out of context, it seems ridiculous to think you would be with someone who doesnвЂ™t feel as strongly as you do. But life and love are complicated, and sometimes it happens, especially after a string of failed relationships.
Relationship expert and author Alexis Nicole White says that when youвЂ™ve been let down by love repeatedly, over time you may just start seeking out someone who you can maintain a long-term relationship with, saying, вЂњ[TheyвЂ™re] more likely to accept the lack of reciprocity for the sake of saying [they have] someone. Regretfully, [they] inevitably end up settling.вЂќ
Dr. Lesliebeth Wish, a licensed clinical psychotherapist and founder of LoveVictory.com, has a slightly more hopeful way of thinking about the situation, in that what may feel like a situation where one partner loves more than the other may actually just be a difference in how each partner expresses their feelings. She says, вЂњFor example, one person might buy gifts, while another person might take care of finances, the household, and other responsibilities.вЂќ So, consider if this is a possibility before you jump to the conclusion that there is a disparity in attachment. вЂњDon’t hamper your relationship by getting trapped in the belief that one partner always loves more than the other,” Wish tells Elite Daily. “This belief can breed resentment.”
Is this kind of relationship healthy?
While some couples may be able to chalk it up to speaking in different love languages (and hopefully try to bridge that gap), the reality is that for some couples, it could just be an imbalance of love. In those cases, the question becomes: Is this healthy for you? On this, both of the experts agree.
вЂњNo, it’s not healthy or fair because the length of a relationship does not solidify the quality of the relationship,” White tells Elite Daily. “People deserve to be in healthy relationships that can be fructified and productive; not mediocre and stagnant.”
For Dr. Wish, it simply comes down to the fact that you deserve more in a relationship and you owe it to yourself not to settle for less. вЂњIt is not a good decision to settle for ’emotional crumbs,'” she says. “Unfortunately, many partners do out of fear of being alone or dealing with changes in finances, parenting, homes, and other major changes. But crumbs can never bake the cake of love.вЂќ
What should we do if we’re in a relationship like that?
So, now what? Is the relationship automatically a lost cause? Is there nothing left to do but to just pack your things and leave? Well, not necessarily. Dr. Wish says if this is a relationship you really want to work, and your partner is willing to do the work with you, there is also the option of counseling. In fact, she recommends you give that a shot before grabbing your luggage and calling the movers.
вЂњBefore you decide to leave, get counseling to see if your view of the relationship is accurate or healthy,” says Dr. Wish. “Learn ways to express your feelings of not being loved, and develop a different understanding of how you and your partner show love.вЂќ She also adds, вЂњCounseling can help undo and redo these communication styles so that both partners feel loved. Remember, you can always leave вЂ” but don’t leave home without understanding and counseling.вЂќ
However, if your partner isnвЂ™t willing to invest in the relationship and do the work, well, White says it’s officially time to pull ripcord on this relationship. вЂњIt is never okay to just accept the bare minimum from someone; it’s called settling,вЂќ she explains. While that may sound brutal in the moment, the truth is you need to be free in order to find a better and more fulfilling love. вЂњStand your ground and clear space for the real thing!вЂќ says White.
You deserve to be loved just as powerfully and passionately as you love.
This article was originally published on June 6, 2018
In This Article
We often carelessly interchange ‘I love you’ and ‘I am in love with you’. It happens so as we believe that these two sentences have the same meaning. Actually, they’re not. Love vs in love are two different things. It’s similar to loving someone vs being in love with someone.
Being in love comes when you’re attracted or have an obsession towards someone. You express it by holding hands and feeling lonely when your loved one is not around you. You suddenly crave for them when they’re not around and wish to spend most of your time with them.
However, loving someone is different. It’s about accepting someone the way they are. You accept them wholly without changing anything about them. You want to support them, encourage them, and want to bring the best out of them. This feeling needs 100% dedication and commitment.
Let’s understand the difference between the terms love vs in love properly.
Love is not always a choice. When you meet someone and find their qualities interesting, you start loving them. This happens once you’ve evaluated their best qualities and appreciate them for who they’re. This defines the feeling when you love someone.
However, if you’re in love then you have no choice but to love the person. It’s something that happens without your consent. Furthermore, you simply can’t walk away from this.
2. Well being
This is an important difference between the terms love vs in love. Love gives us the courage to do things that we thought were impossible or difficult. It gives us the power to do better for ourselves. However, when you love someone, you would want them to be the best. You want them to succeed.
In the other case, when you’re in love, you would not only want them to succeed, you would do things out of your way to make sure they achieve it. You would want to stand next to them and support them in their dream.
3. Shelf life of love
This again differentiates ‘I Love You vs I am in love with you’. As discussed above, when you love someone, you have a choice to be in love with someone. You make a decision and then start loving . This love has a shelf life. When the feeling dies up or things change, the love will vanish.
However, when you’re in love with someone, there is no shelf life. You can’t just stop loving someone you’re in love with. You didn’t decide to love that person in the first place. It happened automatically. So, the feeling stays forever.
4. Changing your partner
It’s a universal truth that no person is perfect. Everyone has their own flaws, but what they need is someone who can accept them for the way they are. Accepting a partner without changing them is the toughest job. When you love someone, you live in a fantasy world where you wish your partner to have a certain set of qualities. You may want to to change your partner to meet your expectations.
When you’re in love with someone you accept the reality. You don’t want to change your partner a bit and accept them the way they are, with their good and their bad. This is the most significant difference between the terms love vs in love.
Often you would hear people say that when they’re in love how their partner make them feel. Well, the feeling is another aspect to differentiate love vs in love. When you love someone, you would expect them to make you feel special and great. Here, your feelings will play a major role.
But the situation is totally opposite when you’re in love with someone. When in love, you would want to make your partner feel special . This might sound right from a movie, but this is what happens. So, to determine the feeling, see whether you’re putting your feeling forward or your partner’s.
6. Need and want
Just like feeling, the desire to be with them or not can help you determine the difference between feelings of love vs in love. They say, ‘if your love is true, set them free.’ This fits well here. When you love someone, you would need them to be around you. The desire to be with them would be so strong at times that you would want to be with them no matter what.
However, when in love with them, you would want them to be happy, even if it’s without you. For you, their happiness matters the most. You would set them free and won’t stay with them unless being asked to.
7. Ownership and partnership
It is important to understand the difference between love vs in love. When you love someone, you have a sense of obsession. You would want them to be yours only. This explains the ownership of yours over your partner.
When you’re in love with someone, you seek partnership. You both decide to be each other and would look at your relationship as a concealed partnership.
How do you show love to your partner? That is the question. What is the first thing you think of when you hear, 10 ways to love someone?
Most of the time you show love the way you receive love. For example, if you like to touch, then you may hold your partners hand. If you like to receive compliments, then you may compliment your partner on how smart they are.
There are many ways to show love. What’s important is that your partner gets that you are showing and expressing love towards them. If you have been in a relationship for a while, then you know relationships are about giving and receiving.
1. Listen to your partner
This is one of the kindest things you can do for your partner. I have seen a lot of couples in my practice, and I hear this a lot, ‘I don’t feel heard.’ Set aside time each day to talk about your day with your partner. Make sure you both get a chance to speak.
2. Touch your partner
Everyone likes to be touched by the one they love. You can hold hands or rub up against one another in a playful way. After you have been in a relationship for a while, this one can be overlooked. Make sure you touch and play together often. This will help keep the spark alive.
3. Make sure your partner knows they come first in your life
This is how your partner knows you have their back. This is what everyone wants in relationships. There are many ways you can do this. One of the best ways is by being empathetic. The next time you are listening to your partner. Make sure you listen with empathy.
4. Take an interest in your partner’s dreams
Do you know what your partner’s dreams are for the future? Does your partner want to travel or invent something? If you don’t know, then ask. You don’t have to have the same dream as your partner, but you do need to be supportive. Even if it sounds corky to you.
5. Call or text throughout the day
Now I know many of your are thinking, I already do this. Sure, you text about logistics or what to have for dinner. But, when was the last time you texted your partner, just to let them know you are thinking about them? Or, just to say I Love You?
6. Tell your partner how much you appreciate the little things.
This means saying, ‘thank you,’ a lot. Thank your partner for listening to you last night or folding the clothes. This is one of those small things that can go a long way. Admit when you are wrong, and apologize. Sounds simple, but can be one of the hardest things to do in a relationship. This is actually one of the best things you can do for your relationship. Even if you think you only had a small part in it.
7. Make time for romance, and initiate sex more often.
Okay, ladies this one’s for you. After working with many couples over the years, I’ve heard the men say this one way more often. Now, I know men and women view sex differently. So, it would be helpful to have a conversation about it.
8. Be willing to work on the compromise with your partner.
This one doesn’t have to be that difficult. Start gently with a conversation. Ask your partner about their beliefs and what they need from you. This will let your partner know that you care, and will also build understanding in the relationship.
9. Don’t put yourself last in the relationship.
I’m sure you know about putting your oxygen mask first in an airplane. Apply that to your relationship. It really is true you can’t help anyone else, unless you help yourself. This means you need to prioritize and plan. One thing I have seen so many people give up when they are in a relationship and have a family, is sleep. Make sure you get enough rest, this will help you think more clearly and your mood.
Experts weigh in on how to broach the topic without hurting your relationship.
“I’d ask him how much he weighs, and then I’d shed him!” exclaims Aileen Zsenyuk, a woman who recently lost 115-pounds. While her partner wasn’t the catalyst for her weight loss, for some women, it’s one of the worst things you could ever imagine coming out of a loved one’s mouth: the words “you’re fat.”
Hurtful, maybe, but in some cases, absolutely necessary for the person’s own health and well-being. In cases where one is morbidly obese, it could even save their life. But for some people, excess weight serves as a shield, one that they aren’t quite ready to shed. According to certified health coach Holly Stokes, “Weight can be a way of hiding who we really are from others so they don’t reject us or get too close, and often, it’s a way of insulating yourself from a partner’s criticism.”
So instead of coming off as critical, try a more positive approach. Caryl Ehrlich, a weight-loss coach who helps people beat food addiction says that if you decide to tell someone they need to diet; there are tactful ways to take this step. “Instead of outwardly saying ‘you need to lose weight,’ you could say ‘I love you just the way you are and I want you around for a long time for me and the kids, so you might want to eat in a healthier way.’
If you don’t go about it the right way, Ehrlich says, it could have severe repercussions. “The recipient would be mortified that someone noticed they were overweight and the relationship would never ever be the same. That’s when people go into the closet and become secret eaters,” she says.
Actions speak louder than words, says Judy Lederman, author of Joining the Thin Club: Tips for Toning Your Mind AFTER You’ve Trimmed Your Body (Three Rivers Press, 2007). “Unless you want to cause animosity, do NOT tell them with words,” Lederman says. “Instead, show the person you are concerned by taking them for nice, long walks, making them healthy meals, keeping junk food out of the house, and keeping healthy fruits and veggies readily available. You can also sign them up for a gym membership as a gift and do whatever it takes to get them into the gym, such as purchasing personal training sessions or massages.”
Now, what if you’re the one on the receiving end of the news? Sharon O’Neill, a New York based marriage and family therapist and author of A Short Guide to a Happy Marriage (Cider Mill Press, 2009), says to carefully consider what your loved one is trying to tell you instead of just dismissing it as criticism. “First, ask yourself how this request was delivered. If it was delivered with love and concern, I’d advise thinking twice about it. However, if it was delivered with anger and disgust, there could be a deeper issue going on.”
Sometimes, the person who’s demanding the weight loss could be projecting their own insecurities onto you. “If this is more of a case of dissatisfaction with one’s self, then I’d pass on accepting the advice,” says Debbie Mandel, author of Addicted to Stress (Wiley and Sons, 2008). Similarly, they could be asking for a lot more than just five or ten pounds. “If your partner is trying to change you completely, run the other way!” says body image coach Stephanie Mansour. “If you are losing weight to impress someone or for someone else’s approval, it will never stick!” she adds.
Once you’ve looked inward and analyzed the intentions of your partner, taking a good look at the relationship itself could provide some insight,O’Neill says. “Ask yourself honestly, is my weight affecting the relationship or the intimacy within it? Does my partner have some unrealistic aspiration of the perfect body?” In some cases, women have reported their marriages unraveling because, as they aged or their bodies changed, their partners became angered. In the book The Millenium Diet: the Practical Guide for Rapid Weight Loss (Healthnets, 2010), several such cases are referenced. According to weight-loss coach Pat Barone, “Some partners tend to focus on the other’s weight because they don’t want to face what the real issues are.”
For what it’s worth, some experts say, don’t take it so personally. “Often my clients will equate ‘You need to lose weight’ with ‘You are fat and worthless.’ This is simply not true,” says Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo, a psychologist, physical therapist, and author.
If someone delivers you the news that you need to shed a few pounds (or more) and you agree with them, after you’ve absorbed it, experts say, it’s time to devise a plan. “After I’ve licked my wounds, I’d turn it into a case of personal empowerment,” Mandel says. “Once you’ve decided you want to get fit and live a healthier lifestyle, set a sustainable meal plan and exercise program.” And, for lack of a better term, remember that the person likely had good intentions-so don’t shoot the messenger. “I appreciate the friend who tells me I have broccoli stuck in my front teeth,” she adds.
Facts About Why People Fall for Someone Who Doesn’t Love Them Back
When love is reciprocated, it becomes blissful. But, when it is not been reciprocated then what?
We might want to be with someone in love, who might not have the same feeling for us.
In this case, what should we do?
Some of us might accept the fact and move on while, for some, it becomes simply impossible, to accept. They find it completely unacceptable to accept unreciprocated love.
This is not only alarming but also dangerous. This acts as a self-destruction for them. They continue pursuing their love. This is not done at all.
You can’t force someone to love you. And you must respect other’s feelings and decisions. There is no point one should try to convince someone to love them back. Love is a feeling and not logic.
So, you can’t and shouldn’t try proving any point to love you back.
What can be the reasons for that, some people can’t take unreciprocated love?
Let’s check out some facts about this.
Reasons People Continue To Pursue Someone Who Doesn’t Love Them Back:
Table of Contents
They project what they want to be true.
When we tend to see something we want, in someone, we project these things in an unusual way. These things in reality don’t apply to the person, we are targeting.
But, we remain focused on our projection and start assuming things on their behalf. These projections are normally illusion and imaginary.
For example, we will see that person, hugging us, kissing us. We will see them with us at a romantic dinner. And all these happen with our open eyes, and being in the complete sense.
So, it’s not any kind of daydreaming. This is something that we want to happen with the person who has not reciprocated their love. This is dangerous and needs to be stopped by you only.
Our admiring and loving that person insist us to project these things from a distance. What we don’t see are the flaws, which would be there if we were to live with them regularly.
They Like Drama More than Reality.
Getting addicted to the chase, knowing they won’t get anything; becomes an addiction for these people. They become obsessed with their fantasy.
The pain, they go through for their unrequited love, becomes acceptable and pleasure for them. Reality becomes irrelevant for these people as they find their own ways to be happy with their own thoughts of being loved back by their love.
These people need to get back to reality. Again, only they can do that, by accepting the facts and staying away from the drama of their own.
It appeals to some people without love. If they chase for a long time, they do not face the anti-climatic feeling of coming down from the romantic high.
It creates and stimulates high drama, and provides the ideal antidote for any boredom that may occur in their lives around.
They Fear Intimacy.
Some people are shy and don’t want to get involved in real love. Some of us protect themselves by not going into a real relationship. Some justify not going in a real relationship to avoid getting hurt.
They prolong their search for love – in this case, chasing them without following – becomes a way to maintain the feeling of being loved without any risk.
Check, If Your Partner Is Faking Love
These chases become a bargain where they satisfy their craving for love and need to protect their vulnerable feelings at the same time.
Being in love with someone who does not love them allows them to feel the intensity and passion involved in a relationship without going into any type of commitment.
They Remain In the Past.
There might be a past experience of losing their love with these people. The painful experience and the hurt they might have got in their past, stop them to go for real love.
Sexual or emotional abuse can also be the reason for their recent behavior. Some people who are too sensitive also behaves in the same manner.
Also, Read 12 Things You Should Never Do After A Breakup
Any of the above conditions can bring attraction to unrequited love. People who go for this, rather who are forced by themselves to go for this; suffer from pain, which ultimately becomes a pleasure for them.
They remain one step away from being really happy because of their own designed world of illusions and magic.
If you are also, one of them, who loves someone but is not being loved back, I would suggest you not waste your life and time for them.
A relationship needs two people to feel love for each other. You need someone who loves you back and not someone, who is nowhere in your life and have no feelings of love for you.
Also, Check What Helped Me Move On After Being Cheated On
You need to take the risk if you are looking for love. You have to be realistic and will have to come out from the imaginary world of yours of being loved by the person, you want to.
Also, Read These Fake Love Quotes
To have a real partner, who loves you, cares for you, thinks about you, and feels the same for you is awesome. To be with them is what we all look and desire. That’s how you should also look out for your love.
Be realistic, accept facts, and look ahead. You are wonderful and you truly deserve to be loved back, in real and passionately.