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Getting Healthy, Real Love in Your Life

Getting Healthy Real LoveSynopsis: Jocelyn’s ‘no real love’ problem; Repeat failures; A dozen great ‘how to’s’ for getting the real thing; Love as a happy, habit and getting zestful about it.

Jocelyn came to me after a speech I had given on the dynamics of healthy, real love saying, “My problem is getting what you call healthy, real love.  Several times I thought I had the real thing but it turned out to be false.  Dr. Cookerly, what can I do to get the real thing?”

Jocelyn and a great many other people wonder about the same thing.  If you are a person wanting to know how to do this here are a dozen ideas that may be of considerable help.  First, know there is an all over principle.  You had better take the subject of love seriously and use your mind as well as your heart to achieve love success.  Lots of people don’t take love very seriously until they have a love relationship disaster.  Then they may take it quite seriously.  Others fail at a love relationship but never seriously look at understanding love itself, or the ‘how to’s’ of succeeding at love.  Consequently, they are likely to repeat their failure.  Like every other important subject success is far more likely for those who really study, learn and practice the ‘how to’s’.  So, if you really want to succeed at love more than you have so far look over the dozen ways that may help you achieve that success.  Here’s a ‘get started’ suggestion.  Go over this list and pick out only one or two items to begin on.  Then really work at them and perhaps get those you care about to do the same with you.  If you do this  I’m betting you’ll be really happy you followed the suggestion.  After that you can go on to other items in the list and probably achieve even greater love success.

How to’s for Getting Healthy, Real Love in Your Life
1.  Learn What Real Love Is
We have two kinds of learning to consider.  ‘Experience learning’ and ‘Cognitive learning’.  They work well together.  Think about who has loved you best: parents?, siblings?, family?.  Maybe you have been best loved in your life by a dear friend, a pet dog or maybe grandparents.  How did they deliver love to you?  What did that feel like?  Whoever loved you best has provided you at least some ‘experience knowledge’ of love.  When you were born somebody loved you well enough to keep you alive because without at least some love a baby dies in infancy.  That means at some deep level you have some ‘experience knowledge’ of love.  With work you may be able to tap into that and raise at least some of it into conscious awareness, and that can help guide you.  Easier, but still requiring some work, is to ‘cognitively learn’ and purposefully study what is known about healthy, real love and how it is done.  To help you with that go to “The Definition of Love” and related entries, elaborations and discussions in the left column on this page.

2. Learn About False Love
Study what are seen to be the major forms of false love and how to differentiate them from real love.  There are a great many ways people get into false love situations.  False love often results in enormous emotional pain and destructiveness, sometimes even leading to death.  To help you get healthy, real love review the mini love lessons on “False Love” in the Site Index, and pay particular attention to the entry “A Dozen Things Love Is and A Dozen Things Love Is Not”.

3.  Learn and Practice the Eight Major Ways of Directly Doing Love
A great deal of research effort in social psychology went into discovering the ways people give, communicate, deliver and send love.  Out of this came a clear understanding of eight groups of behavior by which love is done in all types of love relationships.  You can learn and practice these ways and by doing so probably greatly improve any love relationship.  To do that I, somewhat egotistically, recommend you read part two of my book Recovering Love where these ways are covered in some detail.  Also consult the Site Index for “A Behavioral (Operational) Definition of Love”.

4.  Learn and Practice Healthy Self-Love
The ancient commandment is to “love others as you love yourself”.  Without sufficient, healthy self-love most love relationships with others suffer.  One can take the eight major ways of doing love mentioned above and apply them to oneself usually with great benefit.

5.  Get Good at Giving Love
Essential to getting love is giving love freely, often and much.  Healthy, real love is a free gift that tends to grow the more you give it away, especially when it is combined with healthy self-love.  Actively go looking to wisely give love wherever you can while at the same time being open to getting love.  Don’t just wait for love to find you.  Go after it and as you do keep giving it along the way.

6.  Repeatedly Mix Romance, Sex and Affection With Your Lover-Love
For ongoing, couple’s type love it’s best to have ongoing romance, sex and affection and repeatedly mix those into love-mate relating.  To help you with this you may wish to check out the love and sex related mini lessons in the Site Index, such as “Lasting Sex and Lasting Love”, “Men Doing Well at Love”, “Can You Talk About Sex with Love”, “Do You Want to Say Love When You Mean Sex”, “Making Love or Having Sex”, etc..

7.  Engage in Spiritual Love Practices
Search for and find your own best way of relating to and with love spiritually.  Whether it is with standard prayer, oceanic awareness of the universe, the awe and wonder of nature, practices that help you feel connected to life and your fellow humans, respect for the mysteries and unknowns of existence, or regular religious observances, finding a way to connect love and spirituality within you is often marvelously healthful.

8.  Ask for What You Want, With Love
Sharing your wants with a loved one is a way to share yourself.  Not sharing your desires, wishes and requests keeps those you care about in the dark needlessly guessing, emotionally distancing you both, and frequently leads to mis-perception, mis-interpretation and relational abrasion and dissonance, along with possible destruction of the relationship. It also keeps you from getting what you want, and within your wants are usually hidden your needs.  Check out this site’s entry on asking for what you want, “Love Complaints vs. Love Requests”.

9.  Be Love Assertive
You have three choices.  You can be submissive, aggressive or assertive.  Submissive surrendering may get you treated nicely but it’s just as likely to get you abused, sacrificed and destroyed.  At best it relies on charity.  Aggression means to attack in an attempt to hurt, harm and destroy in an attempt to make yourself the winner and someone else the loser.  Assertion, especially assertion with love, means to put yourself (your thoughts, feelings, actions, desires, etc.) forward preferably done in a way there are no losers.  Assertion provides the ‘I win, you win’ possibility especially when love is added.  Therefore, assert all your ‘stuff’ with love.

10.  Become Good at Receptional Love
When anyone does anything that might be an expression of their love for you receive it well in such a way that they see you really got it, then digest it, enjoy it fully, and be nurtured by it.  Do not dodge it, deny you merit it, or in any way negate it.  To receive love well is a gift to those who love you.

11.  Amply Reward Your Lovers (mate, kids, parents, friends, etc.)

To get love in your life, freely and amply reward any and all love and love-like actions that come your way. Also reward those you would love for their ways of being themselves, their achievements and what they take joy in.  Praises, compliments, return expressions of love, hugs, pats on the back, doing favors and hundreds of other actions can be ways to reward.  Especially do this when there are actions of love demonstrated toward you.  Rewarded, real love behaviors tend to increase real love.  This often is not true for various forms of false love.  Reward often and show your love both in your way and in their way.  Check out in the Site Index the entry “Love in the Fridge”.

12. With Joy Study and Practice the Ways of Love Ever More
Make learning about love a happy habit.  Then, full of good heartedness, take more pleasure in practicing what you have learned.  Healthy, real love done well can make people joyous.  That’s true for both the giver and getter.  So get into the joy of love, learning how to do it ever better.  Delight in learning by teaching – which is one of the best ways to learn, relish every love and love-like action that you deliver to others and that comes your way.  Get zestful about all love learned, showed and shared.

There’s lots more but this much can be used to get yourself further along love’s rich and incredibly rewarding path.  Remember the scriptural quote “The greatest of all things is love”.

As always – Go and Grow with Love

Dr. J. Richard Cookerly

♥ Love Success Question
Of the above 12 points which one grabs your attention the most, and what is that guiding you toward?

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