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Love Success Questions – What Are They?

January 24th, 2013 Comments off

Have you heard “getting the right answers depends on asking the right questions”?  Sometimes struggling with a good question is more important and productive than knowing, or quickly getting the right answer.  Much of your success with love may depend on asking, delving into and struggling with good questions.  To help you with that each time you see this symbol, ♥, a ‘Love Success Question’ will follow.  Each question is designed to help you go after answers that may greatly improve your life of love.  Hopefully you will find the Love Success Questions intriguing and fun to deal with, as well as helpful.  Even if a question does not apply to your situation it may be ‘growth-full’ nevertheless.  Here’s the first one:

Love Success Question
Are you much, or some, or perhaps only a little receptive to a ‘Love Success Question’ leading you toward new and different ways to succeed at love?

View all posts with Love Success Questions


Dr. J. Richard Cookerly

Throuple Love, a Growing Worldwide Way of the Future?

January 8th, 2018 No comments

Throuple Love

Mini-Love-Lesson #213
One of over 200 FREE mini-love-lessons touching the lives of thousands in over 190 countries worldwide!

Synopsis: What throuple love is; its legality, offspring, sexuality; who desires it; and the question “Is it a real love?” are all briefly presented and explained here.

How Throuple Love Happened to Alice, Betty and Charlie

It all started sometime after Alice’s policeman husband was tragically killed in the line of duty.  Her best friend, Betty, and Betty’s husband, Charlie, began looking in on Alice and her two young daughters then taking them places like shopping, the movies and the park along with their own children.  Later they all watched TV and did other ordinary stuff together.  It was obvious to all of them that they were growing quite close, including the children.  One day Betty said, “Suppose we all move in together, after all, it would save money and we have become like one big family”.  That led to a lot of talk and spending experimental weekends together which went quite well.

One day Alice said she had a problem with the suggested all live together idea.  She confessed she was both romantically and sexually attracted to Charlie and, truth be told, sometimes also a bit attracted to Betty too.  She went further saying she felt sometimes like she was falling in love with both of them.  Betty surprised herself as well as the others by saying she loved Alice and didn’t think she would really mind sharing her husband with Alice, sort of like they had seen on a TV show about Mormon sister-wives.  Charlie then related he had love feelings for both Betty and Alice, truth be told, he revealed he had sexually fantasized about having threesome sex with both of them.  Cautiously one weekend with all the kids away at the grandparent’s homes, they started a very loving, three-way, sexual relationship.  At first they laughed together at their awkwardness, then got really amazed with how turned-on and passionate they all got with one another.  All three were quite certain they would want to do it again and they did.

One thing that just evolved was all three of them enjoying spending more time before and after sex, non-sexually cuddling and caressing one another.  It was after one such very loving three-way experience that Charlie, kind of awkwardly proclaimed, “I think we three are creating a marriage with each other.”  Alice and Betty soon agreed.  After some parent guidance and blended family counseling which included all the children to make sure that they carried this off in the best way possible, they bought a big house and moved in together.  That was years ago and except for some problems with outside family members their love-filled, very psychologically real, three-person marriage/union has gone quite well.

Another surprise came when they discovered lots of people around the world were doing pretty much the same thing and there was a name for it, along with websites, support groups, an app and a whole bunch of other stuff.   The name for it, similar to the word couple, is “Throuple”.

What Is Throuple Love?

To understand throuple love, just think of the term couple love and add a person.  Throuple love is a love-mate or spouse-type love for two people simultaneously instead of just one.  A throuple love relationship is where spouse-type love goes back and forth rather equally between three people as they have and live in a committed, love-based, three person, psychological marriage.  Sexuality is a part of that but not the center of it, as likewise it is in a healthy, love-centered marriage.

Throuples are to be differentiated from threesomes who usually are more temporary and more about sexuality than love.  They also are different from couples who have a third person, friends with benefits type relationship, although probably that is closer and might turn into a throuple relationship at some point.  Technically a throuple could be considered a form of polygamy or polyandry but those terms more often reference a one gender dominance situation.  Throuple usually is a classification within the subcategories of plural marriage, group marriage, polyamor relationships and alternative lifestyles, all of which are encompassed by the larger category of marriage-type relationships ( see “Poly Love” and “Multiple Sex Partners and Love”).

Some people also use a term like throupling to refer to actions and states of mind involving or going toward throuple love and relating.  Throupling, throuple love and throuple marriages can occur between one man and two women, one woman and two men, three women, three men, one or more bisexuals and one or two others of either gender, one or more transsexuals with one or two others and may include other gender oriented categories (see “Other Genders Love” and “Does Sexual Preference Influence Love?

What About Throuple’s Legality?

The first legal recognition of a throuple union occurred in the country of Columbia in 2017.  Three men were granted family law, legal union status with the same rights as couples.  When challenged, their legal union was upheld by that nation’s constitutional court.  Worldwide, supportive compliments came from other throuple relationships around the globe as well as from various libertarians, liberal religious groups, alternative lifestyle supporters and relational freedom advocates.  Condemnation, death threats, hate messages and other legal challenge attempts came from a wide variety of other conservative, traditionalist, reactionary and regressive groups apparently mostly in South America but also in some parts of Africa.

In most parts of the world, throuples just are not dealt with legally or, at worst, are arrested and imprisoned with some even endangered by the death penalty.  In countries rated as more democratic, throuples tend to be accepted and some legal support is able to be obtained through contract law and broadening family law.  In countries rated as more non-democratic or anti-democratic, severe problems can be encountered.  In various places, the safety of those in a throuple relationship where laws against polygamy, homosexuality and other forms of alternate lifestyles exist are a concern, as they are in lands heavily influenced by various conservative religious laws.

What about Children of Throuples?

Throuples make the argument that three parents can be, and often are, much better than two or one parent households.  What little research evidence there is suggests this may be true.  One of the possible reasons this may be valid is that when a child needs comfort, information, support or any parental help, there may be more loving adults available.  Certain testimony from those who have grown up in three parent, throuple type, homes seems to be quite positive about it so far.  Contrary comments from throuple offspring, to date, are uncommon.  Definitive, long-range studies have yet to be completed.  Harmful and destructive throuple influences on children have been postulated by some, but not proven or objectively confirmed as having any real frequency of occurrence.  The preponderance of available, though meager, evidence to date, suggests throuple love correlates well with good, healthy, parental love and subsequently children who turn out quite well as they mature.

What about Throuples and Sex?

King-size beds apparently are rather popular with throuples.  One reason is because three people being sexual with each other simultaneously is not so easily done in smaller beds designed for couples.  As commonly proclaimed, throupling is not primarily about sex but rather about love, or at least the attempt at modern, egalitarian, three-way love.  Three lovers cuddling together as they go to sleep with love in their hearts for one another is more the prototype image than three people climaxing together (see “Sexual Love Laces”).

Some throuples take turns or do one at a time sex, some occasionally bring in a fourth person, usually a dear friend and a few go about things in the open marriage sort of way but, so far, the evidence suggests not many.  Throuples usually seem to emphasize they are going about their relationship in very democratic ways including what they do sexually.  Democratic equality and mutuality, along with a willingness to experiment with what each other wants, seems to be the standard.

Who Wants Throuple Love?

Quite a few bisexuals seem to see a throuple love relationship as a real boon to their natural desires and proclivities.  One bisexual said, “I no longer have to cheat, have affairs and feel guilty now that I’m in throuple love”.  Bi’s have related that in a three-way love and sex relationship they no longer have to deny or try to suppress half of their true selves.  Some married lesbian and gay men also have related that the throuple way has allowed them to stay married and continue as full-time parents, so it is way better for the children.

Throupling homosexuals being sexual is more with a same gender partner but it can occur in the threesome way.  Some report becoming a bit more bi themselves and getting turned on by seeing their two other throuple partners enjoying each other.

It is surprising to many that a fair number of older, retired people seem to have formed throuple-type, love relationships.  Cases of widows and widowers becoming friends and then developing multiple person, marriage-type love for one another and finally living in a three-person marriage arrangement might possibly become somewhat common.

Transgender and mixed gender people of various types also see throuple love as a form of living married that is well-suited to their particular needs and wants.  One trans person said it was wonderful not to have to get a divorce like happens to so many married transgender people when they make the transition.  “I started in our throuple as a biological male with a male and a female spouse.  For a time, I was sort of a half-and-half but was just as loved by my other two.  Then I got to my real self as a full female and was still pretty much loved just the same way I was when we started.  Even better, all three of us pretty much are just same except my female clothes take up more room now”.

There are those who grew up in happy, big families who find the throuple way of doing love relating to feel like being home again.  Others admit to being bigamist at heart and there are still others who enjoy having a sort of brother or sister spouse.  A very small number are known to have grown up in throuple household and just see it as what they are used to and like.  Others who have had bad experiences with two-person marriage are willing to try a throuple love approach.

In short, a growing number of people all around the world either want a throuple relationship or are willing to give it a try to see if it works for them.  It is too early to tell but some analysts suspect throuple love is going to keep growing and eventually perhaps become common.

Is Throuple Love Real Love?

You can’t really love two people at once, can you?  At least one person’s love for one of the others will be fake love, won’t it?  And if you love one better than the other, won’t that break up the throuple?  Doing this throuple love thing isn’t natural, is it?  All sorts of questions arise and those in throuple love relationships give some pretty interesting answers.  To the question about loving two people comes the reply “lots of people love two children, two parents, two siblings, two friends etc. so why not two romantic or marriage type partners?  To the second question comes to the reply “throuples have less fake love and false love problems than do couples because they have to examine everything more carefully, and three minds work better than just two or one”.

The third question about loving one better than the other gets the answer “people may unequally love two children, two siblings, two parents, etc. differently at different times and it all works out fine, so why not two lovers?  To the issue of what’s natural comes the social psychologist’s and cultural anthropologist’s answers showing millions of people living and having lived in multiple person marriages and done so quite sufficiently and successfully.  Monogamy actually may be in the minority throughout cultures and over long time periods.  That certainly is true in the animal world.

If you measure real love by the behaviors and operations that exhibit it, and by the operations that differentiate it from false love, or by what the limbic system in the brain does neurochemically and neural electrically with love, or by the social biological correlates of those who strongly report feeling love after years of love relating, then we have no reason to think that throuple love could not be just as real as couple love.  However, it will take a lot more good, solid research to support or contradict this much more fully than is currently evident.

Could throuple love be right for you, or members of your family, friends, etc.?  Again, emphasis on love.

One More Little Thing

Who might you want to talk all this over with, and maybe tell them about this site and its FREE 200+ mini-love-lessons?

As always – Go and Grow with Love

Dr. J. Richard Cookerly

Love Success Question: If you knew a throuple, would you invite them to dinner at your home and, yea or nay, what does that tell you?

Marriage By Love or by Law

December 17th, 2017 No comments

Marriage by love or by lawSynopsis: Who’s really married; fighting legal love wars; let us remember ill-legalities of the past; not what you have been led to believe; the big comprehensive question; where are we headed; what matters to and for you.

Really Married?

Who’s really married?  Some answer only those who are deeply bonded together with true love.  Others say only those who hold a valid, governmental, marriage license.  Still others argue only those who have been sanctioned as married according to religious law and its authorities.  Then there are those who reject the religious law viewpoint but hold that the truly married are those spiritually bonded together with divine power.  Of course, there also are those who use a sociological or cultural anthropology checklist to answer the question of who is really married and who is not.  There even are some who hypothesize that, in the future, possible psychoneurological phenomena measured as present or absent in behavior and/or in the brain could be used to analyze who’s really married and who’s not.

Legal Love Wars

Did you know that there are ongoing court battles over who gets to call themselves married and who does not?  Involved in some of those disputes are arguments about whether or not the litigants have marital type love for one another.  Calling yourself married and not having a license is legally punishable fraud, some argue.  Not being ‘in love’ and getting legally married also is considered legally fraudulent by some authorities.  Then there are those who propose that the state ought be legally banned from having anything to do about who is and who is not married, and that the government should be kept out of love relationships in general.  They argue that both love and marriage are private matters about which the government has no good reason or right to regulate or interfere.  Of course divorce lawyers, various political and governmental groups like those involved with family law, and especially immigration authorities tend to vehemently disagree with that position.

Throughout history both secular and religious law has had a lot to say about both love and marriage as well as the often related topic of sex.  Actually it is thought that long ago people got ‘love married’ to one another without any governmental or formal religious involvement at all.  Some think we ought to return to those days.  Others think we are indeed progressing or, depending on your point of view, regressing toward that very thing.

Did you know that how courts come to rule on who is married and who is not may influence how over 1000 federal rules, rights, benefits and crimes are adjudicated in the US alone?  In some other countries the numbers are even higher.  All over the world love and marriage questions are being legally struggled over and new trends are emerging.  In some lands parents who said they no longer loved each other and could not live together were not allowed to legally divorce and their children were awarded to the father, in other lands they were awarded to the mother, in still others to the grandparents, and in some cases to the state.  In the developed world this is giving way to ‘joint custody’ but that arrangement is by no means a universal option.

Can same-sex couples marry or even call themselves married.  The answer varies from country to country, and within some countries from state to state or province to province.  In some jurisdictions certain people are afforded the right to behave married in every way known, except they do not have the right to call themselves legally married.  There is a movement which proposes that all legal, romantic, partner unions be legally termed ‘domestic partners’ and the term ‘marriage’ be totally dropped from legal usage.

Let Us Remember

It is worth remembering that the battle over legalized, interracial marriage is still being fought in some places and that it was illegal in some US states until 1967.  At various times and places (and still to this day in some locales) battles were fought concerning banning people from being married legally if they were disabled, retarded, mentally ill, of different religions, different ethnic groups, different nationalities, too closely related, too old, too poor or in debt, were in slavery or indentured servitude, were in certain occupations, certain classes, certain casts or were already married to too many others (4 being a common limit).  Remember also the French Courts of Love once held that people married to one another could not love each other because marriage was essentially a relationship of unequals, while romantic love necessitated equality.

Not What You’ve Been Led to Believe!

Many people have been misled into believing romantic love and marriage have always been pretty much the same thing they think it to be now.  Factually who is really married is a question with vastly different answers throughout history and across the world’s many cultures.  Giving birth to a child has been a prerequisite for marriage in some places and times.  There were times and places in which commoners could not marry and only the Royals and the rich were allowed to wed.  Women marrying sets of brothers, men required to marry their wife’s sisters if the sisters became available, siblings marrying each other, parents marrying their offspring, some married to various deities, time-limited marriage, being more married by way of having sub-wives and sub-husbands and many stranger (to us) and more different customs all have been part of the world’s ‘who’s married’ picture.  Loving a left-handed person, an orphan, a redhead, a person whose middle finger was shorter than another finger, anyone born with any deformity, along with people who possessed full-length mirrors and full immersion bathtubs were forbidden and condemned because they were obviously under the influence of Satan.  If you married a person who was later discovered to be any of the above, or of a different race, nationality, ethnicity or religion, of a lesser cast or under-class annulments were easily obtained because no true marriage could have existed with such a person.  Slowly in most parts of the modern world love has won out over these restrictions and democratic inclusiveness has pushed autocratic exclusiveness aside in the world of who can love and marry.  Unfortunately in some parts of the world attempting to love or marry the ‘wrong person’ still can get you ‘honor’-killed (even without there being enforced legal or religious sanctions against it).

The Big Question

Do you believe or suspect that true marriage really is best understood to primarily be love-based, psychologically-based, spiritually-based, religiously-based, societally-based, biologically-based or legally-based?  What people come to think about this is perhaps going to determine the future of marriage in the world.  There are people preaching, teaching and proselytizing for each of the above positions.  There are people arguing for each of the above positions, putting forth public policies related to each, proposing and attacking laws related to each, and shaping their own personal lives according to each.  You, or your children, or your grandchildren and the community you live in are likely to be effected by this issue.  The very structure of society may become shaped by how people align themselves according to the answer to this question.

Where Are We Headed?

All over the developed world fewer and fewer people get married, stay married or live in what is called traditional marriage.  Various religious and political groups are fighting to reverse these modern world trends.  It seems they hope to take us back to what they suppose was the way things were a century or more ago.  These regressive and sometimes repressive forces try to deny the great historical tenet that says ‘you can’t go back’ or at least not successfully.  But what will progress look like?  Egalitarian marriage is already replacing male dominant marriage in much of the world.  Will that continue or will people living single dominate the future?  Will a majority of people float in and out of detailvarious temporary married-like living arrangements as their life situations ebb and flow?  Will most mothers and fathers have other lovers as they carry on parenting as is so common with current divorce rates being what they are?  How many people will come to live communally or semi-communally as is common in retirement communities?  Could polygamy, polyandry or polyamore lifestyles someday proliferate?  Would we ever adopt having primary, secondary and tertiary spouses copying a people who live in southern India.  What about the Eastern sect that allows for temporary additional spouses?  Might we someday become like a people of southern China who have no form of marriage whatsoever?  Might we eventually have all of the above and more, as yet not invented, forms of doing love-bonded relationships?

What Matters To and For You?

Are you ready for the coming changes whatever they may turn out to be?  Or are you going toward the future of love and marriage blind and unaware?  Are you afraid of the future and want to go back to your childhood understanding of how marriage and love should work?  What will you do if you come to love someone who sees love and marriage very differently than you do?  How will you react if your offspring experiment and explore love and marriage outside the traditional box’?

Currently there seem to be lots of parents getting upset because they are hearing their offspring say things like, “We are going to live together but not get legally married”.  The core of some family counseling I once supervised was epitomized by the statement “We might marry someday but if we do it won’t be until after we have a child”.  “I’m going to legally marry and live with Xavier so he can stay in this country and finish his degree, but after that I’ll probably move in with Tom”, initiated another set of interesting family sessions for one of my colleagues.  “Mom and Dad, will you attend if Sarah, Lester and I have a wedding ceremony and non-legally marry each other next summer?” was a question that lead to some fairly intense, extended family and parent guidance counseling I am aware of.

Sometimes it’s the parents upsetting their offspring that brings forth the ‘who’s really married’ issues.  Here are a few examples.  “After retirement next month we’re going to start co-habiting but we will not be getting legally married because it would be bad for us financially.  We hope that won’t be a problem for you bringing over the grandchildren, will it?”  Another: “We have started sharing our bed with Rosalind every so often because she lost her spouse a while back and she’s lonely and misses making love, cuddling and hugging too, and, well, it just seems like it’s the kind, loving thing to do.”  Also:  “Its better here at this swanky, old folk’s home than I thought it would be.  The custom here is called roaming.  Every night I can be in someone else’s bed if I want to, and it’s not always about sex but if it is we practice safe-sex.  I think I’m coming to really like and maybe even actually love some of these people here.  Also I need to let you know Larry and I may move in together.  That way we can afford one of the cottages they have for couples, and we’d have more room and it just would be nicer all in all.  We both agreed we will let each other keep roaming, at least some of the time, because truth be told we both like it”.  Another: “Your father and I won’t be babysitting for you as often as we were now that we’re both retired.  Frankly, that’s because our sex life has picked up now that we have more time.  Also our social calendar is looking a lot more full”.  What will you do if your parents, aunts and uncles, or other older family members tell you things like this?  What will your offspring or younger family members do if messages like these are your messages to them?  You see, love and marriage-issue culture shock can go both up and down the age continuum.

Seeing your options provides freedom.  I like to suggest that people see and study their own possible opportunities.

The many points and life style options presented here are not to advocate or disparage any particular choice or custom but rather to put forth the many ways human beings have behaved, are behaving and might behave in regard to love, marriage, bonding, and marital law.  Some get upset when they are faced with new or different options concerning marriage.  Let me suggest the guidance message (see the entry “Dealing with Love Hurt: Pain’s Crucial Guidance”) of ‘feeling upset’ is a warning about vulnerability requiring some study and strengthening.

So, dear reader, how do you think and perhaps even more important emotionally how do you feel as you contemplate these issues?  Do you want governmental law, religious law, scientific law, societal ‘law’ or the natural law of love to provide the dominant answers to the question ‘who’s really married’?  All these different situations and scenarios are put forth as important to think about, not just to accept what you may have been conditioned to believe in regard to marriage by love or by law.

As always, Grow and Go with Love

Dr. J. Richard Cookerly


Love Success Question

Concerning love and marriage, for yourself and those closest to you, which do you think will give you more trouble, being more old-fashioned traditional or being more New Age progressive?

Love Your Brain – Why and How

December 11th, 2017 No comments

Love Your Brain

Mini-Love-Lesson #210
One of over 200 FREE mini-love-lessons touching the lives of thousands in over 190 countries – worldwide!

Synopsis: This mini-love-lesson tells about how you can help your brain help you do love and do life better, healthier, happier, more knowledgeably and more successfully via limbic system health acts.

Better Brain Health for Better Love Health and Everything Else Too

WOW, is your brain tremendously important to absolutely everything important to you, including your love life.  Are you aware that the better you treat your brain the better your brain can help you with everything important to you.  All your thinking, all your feeling, all your doing, all your health, all your work, all your fun and especially all your love and love relationships are affected by your brain and can be affected by its health.  Do you know that if you help your brain be healthier, your brain can help your love relationships be healthier, happier and more successful.

Maybe you are asking “how can I help my brain be healthier?”  Then maybe you are also asking “how does a healthy brain make for healthier love”.  To answer those questions we need a little brain and love background knowledge.

Knowing Your Loving Brain

Your conscious thinking mind and your loving heart are actually in your brain.  Your thinking brain resides largely in your brain’s cerebral cortex and your loving heart in the circuitry and components of your limbic system.  Your cerebral cortex is thought to be your more recently developed, outer layer brain.  It wraps around and covers your limbic system which is a deeper, older, inner layer brain system sitting atop your more basic functions and oldest brain system known as your “reptilian” brain or brainstem.  It is mostly in your limbic system where love, loving and feeling loved are understood to be primarily, non-consciously processed (see “What Your Brain Does with Love – Put Simply”).

The more you can help your limbic system operate healthfully the better it can process love.  Then your limbic system can to a better job of sending its electrical and chemical messages throughout your body and the rest of your brain where they do lots of health-making good.  Those messages from your limbic system also help you feel and become consciously aware of the many different positive emotions associated with love.  When that happens you can add conscious thinking about love and use whatever you have learned and understand about love to influence your love relationships behavior.

If your knowledge-base about love is weak, poor, misinformed, contradictory conflicted, etc., as it is with so many, your actions concerning love  likely will be the same.  If instead your knowledge base about love is strong, rich and well-informed, love success becomes much more likely.  That strong knowledge base also will help you with raising into conscious awareness your subconscious bad programming about love and how it works to sabotage you.  Almost everybody has at least some bad love programming.  However, making improvements only may work well if your brain’s limbic system is healthy and operating well.  The more your thinking brain can know and work well with your limbic, non-conscious, loving brain the better.

What Your Loving Brain Needs from You to Be Healthy

Not only can your loving heart’s limbic system help you with your love relationships, it also can help a great deal with your all over health, not to mention your general happiness, creativity, energy, efficiency and life spirit.  To help your brain accomplish all that, ponder the following closely.

Your limbic system is made healthier by healthy, real, love stimulations coming into it.  That is what the research evidence increasingly points to.  So, associate and interact a lot with those you love and those you are healthfully loved by.  Then do the same with those you like and are liked by because that helps too.  Include pets and perhaps those special experts on love known as dogs.  Horses and cats are quite good too as are just about any mammal and also some birds especially parrots.

Be actively involved with an adamant love (see “Adamant Love – And How It Wins for Us All”), altruistic love, spiritual love or a passionate purpose where you are focused on doing some kind of good thing.  One of the great surprise discoveries in love research was the finding that giving love makes your body healthier in big important but different ways than does getting love.

Learn about and get good at healthy self-love (see “From Self-Love to Other Love and Back Again”)  Those who are good at healthy self-love are better at loving others and far better than the love malnourished, love starved and false love addicted (see “Does ‘Feeling in Love’ Come from Real or False Love” and our Real Love, False Love e-book).  Remember, you can live the great admonition “Love Others as You Love Yourself”.

Limit your time with the unloving, non-loving, false loving and anti-loving.  Such people can be quite harmful to your relational and psychoneurophysical health.  If you choose or have to work with or be around the less loving or those who seem to be just plain negative, counterbalance it by being with those of love as much as you can.  Nothing seems to be as good for your limbic system health as having a personal life full of getting and giving love and just being around love.  You likely will live happier, healthier, longer and be so glad you did it that way.

Negative to Yourself? Take the Cure!

If you suffer from what is known as automatic negative self thoughts, know that you probably are dosing your limbic system and maybe your whole brain with toxic and brain harming neurochemicals.  Know also this could cause your limbic system to malfunction.  And that likely would negatively influence the way you behave in your love relationships.  Also, that probably would sabotage your self love too.  So, if automatic, negative thinking about yourself is a problem, you had best learn to counter those negative self thoughts and negative self talk by replacing them with accurate, self positive thinking and talking (see “Love Positive Talking”).  It is amazing what we are discovering about how we think and feel about ourselves changes our neurochemistry and influences our body’s physical health and our brain health.

The faster cure for automatic, negative, self thoughts is time with a good counselor, therapist or personal coach along with a good bit of self positive homework practice.

Reshaping Your Brain with Purposeful Love

With the help of brain imaging technology, we can see your limbic (loving heart) system’s neural networks activate, or light up, when you do certain thinking things concerning love.  We also can see your brain circuitry begin to change as you keep doing that.  Furthermore, we also can analyze your blood before and after you do those certain love-focused, thinking things and measure the chemical changes that have occurred.

What has been discovered is astounding.  If you train and become able to do certain kinds of love-oriented meditation focused on those you love (which can include yourself) your limbic system lights up, circuitry changes occur in your brain and the neurochemical measurements get healthier.  The more you do that sort of thing the more your limbic system perhaps seems to be practicing love and getting healthier as it does so .  That in turn is thought to influence you to act more lovingly, which then in turn results in better love relationship functioning.  The work of the neuroscientist, Dr. Richard Davidson, in his studies of loving kindness and loving compassion meditation, and the research into love by ethnologist and brain researcher, Dr. Helen Fisher, are particularly impressive here.

All that is what recent and ongoing research is pointing to.  Lots more has to be learned and confirmed but that is the way it looks so far (see “What Your Brain Does with Love – Put Simply”).

A tentative conclusion is the more you focus on love, meditate on love, learn and think about love and practice the behaviors of love the better.  Most likely your brain and especially your limbic system will function better, your body will be healthier, you will live longer, you will live happier and more effectively and all your love relationships will improve, even if they already are good.

So, you meditatively might want to send your loving heart limbic system a message from your thinking self that says you love it, you are in awe of it, you respect it and are very thankful for all it does for you.  You also might want to send it the message that you are going to treat it as good as you can learn to do.

Other Big Ways to Help Your Brain’s Health

Eat for wellness.  Your loving heart limbic system does best with whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, lean meats and especially with just about anything having omega-3 in it.  Particularly do not act against your loving brain’s health by eating saturated fats and all those other things they tell you are not good for you.  For the good of your brain, you might want to check out the Mind Diet, the DASH diet, the Mediterranean Diet and also check out the colorful plate eating approach.  Limit your alcohol intake.  That is because alcohol gets in your blood and circulates through your brain where it can damage and kill brain cells including those in your limbic system.

Breathe for wellness.  Your brain needs a lot of oxygen – clean uncontaminated oxygen.  Without good oxygenation, your brain including your limbic system functions poorly or worse.  If your life is pretty sedentary, you probably are going to do better by doing short, deep breathing exercises every day unless you live where there is a lot of air pollution.  Yoga breathing exercises often are recommended.  If you are a good swimmer, you might do a lot of that using all of the different stroke styles (even if you are not a good swimmer, swimming is a good, full body, respiratory stimulating exercise).  Any kind of exercise that gets you breathing more is worth considering.  Aroma-therapy combined with deep, slow, calm breathing also is proving to be quite helpful to the brain.  Lavender and chamomile scents for relaxation and distressing, citrus and mint scents for action, energy and mental sharpness often are recommended.

Sleep for wellness.  7 to 9 hours of sleep is about right for most people.  A 30 minute, siesta nap and power napping seems to help a lot for many.  Lowering the temperature and raising the humidity has been known to improve deep, restful sleep.  Make your sleeping environment good and you are likely to be helping your loving brain to rest well.

Exercise for wellness.  Your brain including your limbic system does best with a lot of good blood circulation.  That happens with good exercise.  For figuring out what is the right exercise for you it is best to consult with those who might know.  Exercise specialists, physical therapists, sports physicians, personal trainers and of course other medical doctors and nurse practitioners who may have special positive brain health care knowledge.  Walking is widely recommended, unless there are physical prohibitions.  Many health care professionals suggest a 30 minute walk wearing good, supportive shoes most days of the week for possibly tremendous mental and physical benefits.

Do Positivity Meditation for wellness.  For at least a few minutes every day, go where things are calm and devote yourself to meditating about that which is positive.  This can be done with positive focused prayer, slow gliding movement exercise, positive visualization exercises, uplifting melodic music, any kind of beauty appreciation and most of all love focused meditating.  Fun, stimulating, challenging brain games and brain exercises can be found free and in abundance on the internet for another way to love your brain and promote brain health.  My love and I record the TV quiz show, Jeopardy, then watch an episode each day; we have great, relationship fun while not being upset when we do not know an answer and congratulating each other when we come up with the right answer.  Readings in the newer field of positive psychology also can be assistive.  To learn more you might want to read The Compassionate Brain by Dr. Gerald Huther, The Brain in Love by Dr. Daniel Amen and The Neuroscience of Human Relationships by Dr. Louis Cozolino.

Remember the song line that says “what the world needs now is love sweet love”?   Ergo, are you doing your part by being about love?  You must be at least somewhat about love because you are reading this mini-love-lesson.  Consequently, I suggest you congratulate yourself for that and do some more.

One More Thing

Perhaps you know someone you would enjoy sharing and talking to about this mini-love-lesson and this site where there is so much knowledge about healthy, real love and the how to’s of love success plus remember all these mini-love-lessons are totally free.

As always – Go and Grow with Love

Dr. J. Richard Cookerly

Love Success Question: Do you feel good learning about love? (If so, your limbic system is probably helping and do some more.  If not, you might want to figure out what will make that better as an act of healthy self-love).

Self-Love and Its Five Healthy Functions

December 3rd, 2017 No comments

Self Love: 5 FunctionsSynopsis: Self-love dynamics and importance; the five functions via healthy self-love; living with and without functioning healthy self-love; a healthy self-love self exam.

Consider this understanding of how ‘healthy self-love’ and the ‘five major functions of all forms of love’ work, how it has great importance and how it is something you will do well to know about.

Dynamics and Importance

Healthy, real love serves us and drives us by way of love’s five major functions.  This is true of all types of love including healthy self-love.  Knowing the five major functions of healthy, real love and how to apply them in healthy self-love development can greatly assist a person in growing their healthy self-love.  That can amazingly and significantly assists people in succeeding at all other types of love relationships.

How well couple’s love, family love, friendship love and a great many other kinds of love flourish or perish often depends on sufficient healthy self-love.  The greater one’s healthy self-love the less one tends to operate from fear, insecurity, jealousy, anger, deception and a host of other positions that tend to destroy love relationships.  Greater healthy self-love also results in the development of greater self-confidence, self-reliance, self-esteem, self-understanding, self-directed living, self-trust, self-assurance and self-sufficiency.  All those strongly tend to lead to greater success in all areas of life.  Therefore, I vigorously recommend developing a really good understanding of the major functions of love and what they accomplish when applied to healthy, self-love growth and improvement.

Self-Love and the Five Major Functions of Healthy Real Love

1.  Connection
    It is by love that we are best connected to one another.
It is by ‘healthy self-love’ that we are best connected with our self.

2.  Nurturing
    It is by love that we best nurture the growth and well-being of each other.
It is by ‘healthy self-love’ that we best nurture the growth and well-being of our self.

3.  Protection
    It is by love that we protect and safeguard our loved ones.
It is by ‘healthy self-love’ that we protect and safeguard our self.

4.  Healing
    It is by love that we strive to heal our loved ones when they become afflicted.
It is by ‘healthy self-love’ that we best strive to heal our self.

5.  Reward
    It is by love that we best take joy in one another and reward one another.
It is by ‘healthy self-love’ that we best take joy in and reward our self.

So, in these ways let us adhere to the ancient admonition – love others as you love yourself.

Rewards, Survival and Well-Being

Joy (part of the fifth function listed above) rewards and reinforces the actions that stem from the previous four functions.
Each of the functions of love works for our survival, well-being and improvement.  Therefore, our healthy self-love works for our individual survival, well-being and improvement.  This in turn works to keep us going and, therefore, can greatly aid us in acting on behalf of the survival, well-being and improvement of those we love.

Loveless Malfunction

Without love and the functions it provides we malfunction.  When we malfunction we deprive both our self and those we love of the benefits that flow from our love.  Think about each of the five functions not occurring.  When we are not well-connected with our self we tend to liveSelf Love detail in inner disharmony and often work against our self.  When we do not nurture our self we grow overly dependent on others and may psychosocially starve.  When we are not sufficiently self-protective we live increasingly in danger of being harmed.  When we do not sufficiently act to heal our self when afflicted psychologically and physically we promote our own dysfunction and demise.  When we do not sufficiently take in, digest and revel in the rewarding joys of love we do not reinforce the actions that stem from the first four functions of love and, thus, they go unrewarded.  Unrewarded behavior tends to diminish and disappear.  From the diminishment and cessation of love actions everyone may then suffer.

Greater Self-Love : Better Everything

The better one’s healthy self-love the better the five functions of love tend to operate keeping the self strong, healthy and, therefore, more able to love others.  The better one’s healthy self-love the better one can operate when other sources of love are not available.  The better one’s healthy self-love the more one is likely to attract strong, healthy love from strong, healthy others.  It is true that dependent, needy, weak people also may be attracted hoping that your love and strength will aid (save, rescue, fix and/or ‘adopt’) them.  So, out of love for others one may be healthfully assistive to the weak and needy but only if out of healthy self-love one avoids becoming depleted or enmeshed in a weakness-enabling dynamic.


Now, you might want to evaluate yourself.  Here are some questions to help.  Are you becoming appreciatively more knowledgeable of yourself and your many miraculous workings and, therefore, more healthfully inner-connected?  Are you good at nurturing yourself and, therefore, helping your further growth and development?  Are you sufficiently self-protective and safeguarding of your well-being?  When you are sick, or wounded or in any other way afflicted physically or emotionally do you act sufficiently for your own self-healing?  Are you joyous about yourself and the bundle of miracles that you are and, therefore, are self-rewarding enough?  Are you helping those you love and care about grow to where they can answer the above questions in the affirmative for themselves?

As always – Go and Grow with Love

Dr. J. Richard Cookerly

♥ Love Success Question
When you were growing up how much were you perhaps taught to regard self-love as a bad thing to be avoided and if you were so taught does that teaching make you a weaker person today?  For help with this see the entry “Loving Others “as” You Love Yourself ???