There are many parts to our lives, such as getting an education, health, friends and family. Among the most important are our relationships with peers and the opposite sex.
And, above all, to love and be loved in close relationships is the most important, because that can impact all other parts of our life. But what is real love?
First, whatever the relationship, it needs to be nurtured. Rarely does it just happen and stay that way. And one of the best ways to nurture love is through communication. Talking to your partner, your friends and your colleagues helps you understand and appreciate them. Beyond that, I’ve discovered 10 principles of love that will help you not only to fall in love but stay that way.
1 Love does not hurt.
Physical or emotional abuse in any form is contrary to love. People who hurt you, either physically or emotionally, don’t love you. They should care for you, not abuse you.
2 Love is not manipulative.
Love shouldn’t be used to get others to do what you want. You should never give in to demands based on a “You-would-do-it-if-you-loved-me”
tactic. The person who loves you should never try to force you to do something you don’t want to do. Love is not a reason to get your own way.
3 Love is an intense feeling of caring for another person.
Love can take many different forms—platonic, romantic, friendly or familial—but it is always about caring.
Although it is true that a big part of love is putting another person’s happiness ahead of your own, this never includes compromising your values or being untrue to yourself.
4 You will want the person you love to be happy.
It’s easy to put your own happiness first in life. But something very significant happens when you put someone else’s happiness above your own: their happiness reflects back on you and you’re happy too! 5 Lust and love are easily confused.
The true measure of romantic love is commitment and trust, not physical attraction. Love is much deeper than mere sexual attraction; there has to be a measure of trust and commitment that underpins it. This in itself often rules out the lust aspect of a relationship.
Don’t base your feelings on the physical aspects of love alone.
6 It is possible to feel romantic love for more than one person at any given time.
If it is possible for you to love both of your parents at the same time, why would it be impossible to feel romantic love for two people at once? Don’t beat yourself up emotionally if you find yourself in this situation. Consider the romantic feeling you have for both of these other persons to be just that—a feeling. If you are single, you’ll have to choose one person or the other, but for now, just enjoy both friendships.
7 Sex is not love and love is not sex.
Sex can be a part of romantic love but it’s never mandatory. Often people feel that sex is the only way to show love but then it isn’t really love they are experiencing.
8 Romantic love will fade.
When romantic love diminishes, there isn’t always a clear reason. Dating somebody who falls out of love with you doesn’t reflect on your value as a person or your desirability. Your feelings change, and sometimes the love you had for someone goes away. When you are married, the fading of romantic feelings should not mean the end of your loving relationship. Love is more than romance. Married love should be a lifetime commitment.
9 Love should make you feel happy.
No one wants to stay in a relationship where they are unhappy. You want to feel safe, secure, valued and appreciated, and that should make you happy.
10 Genuine love is built on friendship.
Most successful love relationships began as friendships, which is probably the reason for their success. The better you know the other person, the better you’ll get along with him or her, and the more likely it is that the relationship will last. In a true love relationship, your appreciation of your partner as a friend will mean more than anything else. Friendships aren’t built on a purely sexual relationship. So first build friendships, and then look for love in a partner.
Let these 10 principles of true love guide you and you will almost certainly succeed in finding “just the right one” for you!