Every Relationship Begins With a Date.

LOVE IS A CHOICE~If love comes from appreciating goodness, it needn't just happen - you can make it happen. Love is active. You can create it. Just focus on the good in another person (and everyone has some). If you can do this easily, you'll love easily.


Susan was a bit dubious. "Mom," she said hesitantly, "I really appreciate your feelings, but, in all honesty, how can you say you love someone you've never met?"

"We're choosing to love him," her mother explained, "because love is a choice."

There's no better wisdom Susan's mother could have imparted to her before marriage. By focusing on the good, you can love almost anyone.


The more you give, the more you love~Many years ago, I met a woman whom I found very unpleasant. So I decided to try out the "giving leads to love" theory. One day I invited her for dinner. A few days later I offered to help her with a personal problem. On another occasion I read something she'd written and offered feedback and praise.

Today we have a warm relationship. The more you give, the more you love. This is why your parents (who've given you more than you'll ever know) undoubtedly love you more than you love them, and you, in turn, will love your own children more than they'll love you.


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The best way to feel loving is to be loving -- and that means giving.

While most people believe love leads to giving, the truth is exactly the opposite: Giving leads to love.

What is giving? When an enthusiastic handyman happily announces to his non- mechanically inclined wife, "Honey, wait till you see what I got you for your birthday -- a triple-decker toolbox!" that's not giving. Neither is a father's forcing violin lessons on his son because he himself always dreamed of being a virtuoso.

True giving, as Erich Fromm points out, is other-oriented, and requires four elements.
~The first is care, demonstrating active concern for the recipient's life and growth.
~The second is responsibility, responding to his or her expressed and unexpressed needs (particularly, in an adult relationship, emotional needs).
~The third is respect, "the ability to see a person as he [or she] is, to be aware of his [or her] unique individuality," and, consequently, wanting that person to "grow and unfold as he [or she] is."
These three components all depend upon the fourth, knowledge. You can care for, respond to, and respect another only as deeply as you know him or her.

Remember, "Love is a behavior"~A relationship thrives when partners are committed to behaving lovingly through continual, unconditional giving -- not only saying, "I love you," but showing it.

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