Secrets to a Successful Relationship – Part 4: Love

Will Irvin asked:

Love is not just that fluttering feeling in your stomach when you meet someone new, or when you’re around someone you really like. That is one kind of love, and it is an important part of any romantic relationship. But, that’s not entirely what I’m talking about today. I’m talking about love in general, all forms of it, and the fact that it must be present for any relationship to work. And, I’m not just talking about love from you towards the other person, but I’m talking about you loving yourself.

Self-Love: OK, you in the back, stop snickering. I’m not talking about THAT kind of self-love. I’m talking about the cliche that “if you don’t love yourself, no one else could possibly ever love you.” This is perhaps the last thing that people consider when they are deciding what they are looking for in a relationship, but it is actually one of the most important. If you do not know who you are, and LOVE who you are, it will show in your actions, speech, and mannerisms. People pick up on that, and for the most part, people don’t want to be around people who think so poorly of themselves. Besides, why would someone else like you, if you don’t even like yourself? So, be proud of who you are, embrace it, and put your best foot forward out there looking for relationships.

Love for Others: There are actually several types of love that a person can feel toward a person (or people). The main three types of love are unconditional love, brotherly love, and romantic love.

Brotherly love: This is the love and comaraderie that you feel when you are with your friends. It signifies the good times you share together, and it signifies the bond that you feel with them in all circumstances. It’s the reason you pick up the phone to talk to them when you’re feeling troubled about something, or when you get that new promotion, or have a date with someone special. It is a must for any successful friendship.

Romantic Love: Now, we’re back to that fluttering feeling in your stomach. This is the love that you feel toward your spouse, lover, or life partner. It is what’s commonly referred to as being “in love”. It is usually strongest at the beginning of a relationship, but it is possible to keep that spark alive, which is something I will be covering in a future article. Although not a must-have for a romantic relationship to survive, it certainly makes the years go by much more enjoyably than they will without it.

Unconditional Love: This is love without requirements. The most common form of unconditional love is the love that parents feel for their children, and vice versa. It is a form of love that essentially means that you always have the other person’s best interest at heart. It is the love that spans all types of situations, and all types of relationships. Without unconditional love, NO RELATIONSHIP will last, no matter how much of the other types of love are present. And, in case you forgot, this applies to Self-Love too. Love yourself no matter what.

So, figure out who you are, and what you stand for, and embrace it. Put that best “you” out there and start forging relationships with people. Love yourself, and love others with your entire being, and your relationships will be successful, lasting, and meaningful.

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